Sarah Palin will be the biggest thing outside the Superbowl this weekend, as she headlines a Tea Party Convention today and campaigns for Texas governor Rick Perry tomorrow. While political pundits obsesses over what she's gunning for, the New York Times observes that she may already have it: She's got a bully pulpit, she's rich, she's building a new-look political base entirely outside elective office.
A good deal of it—the Tweets, the Facebook posts, the newspaper columns, even the Fox News appearances—she can do from home in Wasilla, since Fox is building a TV studio in her living room. “Few public figures not in office have leveraged the nexus between media and political positioning as Sarah Palin has,” says Washington lawyer Robert Barnett, who brokered her book and TV deals. What she's doing may well be the end in itself, the Times notes: It affords her an ample income and the ear of the country without the bother or accountability of running for office.