Sarah Palin Sets Up PAC (For 2012?)
Sarah Palin is denying that she intends to run for president in 2012, but she's just set up a political action committee...you know, just in case. Via US News' Robert Schlesinger:
Asked if her new political action committee was an early signal that she is running for president in 2012, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin replied: "No, not at all, not at all, no. It's helpful to have a PAC so that when I'm invited to things even like to speak at the Lincoln Day dinner in Fairbanks, to have a PAC pay for that instead of have the state pay for that because that could be considered quasi-political." Uh-huh. She's being something less than completely honest here, but we can forgive her.
Basically, ignore her first sentence ("No, not at all, not at all, no.") Everything else she said is true, as I blogged here yesterday. That's the reason pols form leadership PACs (and that's what she has here): So they can travel around state and country campaigning for their party colleagues. We can also expect her to use some of the PAC money for political contributions (and as I said yesterday, the clearest sign that she's running for president would be PAC contributions to state legislators in places like Iowa and New Hampshire).
But politicians—especially rising star pols like Palin—don't raise money and make national appearances out of the goodness of their hearts; they don't do it because of unselfish dedication to party; and they don't do it because they want to raise their state's profile. She may not be running for president yet (though the FEC seems to think she is), but she's positioning herself to run in a couple of years. Like I said, we can forgive her for being less than honest here: No pol smart enough to run for president (admittedly not a high bar) would openly declare such interest this far out.