Palin’s Arizona Headquarters?

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Arizona’s rocky red deserts are certainly a long way from Lake Lucille in Wasilla, Alaska. But, if the reports are true, it looks like Sarah & Todd Palin may have just bought themselves a new second home.

It is common for wealthy Alaskans to have second homes in “the lower 48” or even Hawaii – somewhere to escape to during the long winter. And Arizona certainly provides a lot of Vitamin D-rich sunlight.

Since Palin was picked by Arizona Senator John McCain to be his vice presidential running mate, the whole Palin clan has made regular visits to the state. They spent much of last winter there, arriving the day after the midterm elections, and made several pit stops during both of her book tours. Their daughter Bristol even bought a condo in Maricopa, Arizona last year, though she’s now moving to Los Angeles for her new reality show.

But, there might be an ulterior motive behind the purchase. It is prohibitively expensive to base a presidential campaign out of faraway Anchorage. Just try getting from Alaska to New Hampshire in under 12 hours and for less than $1,000. Basing a campaign in or near the Beltway would send the wrong message for Palin, who considers herself anti-establishment. So, where does that leave her? Palin knows Phoenix well and her last campaign – as veep – was based out of there. It’s not so far from early primary states such as Iowa, Nevada and California. And not prohibitively far from New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida. Plus, it’s a general election swing state already being targeted by the Obama campaign.

Of course, all of this is speculation. But given the state of the GOP field… Didn’t Palin always say she’d run “if no one else steps up” with the values and platform she’d like to see?