Former Alaska Governor and Republican vice presidential running mate from 2008 Sarah Palin has reportedly inked a deal with Fox News to appear regularly as a contributor for the network.
The announcement has spurred a widespread debate in the media about the significance of Palin’s move. Many commentators appeared to believe the former governor aimed to keep herself relevant and visible on the national stage, possibly to build up a political base to make a presidential bid in 2012.
"Out-of-work politicians are increasingly using television and radio to stay on the political radar and keep their options open," wrote Howard Kurtz in the Washington Post, adding that is exactly what Mike Huckabee is doing. The former Arkansas governor, who has not ruled out running for president in 2012, has his own weekend show on Fox.
There were also those — like CNN political contributor Paul Begala — who joked, "Let’s hope for [Fox News President] Roger Ailes’ sake that she doesn’t quit that job the way she quit her job as governor," in reference to Palin’s surprise decision last July to resign from the highest post in Alaska.
There is also much anticipation regarding the way in which Palin will handle her conservative critics, especially those involved in the 2008 Republican presidential campaign, some of whom accused her of a lack of understanding of fundamental foreign affairs issues, ignorance about the structure of domestic institutions, such as the Federal Reserve, or even of being "mentally unstable," according to Time magazine.