After endless teasing and basking in the attention, Sarah Palin has informed supporters in a letter Wednesday night that she will not be running for president in 2012. "After much prayer and serious consideration, I have decided that I will not be seeking the 2012 GOP nomination for President of the United States," she writes. "As always, my family comes first and obviously Todd and I put great consideration into family life before making this decision. When we serve, we devote ourselves to God, family and country. My decision maintains this order." Our national nightmare is over.
In true Palin form, her announcement does leave the door open for plenty of speculation, on which the news media will certainly pounce. Notice how she makes clear that she "will not be seeking the 2012 GOP nomination," but never says in writing that she won't run as a third-party candidate. (She did tell conservative radio host Mark Levin that she believes "a third party would guarantee Obama's reelection, and that's the last thing that our republic can afford," but if you think that will stop the conjecture then we've got a Chris Christie to show you.) And there's still the vice-presidential nomination! Lord have mercy.
In her letter, Palin goes on to praise "common sense Conservatives and Independents" and says confusingly that she "can be more effective in a decisive role to help elect other true public servants to office — from the nation's governors to Congressional seats and the Presidency."
Update: As of 6:57 p.m. ET, Conservatives 4 Palin have not updated their website, while the anti-Palin trolls, even on the right, are already out in full force. "The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255," tweets Red State's Erick Erickson. "Given so many staked on stuff that didn't happen, just wanna be safe."
Related: The Case for Why Sarah Palin Won’t Run for President [NYM]
Sarah Palin Will Not Run for President [ABC News]
This post has been updated with additional information.