This is a tough one to read, because there’s just too much data to incorporate. On the one hand (and about a thousand other people have made this point), it doesn’t make sense for Sarah Palin to run, because to do so, she’d have to give up both a heap of cash, and renounce her decidedly unpresidential, but otherwise influential punditry platforms. (We’re running this alliteration to the ground.) Note, too, that Fox suspended Gingrich and Santorum’s contracts, until they decide whether or not they’ll run, but not Palin’s.
On the other hand, if you frame this question as a battle between Palin’s ego and her intellect, it’s pretty clear which one comes out on top. HotAir is taking that side, and rationalizes away this particularly damning point: she’s planned to skip the first primary debate at the Reagan library!
The kind-of-creepy Allahpundit explains this move away as particularly good posturing: it looks better to honor the memory of fallen soldiers, doesn’t it, than it does to stroke your own ego to a national audience, especially when the field is likely to remain fairly nebulous for some time. Well sure, but it’s the rare pro ball team that lets spring training run through the first game of the season. At some point, you have to actually take a swing.
For now, InTrade puts her chance of running at 45%. It’s almost worth buying, for the sheer hilarity of taking a short position against American democracy. If you’re buying, maybe hedge by picking Pawlenty, a likely draw for Palin voters in her absence, as the eventual nominee.
By the way, InTrade also gives her 9% to win the nomination, and 3% to win the office.