There are many good reasons to believe that Sarah Palin is not running for president. However, her latest filing with the Federal Election Commission suggests she is, Politico's Kenneth Vogel writes. Palin's political action committee, SarahPAC, is running on all eight cylinders raising $866,000 in the second quarter of this year and spending $742,000, almost twice as much as as it did in any previous quarter. The PAC's funds went to "list-building and fundraising (including its first major direct-mail campaign) that typically undergird top-tier political committees."
Following the filing, some political prognosticators see stronger signs that Palin is seeking the country's highest office in 2012. Here's why:
- The Planets Have Aligned, writes Jay Newton-Small at Time: "I've always thought Palin would run - though it flies in the face of the MSM group think inside the Beltway. How could she run without the staff? The advisors and pollsters? The PAC money? She hasn't been manically courting Iowa and New Hampshire county officials since resigning as governor of Alaska last summer! Well, she now has the money and her string of endorsements, including a prominent one in Iowa, could set her up nicely for the 2012 primary season. Her staff remains small, but have been effective, witness her video last week":
- She's Already the GOP Front-Runner, writes John Ellis at Real Clear Politics: "Palin has smartly positioned herself as the champion of the conservative counter-revolution. By December, she will almost certainly be the de facto front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination. By the time the Establishment GOP wakes up to this reality, it may be too late for them to do anything about it. Their view of Palin is that she's useful to the party because she can help keep 'the Tea Party types inside the tent.' And maybe she can serve coffee while she's at it. Palin's view is that (1) 'the Tea Party types' are the party, (2) she is their standard bearer and (3) anyone who thinks 'the Tea Party types' are there to lick envelopes and knock on doors should think again. They're there, she asserts, to take back their party and to take back their country."
- She's Got Grassroots Support, writes Reid Wilson at National Journal's Hotline. While Wilson cautions that Palin "may not be taking any overt steps" toward a run, he notes that she "is pushing open the door." He explains her grassroots strength: "What's most notable is the number of small contributors Palin has attracted. More than 3/4 of her donations are listed as unitemized, meaning the individuals who wrote checks sent in less than $200. Much of Pres. Obama's fundraising success in '08 came from these small-dollar donors, meaning Palin has a grassroots folllowing -- one she's started to build significantly earlier than Obama did."
- Dissent MSNBC's First Read team doesn't buy it: "Here are a couple of caveats to keep in mind: 1) given her increased campaigning for political candidates this spring and summer, it shouldn't be surprising that her PAC is spending more money, and 2) we've seen House campaigns with more sophisticated political teams than hers currently has. We still have big doubts that she eventually runs for president in 2012."