Palin herself acknowledged that conundrum today. "The primary role of the RNC chair seems be that of fundraiser-in-chief, and there are others who would probably be much more comfortable asking people for money than I would be, and they would definitely enjoy it more," she told ABC News.
2) She's an ideologue. Qualification no. 1 for any chairman, especially going into a presidential election year, is to be an objective broker. Palin has a clear-cut ideology, and even though her conservative outlook is the clear majority in the party, it's not the only outlook. The RNC chairman has to defend moderates as much as conservatives. That means equally supporting Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Sen.-elect Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).
Palin's primary endorsements, especially against Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), raise questions as to whether she would do that. In a presidential year, potential White House candidates will lean on their RNC members to pick someone who is not going to have a finger on the scale, and Palin's history would certainly make those contenders nervous.
3) She's an outsider. That's one of Palin's biggest potential plusses as a presidential candidate, but in the world of the RNC and its 168 voters, that's almost the death of her campaign right there. The RNC is a group of state party chairs and national committee members who prize their independence, and they're not easily wooed by stars. They are routinely courted by possible presidential candidates and they rarely bat an eye when it happens.
What's more, they don't believe anyone understands the situations in their states. They want the RNC chairman to hand out money and leave the states to spend it as they see fit. They are suspicious that an outsider would want to run everything from the RNC. Many members on the national committee believed incumbent chairman Michael Steele was too much of an outsider when he ran -- and he'd been chairman of the Maryland Republican Party, and thus a member of the RNC, until late 2004!
4) She's too loud. For evidence that Palin is perhaps the most influential media figure in American politics today, just wait until she tweets again and cable news covers it like a national news event. Palin has the widest reach of any Republican, and arguably of any American outside of President Obama. That's great for Palin. It would be a disaster for the RNC.
If there's anything RNC members have learned after two years of Steele, it's that the national committee only becomes news when the chairman makes an error. Palin is a lightening rod, for the huge number of Republicans who love her and the equal, if not greater, number of Democrats who hate her. RNC members want media attention to focus elsewhere, and Palin's not the person to deflect attention away from herself, or from any organization with which she's associated.