Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has some important political decisions to make. Republican insiders say that if she wants to maintain her viability as a presidential contender in 2012—after making such a big splash as the GOP vice presidential candidate this year—she needs to bring aboard some savvy political operatives who can help her decide what kind of events she should do and which she should avoid.
"There's still a lot of talk about her," says a longtime party strategist and former adviser to Ronald Reagan. "She's still a hot property, but she needs to put a system together. She doesn't have much in the way of political infrastructure up there [in Alaska]. It will be interesting to see how she allocates her time."
Another senior Republican who advised presidential nominee John McCain this year said, "She needs to focus on being a good governor. If she is going to be a national figure, she needs to be known for her reform work in Alaska."
Last Sunday, Palin got a bit of bad news when McCain told ABC's This Week that he can't, at this time, back Palin for the top job. Asked whether he would support her, McCain replied, "I can't say something like that. We've got some great other young governors. I think you're going to see the governors assume a greater leadership role in our Republican Party."
McCain did express "admiration and respect" for his running mate and said no one should doubt "my view of her viability."