No way to tell if this is a real window onto her mind or just spin to salve the wound of a tough day, but the Palinistas deserve some hope.

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin plans to remain extremely visible and will give serious consideration to running for president in 2012, but has made no decision, a close friend said after her startling announcement Friday that she will resign her office…

Those friends say she plans to give a series of paid speeches, and will also make free GOP appearances, raising money for the party and for issues. She also plans to help other candidates, collecting political IOUs for herself…

Friends said Palin brushes off hostile news coverage but feels that the ethics complaints in Alaska – accompanied by attacks in the legislature, and the relentless pounding she was taking at home – were taking a toll on her family and her state. So she believes the decision was selfless, the friends said.

But:

“She has never been able to deliver a succinct message and this one was all over the place when this really needed to be one of her best performances,” a Republican congressional official said.

“While it is absolutely true that people in Alaska were trying to tear her down with false charges, it doesn’t look good that when she was faced with adversity and attacks on her character that she threw in the towel. … She needed to go away for a while and bone up on issues. Truly bewildering.”

At the Corner, Mark Levin puts on a brave face and declares that she’s running and that’s that. On the flip side, here’s Ed Rollins — who was Huckabee’s campaign manager, remember — making a persuasive case for why this seems like a very, very strange way to launch a presidential bid. Not only did she make the announcement at a time traditionally reserved to bury horrible news but he’s right about her speech seeming hastily pulled together, replete with the bizarre lame-duck rationale, instead of polished at leisure the way one would expect you’d do for an announcement this big. Consensus on the right seems to be gathering behind the idea that she did this for the kids, to protect them and to spend more time with them, but if that’s true, why not make that the focus of the speech and give this presser on Monday morning, when the media’s rested and ready for a full week of new coverage? Quitting for her family only makes her sympathetic. If that’s the real reason, why obscure it?