Sarah Palin's SarahPAC political organization just had its best quarter yet, bringing in $866,000, spending $742,000, and still holding more than $1 million in the bank. The expenditures — $87,500 to candidates she's supporting, $11,000 for scheduling help, $330,000 in direct-mail and other fundraising costs — reflect a "political operation befitting someone considering a presidential run," says Politico's Kenneth Vogel. Is this evidence that she's running for the top office in 2012? (Watch Newt Gingrich predict Palin would win "in a landslide")
Palin's running, and running strong: "I've always thought Palin would run" in 2012, says Jay Newton-Small in Time, despite the dismissive "MSM group think inside the Beltway." And now she has the money, and string of indebted candidates in key states, to prove the Washington establishment's collective wisdom wrong. In many ways, her opening moves mirror her quirky outsider run for Alaska governor — which, you'll recall, she won.
Her prep work's a little lacking: We know she's "seriously thinking about running for president," because she's said so, says Marc Ambinder in The Atlantic. But it's hard to know yet if her "different type of campaign" is built on more than just "bad advice." She's "brand-testing," but she isn't "extending her brand" to win over skeptical Republicans and independents. And you can't win with her tiny staff and no fundraisers.
"2012: What Palin is, and isn't, doing"
She'll run — will the GOP bite? These big numbers, plus the professionally produced "Mama Grizzlies" ad, take Palin's campaign to a new level, says Greg Mataconis in Outside the Beltway. But if GOP voters are "dumb enough" to nominate the "Republican equivalent of Walter Mondale," they'll just throw away a good shot to "retake the White House."
"The beginnings of Palin 2012"
How is this big news? Palin's big fund-raising haul is "pure hype," says Jesse Zwick in The Washington Independent. As CNN points out, despite the "best quarter" results, she's raised less overall in the past six months than in the second half of 2009, and rival Mitt Romney raised more than $1 million in April and May alone. This "news," like "all things Palin-related," is just another chance to talk about Sarah Palin.
"Media Matters, CNN throw cold water on Palin's fundraising..."