The Washington Post

Sarah Palin’s team fights speculation about run for president

Sarah Palin’s political team fought back Tuesday against speculation that she will run for president, saying that anyone claiming to have special knowledge about her plans is maliciously misleading the American people.

Reports in recent days have indicated that the Republican former Alaska governor might announce her intentions on Sept. 3 at a tea party rally in Iowa where she is scheduled to speak, and former George W. Bush adviser Karl Rove predicted Sunday that Palin will run.

According to a statement posted on the Web site of SarahPAC, Palin’s political action committee, they’re wrong. And they’re also out to get her.

“Any professional pundit claiming to have ‘inside information’ regarding Governor Palin’s personal decision is not only wrong but their comments are specifically intended to mislead the American public,” the statement says. “These are the same tired establishment political games that fuel the 24 hour news cycle and that all Americans will hopefully reject in 2012, and this is more of the ‘politics-as-usual’ that Sarah Palin has fought against throughout her career.”

No reputable news outlet has reported that Palin has made up her mind or that a decision will be announced on Sept. 3. But a series of teasers from SarahPAC — including a visit to Iowa just before the Ames Straw Poll this month and an Iowa-themed Web video previewing her Sept. 3 speech — have led to increased speculation about her plans.

The SarahPAC Web site post links to a CNN report that quotes Palin as saying a Sept. 3 announcement is doubtful.

Palin has suggested that she may make a decision by the end of September, but CNN’s report quotes her calling that merely “a possibility for a timetable.”

Operatives in presidential campaigns are preparing for the possibility that Palin will run.

At the same time, it does not appear that Palin has been assembling the kind of team that would be required to mount a serious campaign.

GOP strategist Scott Reed said Palin would need a national finance committee, talented staff members in the early caucus and primary states and a specific message to run on.

“Sarah Palin is zero for three,” he said.

At the same time, many in the political world acknowledge that the usual rules don’t necessarily apply to Palin, and given her untraditional rise in American politics, it’s difficult to compare her to other politicians.

One thing is clear: Palin’s standing in opinion polls has continued to erode, and as Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.) have risen in such surveys, there doesn’t appear to be as much space for Palin in the 2012 Republican presidential race.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.

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