Confirming that she intends to remain a force in national politics, Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska, the former Vice Presidential candidate, has established her own political action committee, dubbed SarahPac.
SarahPac’s mission statement reads, in part:
“Dedicated to building America’s future, supporting fresh ideas and candidates who share our vision for reform and innovation.
“SarahPAC believes America’s best days are ahead. Our country, founded on conservative principles and the fight for freedom, must confront the challenges of the 21st century with integrity, innovation, and determination.”
The rest can be read here.
The SarahPac website has a picture of Sarah Palin herself, with that “looking ahead to the future” look so favored by ambitious politicians, against a backdrop of an Alaskan landscape. There is a brief biography of Governor Sarah Palin and buttons to sign up for email updates and to donate money.
It is not unusual for politicians with ambition to have their own political action committees. Hillary Clinton had HillPac when she was a United States Senator with an eye for becoming President of the United States.
There are a number of purposes for having a personal political action committee such as SarahPac.
First, as the mission statement on SarahPac’s page suggests, it is to advance ideas and candidates through contributions. There is a second, unstated purpose, though. By using a political action committee to finance the campaigns of other politicians, Sarah Palin doubtlessly hopes to recruit political allies for a run for the Presidency herself in 2012. Endorsements by local politicians are considered crucial by some to win state primaries and caucuses. SarahPac money can also be used to finance expenses for speaking engagements, for which Sarah Palin is in heavy demand.
Sarah Palin is acknowledged to have lent excitement to the John McCain campaign for President that Senator McCain was unable to generate himself. Sarah Palin drew huge crowds as well as the ire of the media and political opponents, some of them in the Republican Party, who were envious of her popularity. If Sarah Palin chooses to run for President in 2012, she will likely be a formidable opponent in a strong field of potential candidates that will likely also include Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee, who ran in 2008, as well as Bobby Jindal and Tim Pawlenty, both like Sarah Palin also state governors.
Sources: Palin launches political action committee, Peter Hamby and Abbi Tatton, CNN, January 27th, 2009