GOP Implosion

In a matter of weeks, three of the Republicans' most promising presidential contenders—Palin, Sanford, Ensign—have tripped up, leaving the party’s leadership more adrift than ever. A Daily Beast roundup of what happened.

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Palin Resignation: 11 Theories Whyby The Daily Beast

Sarah Palin's holiday-eve decision to resign as governor blindsided TV commentators and bloggers who scrambled to come up with an explanation. The Daily Beast's presents a roundup of insta-reactions.

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How Her Mind Worksby Mark McKinnon

Mark McKinnon, who helped prep Sarah Palin for her infamous debate with Joe Biden, says he never saw her bombshell resignation coming—and insists there's another surprise up her sleeve yet.

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Palin Has Really Gone Rogue by Michelle Goldberg

UPDATE: The governor’s resignation speech seemed less like a farewell than like an inauguration of a new campaign. She’s unhinged, writes Michelle Goldberg—but so is much of her competition.

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Did a Scandal Sink the U.S.S. Palin?by Max Blumenthal

The suddenness of Sarah Palin’s resignation raises questions about whether a coming scandal caused her to leave office. Max Blumenthal looks at one possibility.

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How Palin's Resignation Makes Her the True Frontrunnerby John Batchelor

UPDATE: Rather than a blow to a career, Sarah Palin's decision to resign underlines her self-awareness, writes The Daily Beast's John Batchelor. She is now unmatched for the 2012 primary.

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Sarah Palin: The Movieby The Daily Beast

Who should play Sarah Palin, Todd, Bristol, Katie Couric, and David Letterman in the Hollywood version of the governor’s story? The Daily Beast heads to the casting couch.

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What the Sanfords Didn't Sayby Tina Brown

Tina Brown decodes the governor and first lady’s statements about his sexual escapade.

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Forgive Mark Sanfordby Meghan McCain

Sex scandals like Governor Sanford’s and John Ensign’s are private matters that don’t affect public policy and shoot down rising political stars. It’s time to end hypocrisy in America.

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The Passion of Mark Sanfordby Kathleen Parker

The cheating governor—and his impractical, impossible love for a woman thousands of miles away—is the kind of tragic, heart-swelling tale that storybook romances are made of.

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Sanford's Strange Sideby Max Blumenthal

Well before the South Carolina governor admitted his extramarital affair, there were signs the “thoughtful conservative” had a penchant for concealing potentially damaging and unusual incidents from his constituents.

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GOP Lothario Losersby John Batchelor

The twin disasters of Mark Sanford and John Ensign expose the Republican Party apparatus for the laziness, pettiness, and emptiness of what is left of the leadership. But the crash of Sanford—much higher on the 2012 list—eclipses that of Ensign.

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Sanford's Dereliction of Duty Trumps His Hypocrisyby Paul Begala

That the South Carolina governor stepped out on his wife is his business, writes Paul Begala—though it does underscore the GOP’s culture of hypocrisy. Stepping out on his job, however, is the business of the people of South Carolina.

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Sanford Should Resignby Mark McKinnon

After his disastrous press conference, the South Carolina governor ought to pack his bags, The Daily Beast’s Mark McKinnon writes. Now who’ll be the GOP's savior in 2012?

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Mark Sanford: The Movieby The Daily Beast

Runaway governor Mark Sanford’s South American love affair is perfect for Hollywood. The Daily Beast heads to the casting couch.

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Ensign's Sex-Scandal Enabler?by Max Blumenthal

Senator Tom Coburn knew of John Ensign’s affair 16 months ago—and concealed it from the public. But what, Max Blumenthal asks, did the conservative moral crusader tell his friend in private?

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Investigate Ensign Nowby Max Blumenthal

A leading watchdog calls for the Senate Ethics Committee to look into multiple mysterious payments made to the senator's mistress and her family.

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Ensign, Get Your Sorry Ass Out of the Senateby Mark McKinnon

In the fourth of a series on the 2012 landscape, former Bush and McCain strategist Mark McKinnon says Sen. John Ensign’s hypocrisy makes his misdemeanor of adultery a felony—and he should resign.

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