ANCHORAGE - Sarah Palin, the Republican Party's 2008 vice presidential nominee, said love of her remote state, her country and family prompted her abrupt resignation this weekend as Alaska governor.
"Those who know me know this is the right decision and obvious decision," Palin wrote Saturday in a posting on the Facebook social networking website.
"How sad that Washington and the media will never understand -- it's about country," she said.
"Though it's honorable for countless others to leave their positions for a higher calling and without finishing a term, of course we know by now, for some reason a different standard applies for the decisions I make.
"But every American understands what it takes to make a decision because it's right for all -- including your family."
Earlier Saturday Palin, 45, anounced she is stepping down as governor, fueling swift speculation of a possible 2012 White House bid, a move that she said was in the best interests of Alaska.
She took a swipe at the mainstream media for a reaction to her resignation she described as "predictable, ironic, and as always, detached from the lives of ordinary Americans who are sick of the 'politics of personal destruction'."
She added: "My family and I determined after prayerful consideration that sacrificing my title helps Alaska most," she said.
Palin has only led the vast, oil-producing northwestern state since December 2006.
But the 2008 presidential race saw the former beauty queen and onetime television news announcer ascend overnight from the obscure governor of Alaska to become Senator John McCain's running mate and her party's popular but polarizing new cheerleader.
As governor, Palin has earned approval ratings as high as 80 percent, but her popularity dipped in the wake of a series of ethics complaints and her failed run with McCain.
In leaving her post before the end of her first term, Palin, the first woman to stand on a Republican presidential ticket, will be able to travel across the country more freely and build up a national political team, clearing the way for a potential presidential bid of her own.
"I am now looking ahead and how we can advance this country together with our values of less government intervention, greater energy independence, stronger national security, and much-needed fiscal restraint," she said on Facebook.
A CNN poll earlier this month had Palin running neck-and-neck with former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and Arkansas ex-governor Mick Huckabee as the favorites to head up the Republican 2012 ticket.