With news that Sarah Palin's authorized biopic will premiere in Iowa next month, the conventional wisdom that she's not running for president in 2012 has been overturned, or so say The New York Times's Jim Rutenberg and Jeff Zeleny. They've delivered the sort of report that's catnip for the political press collecting the recent developments in Palin World and conclude they add up to signs she is "is seriously weighing a Republican presidential bid." Though Palin hasn't formed an exploratory committee or made some the other moves typical of someone planning a campaign, she has swapped out her foreign policy adviser to telling Fox News' Greta van Susteren that she had the "fire in the belly." Here's a breakdown of the case for her entering the presidential race.
Run, Sarah, Run!
- The Movie After last fall's midterm elections, Palin contacted conservative director Stephen K. Bannon to make a movie highlighting her accomplishments as Alaska governor. Palin screened the movie last week.
- Arizona Home Palin bought a house in Scottsdale, Arizona for $1.7 million through a shell company to keep her identity secret. The new home would make a far more conventient place to HQ a presidential campaign.
- Public Appearances Palin will begin showing up at more public events "as early as this weekend."
- New Staff Palin has hired two people to manage her schedule. This comes after hiring a former adviser to Bob Dole as chief of staff and dismissing two neoconservative advisers, Randy Scheunemann and Michael Goldfarb. The duo were replaced them with an adviser, Peter Schweizer, who is more skeptical of the American intervention in Libya.
- Cultivating Supporters California lawyer Peter Singleton has been contacting Iowan Tea Party activists and Republicans to build support for a Palin candidacy, though he says he's acting alone.
Private Citizen Palin
- Fox News Palin still has that sweet gig on the cable network, which spiked the contracts of other 2012 contenders once it became clear they were running.
- Family She said she's concerned about putting her family through another campaign.
Several bloggers are now convinced Palin's running. Among them is Andrew Sullivan, who says "I, for one, feel nothing but a chill go up my spine." Palin biographer and nosy neighbor Joe McGinniss says, "Her people are out there, they are numerous, they are angry: and there is not another credible Republican candidate in the race." The National Review's Katrina Trinko says it looks like Palin is at least trying to rehab her image. But one person, at least, is unimpressed: Michele Bachmann. Bachmann, who's considered a sort of dark roast version of Palin, says of her own potential presidential candidacy, "My decision won't be dependent on the governor's decision or on anyone else's decision"