Sarah Palin's erratic process for deciding she won't run for president likely also killed her chances of being picked again as a runningmate or even a cabinet official in a Republican administration. But one thing's for sure: She'll keep making enough money that she'd have to pay President Obama's millionaire's tax.
Knowledgeable sources say that among the reasons she skipped running for president was a concern about the financial hit her family would take, even if she won. The presidency pays $400,000 a year. Unofficial estimates of the cottage industry built around her name and speaking fees far exceed that.
What's more, as president, the deal making of her family members, notably her daughter Bristol, would be sharply curtailed and scrutinized by the media and Democratic opponents.
In dropping out of the race, Palin said that she expects to be "more effective" in a still undefined private role, likely tied to the Tea Party. She recently telegraphed her decision when, in talking on Fox, she dismissed the presidency as a "shackling ... title."
Whatever she ends up doing, one thing's for sure: Establishment Republicans want to push her as far away as possible. That means the best job she might get in a GOP administration would be as an ambassador or commission chair.
For sure, there seems to be no Republican love for another vice presidential bid. "Snooki has a better chance of being the Republican vice presidential nominee," said former Bush aide Adam Levine.
"The selection of Palin in 2008 briefly electrified the GOP base. It's hard for lightning to strike twice," said former Republican National Committee spokesman Doug Heye, who is a U.S. News contributor.
"Palin has enjoyed following the beat of her own drum, so it would be hard to see her as someone who would want to take orders or follow a set of administration policy guidelines. The only way this could happen is if her stardom began to fade among conservatives and she was looking to stay relevant to the national conversation," added former Bush aide Ron Bonjean, who is also a U.S. News contributor.
Pollster agreed. "No on V.P.," says Bill McInturff of Public Opinion Strategies. But, he added, it is "easier to see her as co-head of a commission or ambassador than Cabinet secretary."
John Zogby, who writes the weekly Washington Whispers Obama Report Card, added, that thee is no chance a Republican nominee would pick Palin as their running mate. "No chance whatsoever. She is a celebrity, has her own following, and is not a team player. She follows her own playbook and her followers are merely spearthrowers in the opera called 'Sarah'."
A top GOP aide added that it's hard to see Palin getting a Cabinet job because of her independent streak. "She has simply become far too polarizing for a general election and no president in his right mind would appoint her to the cabinet because no president can afford to have a member of his team go rogue," said the aide.