Palin’s Haul

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Washington is expressing collective shock – shock, I tell you – this morning over Sarah Palin’s second quarter 2010 FEC report. Might she be running for president in 2012??

I’ve always through Palin would run – though it flies in the face of the MSM group think inside the Beltway. How could she run without the staff? The advisors and pollsters? The PAC money? She hasn’t been manically courting Iowa and New Hampshire county officials since resigning as governor of Alaska last summer!

Well, she now has the money and her string of endorsements, including a prominent one in Iowa, could set her up nicely for the 2012 primary season. Her staff remains small, but have been effective, witness her video last week. And, frankly, in an anti-incumbent year there’s no incentive for Palin to be seen courting establishment types in DC. Instead, she’s been using her celebrity to court the Tea Party and they love her for it. As the Washington Republican establishment is learning the hard way this cycle: it takes Republican base voters to win GOP primaries (hello Marco Rubio, Rand Paul and Sharron Angle).

In many ways, Palin’s moves mirror her run for governor. She came from the outside, taking down the GOP establishment, including the formidable Governor Frank Murkowski. She stayed on the outside for months, not bothering to build a campaign but delivering key speeches across the state attacking “the old boys club” that raised speculation she’d potentially run. And, finally, when she did announce her campaign burst into life fully formed.