Real Clear Politics is reporting that Fox News contributor Sarah Palin is parting ways with her network.

“It’s my understanding that Gov. Palin was offered a contract by FOX, and she decided not to renew the arrangement,” the source close to Palin told RCP. “She remains focused on broadening her message of common-sense conservatism across the country and will be expanding her voice in the national discussion.”

The Erik Wemple Blog has sent a request to Fox News seeking confirmation but has not heard back. Fox News executive vice president Bill Shine issued this statement to the New York Times: “We have thoroughly enjoyed our association with Governor Palin. We wish her the best in her future endeavors.”

Not sure what that means. We’ll see just how accurate is the self-serving statement that Palin turned Fox News down in favor of more lofty pursuits. After all, there’s reason for some skepticism about that narrative: A search of Nexis over the past three months, for instance, reveals just three appearances by Palin on Fox News: Two on “Hannity,” On Nov. 2 and Dec. 3, plus another on “On the Record” with Greta Van Susteren on Nov. 5. (Nexis catches mainly prime-time programming). Doesn’t appear as if her Fox News schedule of late would get in the way of any other pursuits.

Whatever we learn about the internal politics of Palin and Fox News, the departure of the former vice presidential hopeful raises a question: Who’s going to pick up the slack at Fox News for calling President Obama a socialist? Because if there’s one thing that Palin brought to her discussions with Fox News anchors, it was just that. Have a look at some transcriptage:

PALIN: That’s a very scary thought because Barack Obama is a socialist. He believes in socialism, in redistributing wealth, in confiscating hard-earned dollars of our small businessmen and women so that they cannot reinvest their dollars and hire more people and grow and expand. Instead, he believes in these failed socialist policies and I say that not to personally condemn our president, but I say it because I face reality, and I see what’s going on, and I see the path that we are on and the fact that Barack Obama has not had a budget in the four years that he’s been in office and not been worried about it and continues to spend recklessly other people’s money and that is a sign of that idea of loving socialism.
Yes. Sean, you know, some of us had him pegged four years ago. Remember when he promised to fundamentally transform America. We knew right then during the campaign that we were in for a world of hurt under Obama’s failed liberal socialist policies and ideas that he would really ram down our throats. So, nothing comes as a surprise to me when I hear now the tone that President Obama is taking in his campaign.

Aug. 9:

I think, as I have been saying for four years now, the next go-around, anybody but Obama and help to the GOP nominee will have my 100 percent full support, as will our nominee, coming out of the convention in Florida.
We have to replace Barack Obama and the socialist policies at the ballot box in November. America, for our solvency, for our sovereignty, we cannot afford four more years what have Barack Obama is doing to this country and fundamentally transforming us into something we won’t recognize four years from now.
You know why I think that Governor Romney should vigorously defend his record and the fiscal decisions that he has made as a private citizen and with his private company. But we need to remember and Romney needs to remind the public and the media that his private bank accounts are not the problem — that is not what is causing the economic demise of this country. It is the — what Barack Obama believes and then makes manifest in our economy with the sales, monumental failures that kind of replicate the socialist nations that he seems to want to emulate.
Don’t do what we did in holding back information that the people deserve to hear and it wasn’t Senator McCain who chose to hold back information regarding a sitting state senator who was running for president, the highest office in the land, and his voting record and his statements and his past associations and present associations and his pals.
You cannot hold back vetted information that is so necessary in order for the electorate to make a good decision. We are finding so much now about now President Barack Obama and his past and present associations with anti-American, shoot, Marxist professors who he sought out proudly and aggressively sought out to learn from.
We learned so much now about who and what shaped President Obama and socialist ideas of his and they failed in other countries and they will fail here in this country. We find out about those, Sean, today and now it is too late four years later.

Clearly the guv will leave a vacuum.