Thursday, September 16, 2010

Walshe: Palin team ramps up for 2012.

Shushannah Walshe seems to be making a good living off of Sarah Palin these days. No, she's not a member of Gov. Palin's team, but her most recent article for The Daily Beast was written about the governor's team. And it's just the latest of a number of articles the writer has authored about the former 2008 GOP vice presidential candidate. Walshe struck gold as co-author of the book Sarah From Alaska and has continued to mine the seam ever since. Here are a few excerpts from the newest DB piece:
Given the size of the shadow she’s casting over the political landscape, it might come as something of a surprise that her political operation is a very compact crew of core loyalists. Outside advisers like Randy Scheuenemann and Michael Goldfarb of Orion Strategies, veterans of Palin’s 2008 vice-presidential run, still advise her on foreign policy. But the engine room of Palin’s stunning 2010 presence is a group of less than 10 people, who make up SarahPAC.

That core group will soon be tested anew, as the midterm endorsements circuit gives way to the construction in earnest of a 2012 White House campaign. This week, Palin heads to the all-important first caucus state of Iowa, where she’ll headline the state GOP’s Ronald Reagan Dinner in Des Moines—following close on the heels of prospective Republican rival Mitt Romney, who has a similarly sized PAC outfit at this stage, but is generating nowhere near the kind of media coverage Palin receives.

If Palin has made any final, official decision to run, she’s kept it from her inner circle of advisers; no doubt she’s mulling her next move with her closest confidant, her husband Todd. But lately, alongside the personal tweets that have been a primary means of communicating with the outside world in recent months, Team Palin has begun issuing press releases. The smoke signals indicate her staff has begun working in earnest on a White House run.

“No one has been told directly, but staffers are working under the assumption that she’s running," says one former aide who has knowledge of the inner workings of the PAC, who requested anonymity talking about his ex-boss’ plans. "It has become very apparent to everyone on her staff that she is preparing to run for president. The staff is now working. They are writing speeches, preparing talking points, picking congressmen to endorse all under the umbrella of what you would do two years out before running for president and that’s their understanding. It’s a 2012 ball game, and they should plan on that basis.”

Ask her staff about this observation, and its members remain coy.

“No one can speak for her on that [2012],” said Rebecca Mansour, one of Palin’s top aides. “Nobody should underestimate her and I believe that she knows that to change the country, we have to change the Congress. So these elections are important to her because that’s what she’s focused on.”

But surely, if Palin’s endorsees are elected this fall and in office come 2012, it would be easier for her to govern, Mansour is asked. “Bingo,” the aide replies.

The rest is available for reading here.

- JP

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