Politico has discovered the Sarah Palin of 2012, and it's: Sarah Palin. Though the years since 2008 have seen her wild popularity and seeming omnipresence fade, she's edging back into the 2012 election with a string of successful endorsements. She's made four so far, and two have won their respective primary races; the other two races have yet to be decided. For comparison: Rick Santorum has also been making endorsements, "to no great effect," Politico notes. If Palin's picks continue to do well, she can use her success as evidence of her continued influence.
"There is a vacuum on the right now, and … Sarah Palin has as much a claim to that as anyone right now," says one Republican strategist. "I think she has settled into her role as the power behind the thousands [of] thrones, instead of sitting on one." But what does Palin ultimately want? The answer to that question remains unclear, as she has seemingly no desire for either an elected office or her own TV show. One thing is certain, as another GOP strategist points out: "Gov. Palin will be around and have a following as long as she’s on Fox."