After the 2008 campaign clock struck midnight, Sarah Palin returned to Alaska with a mixed bag of name recognition and unwanted scrutiny, the Washington Post reports. Supporters and opponents alike parse her every move for signs of a 2012 presidential run, and her role as conservative attack dog is coloring her ability to govern. “The governor has been feeling beaten up,” says a fellow Republican.
Meanwhile, although an aide says Palin hasn't even decided whether to run for re-election in 2010, she remains a national figure, which may not be the wisest course if the presidential speculation is on the money. Says a national GOP operative: “She should try to disappear for a while and be an indisputably effective governor."