Tea Party Group Drafting Sarah Palin to Run for Alaska Senate

The Tea Party Leadership Fund says Palin supporters are “desperate” for Palin to make a comeback.

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Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin holds up a 7-Eleven Super Big Gulp soda on stage at the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., Saturday, March 16, 2013. (Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo)
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin holds up a 7-Eleven Super Big Gulp soda on stage at the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., Saturday, March 16, 2013. (Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo)

"Do the words 'Senator Sarah Palin' excite you?"

That's the opening line of a recent email by The Tea Party Leadership Fund, which is trying to draft the former Alaska governor and past Fox News commentator to run for the Senate in 2014. The fund argues Palin has a clear path to victory in part due to recent polling showing incumbent Sen. Mark Begich, a Democrat, with less than 50 percent of the vote.

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But, it being a draft, the group hasn't talked with Palin about whether or not she's interested. And Palin – whose PAC didn't respond to request for comment from Whispers – is believed to be currently residing in Arizona, not Alaska. The fund's Niger Innis says the interest of Tea Party members in a Palin run, however, is clear.

"We didn't know that [the draft] was going to catch fire to the degree that it has. And what that tells us is that this is just the beginning," he says. "It's gone viral."

But not all Tea Party groups are enthused about drafting Palin without first gauging her interest.

"I absolutely love her and I think she's a breath of fresh air," Amy Kremer, head of Tea Party Express, tells Whispers. "But until she says that she's going to put her name in... we're not going to go out there and advocate for her to get in the race."

[OPINION: Republicans Won’t Succeed If Palin and Co. Stay On the Attack]

Judson Phillips at Tea Party Nation says the 2012 presidential election provided an important lesson about why drafting candidates is a bad idea. "One of the things we learned is that apparently Mitt Romney didn't really want to be president," he said. "The last thing the GOP needs is to put candidates who don't want it."

 

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  • Elizabeth Flock is a staff writer for U.S. News & World Report. You can follow her on Twitter or Facebook or reach her at eflock@usnews.com.