The firebrand former Alaska governor and Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin said Tuesday she would consider running for Senate against the incumbent Democrat, Mark Begich, in 2014.
Palin, who resigned midway into her gubernatorial term because she felt frivolous ethics charges were keeping her from effectively governing, told Sean Hannity on his radio program that people have approached her about running.
"Any American with a heart for service has to always have in the back of their mind that they would do anything [and] everything that they could to help the cause, even if perhaps it's something that doesn't look necessarily appealing or necessarily fitting in with a conventional plan that they would try to orchestrate for themselves and their family," she said. "I, along with anybody, would have to say that I would do whatever I could to help and, you know, if that was part of that help, then it would have to be considered."
Two Alaskan Republicans have already said they are planning to take on Begich: Joe Miller, who defeated Sen. Lisa Murkowski in a GOP primary in 2010 only to lose to her on Election Day when she mounted a historic write-in campaign, and current Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell.
Palin has a slight lead with Republican voters over Treadwell and Miller, according to one survey conducted in early May by Harper Polling for the Tea Party Leadership Fund. It shows Palin with 32 percent, Treadwell at 30 percent and Miller at 14 percent, with 24 percent undecided. The poll also showed Palin with the highest approval rating of the three potential candidates.
Though while popular with conservatives, Palin is not well liked by most Alaskans; according to a survey by the Democratic polling firm Public Policy Polling in February, just 34 percent of all voters have a favorable opinion of her.
Since leaving the governor's mansion, Palin has shown a flair for teasing the public about her political plans. She's an on-again, off-again Fox News analyst who was pulled from the air pending her decision whether she would run for president in 2012. She also has made a living off of paid speech appearances and books, serving as the keynote speaker at events such as the Conservative Political Action Conference where she delivers political zingers like no other.
But most of Palin's post-2008 influence has come in the form of her fundraising and ability to anoint tea party candidates in primary races - something she alluded to at the end of her radio interview with Hannity. Referring to Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, a freshman senator who is a tea party favorite, she said he needed more like-minded colleagues in the Senate.
"My political action committee [and] the people who I am close to and trust, we work together beating the bushes to find people who will run," Palin said. "I can't wait for these midterms because I won't stop until we get that government that the middle class, hard-working average everyday American deserves: That's a government that will work for them and not against them."