Lots of people don’t like Sarah Palin. You see that in poll after poll. About 53 percent of US voters have an unfavorable view of the Queen of the Momma Grizzlies, according to a Pollster.com average of major surveys. In contrast, only about 33 percent of voters think poorly of Mitt Romney, a possible rival for the GOP 2012 presidential nomination.
But c’mon haters, give her this: Palin is a continuing economic phenomenon. A one-woman recovery package. An empire of fiscal investments geared to yield maximum political returns.
As evidence, look at the latest report of her political action committee. SarahPAC has donated at least $87.500 to candidates Palin has endorsed in recent months. This includes a $2,500 donation to the campaign of Carly Fiorina, the ex-Hewlett Packard CEO now running for Barbara Boxer’s Senate seat. (Does this mean Palin helped pay for Fiorina’s demon sheep ad?) She’s also sent $2,500 to Sharron Angle, the "tea party" favorite who’s trying to dethrone Senate majority leader Harry Reid in Nevada.
But the outflow is not the news in the SarahPAC report. That would be the inflow. Sarah Palin’s political action arm raised more than $865,000 in recent months, and now has more than $1 million on hand to give to favored candidates in the run-up to the fall midterm elections. That’s quite a cash cushion. And in politics, donations – especially donations made as a vote nears – are favors that can produce return favors, with interest, in years to come.
“We’re going to really help a lot of Republican candidates get a chance to win,” said SarahPAC treasurer Tim Crawford.
Plus, Palin continues to exercise control over her brand. Like Oprah, she’s spreading herself across a number of media platforms, each controlled by her. There are the speeches, which cost $100,000 if you’re paying the full price. There is the Discovery Channel nature series about Alaska, with her as host. There is the “Mama Grizzly” YouTube video, which promotes Palin-style feminism on YouTube. And there’s the Palin biography for tweens.
OK, so Palin herself doesn’t control that one. If you haven’t heard, the Christian publisher Zondervan is planning to issue in September a life of Sarah Palin aimed at 9- to 12-year olds. It’s reportedly based on Palin’s own bestselling “Going Rogue”, so it’s likely to be, you know, fairly positive. And this year’s 12-year olds will be able to vote in the 2016 presidential elections.
Does all this mean Palin is planning on running for president? We don’t know. But here’s an idea: sometime next year, she should wrangle an hour on Fox. She gets to sell most of the ads, with proceeds going to her PAC. And the hook is she will use this hour-long special to announce whether she will be a candidate for the GOP nomination, or not.
She could call it “The Political Decision”. Maybe LeBron James will make a cameo.