The Sage of Wasilla is back in the news...oh, who am I kidding? She's always in the news. From last week, there's the estimates that she's made around $12M since leaving office...I sure hope she's using serious professional help to handle the taxes on that. I don't think it's in her nature to be a deliberate crook, but I totally would be concerned that she could wind up like some of those sports figures who come into serious money and don't know how to handle it. At any rate, it's nice that her self-interest now corresponds to her issue positions: no dupe of the wealthy she!
Meanwhile, (also) via Goddard comes today's news. Remember that flap about the Democrats she targeted with what some considered overly literal targets (yeah, I thought it was a stretch of a complaint, too)? Well, it turns out that Palin's PAC didn't give any money at all to the candidates in those races. She did give some donations to candidates, but in all under $10K, compared to her $400K in PAC receipts in first quarter 2010, and $900K cash-in-hand.
Mostly, SarahPAC is a windfall, Politics Daily's Sandra Fish reports, for political consultants, who received about $250K over the first three months of the year. Nice work if you can get it! Political consultants are known to consider self-funding candidates to be pigeons ripe for the plucking; I suspect that SarahPAC is much the same. The requisite fun detail (from Fish -- good reporting) is that she spend more on de-icing private planes for travel than she did on candidate contributions...gee, I do hope SarahPAC has good lawyers who are making sure that it's not just a slush fund for Palin's personal enrichment. Or, you know, if it is, that it isn't in any legal jeopardy for being a slush fund for Palin's personal enrichment. Fortunately, it's perfectly legal to run a PAC that's a slush fund for political consultants.
For a normal candidate in a healthy party, Palin's cashing in would be a pretty strong indication that she will ultimately pull back from contesting the Republican nomination for the presidency in 2012. Since neither applies, here, I recommend Andrew Sullivan's comments; he thinks she's a formidable candidate for the nomination (see also Chris Bowers). I'm not convinced, but I also disagree with those who count her completely out. Party leaders, whatever their ideological positions, would have to be nuts or completely cut off from reality to allow her to walk away with the nomination -- but of course there's a serious debate on whether that's the case (the latter, not the former). And as I've said Palin is an excellent test. Meanwhile, most people who wanted to be president would hesitate to wring every dollar out of their celebrity, but I think we all know that Palin isn't most people.
One thing on which I am certain: the Boston Herald's fantasies notwithstanding, there's no way that any GOP nominee would voluntarily put Sarah Palin on the bottom half of the ticket. Fool me once, Dr. Crane, indeed.