Palin’s Staggering Haul

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An ABC News report quantifies the obvious: life as a private citizen has been lucrative for Sarah Palin. ABC estimates that since stepping down as governor of Alaska in July, Palin has raked in some $12 million from book deals, speaking fees and television projects. According to the network:

That conservative estimate is based on publicly available records and news accounts. The actual number is probably much higher, but is hard to quantify because Palin does not publicize her earnings. She reputedly got a $7 million deal for her first book, with the bulk of that money due after her resignation as governor, and will earn about $250,000 per episode, according to the web site The Daily Beast, for each of eight episodes of a reality show about Alaska for The Learning Channel. She has managed to keep a lid on reliable figures for her earnings from a multi-year contract with Fox News and a second book deal with HarperCollins.

While book and television royalties are huge earners, Palin, 46, has taken on a breakneck schedule of public speaking engagements, booked through the Washington Speakers Bureau. Her typical fee is $100,000, according to a January report in Politico, though she accepts a somewhat smaller fee for events on the West Coast.

Palin is far from the first politician to parlay name recognition into a profitable second act; this trick has been deployed by every president since Gerald Ford. But few have lined their coffers as quickly — and on the strength of such a short resume — as the former Alaska governor.