Gotcha Media is reporting that former Governor Sarah Palin is considering running against Alaskan Senator Mark Begich for his seat in 2014. Palin confirmed the rumors on an interview with Sean Hannity, claiming that "I've considered it because people have requested me considering it."
Nonetheless, it would not be the first time that this politician-turned-celebrity has teased the media about running for office to keep herself in the public spotlight. In 2012, she repeatedly hinted that she was contemplating a late entry into the GOP presidential race, eventually opting not to run. Palin is no longer a politician; she is first and foremost a television star who uses her lackluster political past and light-footed forays into the political arena to boost her ratings and popularity.
Fox News did not renew Palin's 2010 contract at the beginning of 2013. but agreed to bring her back in June for a significantly lower price tag than the whopping $1,000,000 that she earned at the height of her infamy. Thus, it seems likely that she is simply using tentative claims of running for office to restore her popularity for the sake of her media career. She's even gone so far as to threaten to form an untenable "Freedom Party," to oppose the GOP establishment.
Palin even gave herself a convenient out on the Sean Hannity interview stating that she was "still waiting to see what the lineup will be. And hoping there will be some new blood, new energy. Not just kind of picking from the same old politicians in the state that come from political families."
Conveniently for Palin, Senator Begich already has at least two serious Republican contenders. Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell, the favorite of the GOP establishment, formed an exploratory committee to run in December 2012, while Joe Miller, the gaffe-prone, Palin-esque Tea Party candidate, has also tossed his hat into the ring.
Even Joe Miller likely has a better chance of resurrecting his career in Alaskan politics than Palin. When Palin joined the McCain ticket in 2008, she had an 86% approval rating with Alaskans in her capacity as governor. However, after her embarrassing antics on the national stage and her premature resignation as governor, only 29% of Alaskans had a favorable view of Palin in September 2011.
In the unlikely event that Palin actually follows through and decides to run for senate, she would have to contend against Begich's higher 41% approval rating. Palin used the Hannity interview to assert that because Begich is "on the wrong side of the aisle, he has to go along to get along with his Democrat leadership." In reality, his poll numbers have fallen precisely for parting with Democratic leadership on gun control. Public Policy Polling (PPP) indicates that Begich's ratings have fallen because of his bizarre refusal to vote in favor of the Manchin-Toomey amendment to expand gun background checks, despite the fact that 60% of Alaskans support expanded background checks.
Sarah Palin has proven time and time again that she is more committed to her status as a TV personality than she is to her state or to public service, as evidenced by her abrupt resignation as governor. Her history of opportunistically dropping hints about running for public office was well documented in the last round of presidential elections. Even if she was serious about running, her approval ratings in relation to Begich's are far too low to actually win the general election.