Palin in Iowa, Sparking 2012 Speculation
Former governor could be gearing up for presidential bid
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 17, 2010 4:49 PM CDT
Former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin gestures while addressing the National Quartet Convention in Louisville, Ky., Thursday, Sept. 16, 2010.   (AP Photo/Ed Reinke)

(Newser) – Sarah Palin will deliver the keynote address at the Iowa Republican Party's Ronald Reagan Dinner tonight, an engagement widely seen as a possible step toward a 2012 presidential bid, the Washington Post reports. The dinner is an early hurdle for prospective GOP candidates, and Palin's influence is at a high point; whether establishment or tea party, candidates with her endorsement largely prevailed in Tuesday's primaries.

Palin has cast herself as a bridge between renegade and establishment conservatives—she tweeted this week, "Independents/GOP: focus. The weakened Leftist party is the pt; it allows unified effort 2 reign in Fed govt's overreach&protect Constitution." She may have the zeitgeist, but Palin still has work to do if she is to mount a credible run; a recent Iowa poll showed her running fourth among possible Republican presidential candidates. Click here for more on Sarah Palin.