Sarah Palin is back in the news after she told Fox News' Sean Hannity that she was "considering" entering the 2014 Senate race against Alaska's Democratic incumbent Mark Begich.
Many pundits remain skeptical, since her language didn't sound too convincing:
I’ve considered it, because people have requested me considering it. But I’m still waiting to see what the lineup will be and hoping that … there will be some new blood, new energy, not just kind of picking from the same old politicians in the state. [Washington Post]
Palin has accomplished more in 49 years than many people will in their entire lives. She became governor of Alaska in 2006. She ran for vice president. She starred in her own reality show on TLC.
Her potential Senate run, however, might end up on the list of things Palin has almost done, which includes:
1. Finish her term as governor of Alaska
When Sarah Palin ran for governor of Alaska in 2006, she was unknown in most of the country. After the 2008 presidential election, she was a national media phenomenon.
Apparently her newfound fame, along with a slew of ethics investigations, made it hard for her to concentrate on her job. Palin resigned on July 3, 2009, saying, "I'm determined to take the right path for Alaska, even though it is unconventional and it's not so comfortable."
Her husband, Todd, told Fox News that she was leaving to concentrate on "doing the things for Alaska and the country." Whatever the reason for Palin leaving, it stoked rumors that she was gearing up for a presidential run in 2012.
2. Run for president
Palin obviously didn't run in 2012. But leading up to the election, she dropped hint after hint that she would.
"I'm not so egotistical as to believe that it has to be me, or it can only be me, to turn things around... But I do believe that I can win," Palin said to Newsweek in July 2011. She also went on a national bus tour, visited vital primary states like Iowa and New Hampshire, and took a trip to Israel to meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Then, on Oct. 5, 2011, Palin announced, "After much prayer and serious consideration, I have decided that I will not be seeking the 2012 GOP nomination for president of the United States." The long will-she-or-won't-she drama was derided by critics, Jon Stewart included, as a way of raising money by playing on the hopes of her supporters.
3. Quit Fox News
Palin had a pretty sweet gig as a contributor at Fox News, reportedly pulling in $1 million a year. In January, she abruptly ended her relationship with the network, saying that she wanted to share her views "more broadly" instead of "preach to the choir."
That lasted exactly five months. "The power of Fox News is unparalleled," Palin said in a statement last month. "I am pleased and proud to be rejoining Roger Ailes and the great people at Fox.”
4. Start her own party
Last month, Sarah Palin indicated she might be too much of a maverick for the GOP by saying that she was open to starting her own "Freedom Party" with conservative radio host Mark Levin. The reason? Republicans were straying from their values:
If the GOP continues to back away from the planks in our platform, from the principles that built this party of Lincoln and Reagan, then yeah, more and more of us are going to start saying, ‘You know, what’s wrong with being independent,’ kind of with that libertarian streak that much of us have. In other words, we want government to back off and not infringe upon our rights. I think there will be a lot of us who start saying ‘GOP, if you abandon us, we have nowhere else to go except to become more independent and not enlisted in a one or the other private majority parties that rule in our nation, either a Democrat or a Republican.’ [The Daily Caller]
Considering that Palin first made her name challenging corruption in the Alaskan Republican Party in 2006, it wouldn't be totally out of character for her to ditch the GOP. Certainly, not all conservatives would spill tears over her departure.
"She is free to leave the GOP at any time, for any reason," Peter Wehner wrote in Commentary. "And there may be more than a few Republicans who hope she will, if only so that they do not have to spend any more time explaining to the rest of the world why the GOP, for all its shortcomings, is far more serious than Sarah Palin."