But in Barr's Politico article, he points out that no candidate, including Gov. Palin, has officially filed papers with the Alaska Public Offices Commission to run for governor in 2010.
Both Gov. Palin’s office and the Republican Governors Association have declined to comment on the speculation over what her intentions may be. Barr says a number of people from both major parties he has spoken to in Alaska and Washington are interpreting her silence as a sign that she will not pursue a second term as governor "so that she can play a larger role on the national political stage."
Should she not run for reelection in 2010, several political possibilies will open for her. She could challenge Don Young for the U.S. House in 2010, run for president in 2012, wait until 2014 to run against Mark Begich for his Senate seat or wait until 2016 to make a presidential run. On the other hand, a second term as Alaska's governor would leave her in the best position to continue to shepherd her signature project along - a major natural gas pipeline which will deliver one of her state's abundant energy resources to the lower 48. It would be during a second term - probably 2013 - when ground would be broken on the line, thus completing the planning stage of the project and moving into the construction stage.
Barr quotes Andrew Halcro, who was beaten by Sarah Palin when he ran as an independent for the governor's mansion in 2006:
"There is nothing that she has done that leads me to believe she will seek reelection. If you’re Palin, once you’ve flown first class, you don’t go back to coach. She’s been to the show and certainly seemed to like it there."Halcro doesn't mention that when Gov. Palin flies commercial, she always flies coach. Barr does mention that Halcro is considering another run for governor, but would probably decide against doing so if the governor does decide to opt for a second term. Halcro finished third in the three-way race in 2006, garnering only 9.46% of the vote.
Barr's article also quotes two anonymous sources:
"We don’t think she’s running," said a Washington-based Democratic operative who is closely watching the gubernatorial race.As for Gov. Palin herself, she's not saying. When asked by Wolf Blitzer in a CNN interview earlier this month, she replied that she is not "going to do anything yet":
"[There is a] 50-50 chance she runs for governor," said a former Palin staffer involved in state Republican politics, noting, "If Sarah Palin has proven anything in her career, it’s that she is full of surprises."
"What I’m trying to get done for Alaska right now is to get that Alaska gas line built," she said. "We need those energy sources flowing through North America. That’s what my focus is."The bottom line is that only Governor Palin knows what her next major political move will be, and she doesn't have to share that information with anyone until next spring at the earliest.
That anonymous former staffer Barr talked to had an interesting take on it:
"Whether you want to call it running for president or not, she’s doing it," said the former Palin staffer. "If she runs for governor, though, she is going to have to answer the question: Are you going to get elected and then take off for Iowa?"We remind TX4P readers that beyond establishing SarahPAC, Gov. Palin has not yet built any national political infrastructure for a presidential run. She does have a book tour tentatively scheduled for the spring of 2010 to promote the memoir she's working on. That tour gives her a good excuse to visit such prime political real estate as Iowa and New Hamshire. If she intends to run in 2012, she will have to start building state and county organizations soon. But at this stage of the political game, anyone who says Gov. Palin will or will not run for reelection is just speculating.