Political analysts have been literally looking at the tea leaves to see if there is a sign that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will run for President after all? Why would she walk away from her Fox News big bucks contract? (So she’s not) She must be jealous and upset that Michele Bachmann seems to be stealing some of her schtick thunder (So she’ll jump in). She likes the celebrity but not the process of politics. (So she’s not). With Gingrich fizzling and Mitch Daniels (darling of the Bush wing of the party) not running, the field is open for her (So she’s not).
But The Atlantic now gives this tidbit that truly does raise some political eyebrows:
Sarah Palin has deliberately left the question as to whether or not she will run in 2012 open. For those who believe a bid for the GOP nomination is still a possibility for her, The Arizona Republic provides some further evidence: after months of rumors, Palin may have purchased a house in Scotsdale, Arizona. A deal on a secluded, 8,000-square-foot home in far north Scottsdale was recently closed by Safari Investments LLC for $1.695 million cash. The terms of the deal hide the identity of the owner, and when the attorney listed on the property records, Alan Kierman, was asked if Palin was the buyer, his response was an intriguing “no comment.”
According to the Republic, Palin has been rumored to be considering headquartering her 2012 White House campaign in Scottsdale, if there is a campaign. A anonymous source from her camp also told Ben Smith at Politico that she would base a potential presidential campaign in Scottsdale, near where Bristol Palin recently bought a house in Maricopa. Palin has also been mentioned as a possible candidate for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Senator Jon Kyl.
But there are many reasons why Palin might leave Alaska that have nothing to do with a bid for 2012 or a run for a seat in the Senate. Joshua Green described in The Atlantic that Palin’s popularity in her home state is rapidly dwindling. A rumored Democratic poll showed her to be less popular in Alaska right now than Barack Obama. Green writes that though Palin, “still lives in Alaska, she has all but withdrawn from its public life, appearing only seldom and then usually to film her reality-television show, Sarah Palin’s Alaska.”
But this might be a tempting time for Palin to decide to run for several reasons:
The questions become a)whether if Palin jumps in she can get enough Tea Partiers who are enamored with rising star (and more politically savvy) Bachmann plus some others to put together a coalition that can win the GOP nomination b)whether if she sits this one out her time will be totally over by 2016.
Of course the wild card is the millions of dollars she’s raking in now at Fox and in speeches. Why would she gamble losing all of that? But stranger things (such as Donald Trump de-valuing his brand and becoming a national laughingstock) have happened in politics.
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.