Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said her 1-year-old son with Down syndrome contributed to her surprise announcement to resign from office.

Palin shocked the political world Friday by announcing that she would not seek a second term as governor in 2010 and will resign from the office within weeks. She is widely believed to be considering a run for president in 2012 following her selection from near obscurity to be Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s running mate last year.

In her announcement, Palin said her decision to leave office has been “in the works for awhile.” Ultimately, she said, she asked her kids what they thought. “Well, in response to asking: ‘Want me to make a positive difference and fight for all our children’s future from outside the governor’s office?’ It was four ‘yes’s’ and one ‘hell yeah!’ The ‘hell yeah’ sealed it — and someday I’ll talk about the details of that… I think much of it had to do with the kids seeing their baby brother Trig,” who has Down syndrome, “mocked by some pretty mean-spirited adults recently,” she said.

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Palin continued, “we all could learn so much from someone like Trig — I know he needs me, but I need him even more… what a child can offer to set priorities right — that time is precious… the world needs more ‘Trigs’, not fewer.”

Palin did not indicate what she plans to do after leaving office but said, “I am doing what’s best for Alaska.”