Watch CBSN Live

Did Sarah Palin Resign as Governor Because of Money?

Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin stepped down from her position as governor of Alaska in the summer of 2009, leaving behind a prominent political career in which she could have bolstered her image as a serious politician. The move left many speculating over Palin's motives, but a profile of Palin in New York Magazine purports to have the answers.

"To many, [Palin's resignation] seemed a mysterious move, defying the logic of a potential presidential candidate, and possibly reflecting some hidden scandal--but in fact the choice may have been as easy as balancing a checkbook," writes Gabriel Sherman.

Money is no longer a problem for Palin, who earned $12 million in the past year.

But before publishing a best-selling book, amassing speaking fees, signing television contracts and so on, Palin was reportedly under financial stress as governor largely because of legal bills.

"Her life was terrible [as governor]," one unnamed adviser says in the article. "She was never home, her [Juneau] office was four hours from her house. You gotta drive an hour from Wasilla to Anchorage. And she was going broke."

Some of Palin's fortune has come under scrutiny as she builds her media persona while keeping the door open for a return to politics. Some Tea Partiers, for instance, criticized Palin for taking her usual speaking fee of $100,00 to speak at the National Tea Party Convention in Nashville, Tenn. Her contract to speak at the convention included $18,000 for private-jet travel for her and five other people, according to two people who've seen the contract, New York Magazine reported.

And while Palin has been coy about her political future, New York magazine reveals she has long had the highest of political ambitions. Palin's former campaign manager, Laura Chase, related a story from 1996, when Palin was running for mayor of Wasilla, Alaska.

"We were sitting at my table one night and I said, 'Sarah, one day you could be governor,'" she said. "She just looked at me and said, 'I don't want to be governor, I want to be president.'"

Sarah Palin: Obama Is "Institutionalizing Crony Capitalism"
Sarah Palin Wants "Consequences" for Hacker
Poll: Tea Party Supporters View Palin, Beck and Bush Favorably
View CBS News In