So, Sarah Palin is going to spend her time with "God, family and country" over the next few years. After "much prayer and serious consideration" she won't be running for President. Cynics might say that this is less to do with divine intervention and more to do with the fact that she's no longer the poster girl of the batty American right. She knows she would not win the nomination against Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann.
I suspect she has her eye on the nomination in 2016, potentially slugging it out for the White House against Hillary Clinton.
Some have suggested that this is her acknowledging that Obama is home and dry for next year. Anyone making that assumption is really misguided. Remember George H W Bush, not a bad President as Republicans go, had 91% approval ratings after the Gulf War - and then lost badly to Bill Clinton just 18 months later. I will not obsess on the fact that the defeat was down to a very publicly broken pledge......especially as it was really about the economy.
If Obama can't provide more jobs, or successfully pin the blame on the Republicans, where it lies, for refusing to even discuss his jobs package, he could be toast. And although Palin has gone, there are plenty nasty characters still in the race for the GOP nomination.
Take Rick Perry, the Governor of Texas, for example. This is the guy who wanted every woman going for an abortion to be forced to see a can picture and listen to the foetal heartbeat. That is an unspeakable cruelty to foist on someone who is already going through a trauma.
Michele Bachmann doesn't think Carbon Dioxide does any harm, she thinks gay marriage is the biggest and worst evil imaginable and she thinks evolution is just an interesting theory.
And Mitt Romney becomes more socially and politically conservative with each passing day.
There's a long way to go until the elections next year - and Obama needs all the help he can get to assure a second term. It's way too early to write off the GOP.