With the GOP 2012 pack losing several big names following no-go announcements for Mitch Daniels, Donald Trump and Mike Huckabee, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin took a bold step toward a possible presidential bid this week.

Palin has sent out some 400,000 direct-mail fundraising letters targeting voters in several early primary states – a move sure to get pundits’ tongues wagging. Also, on Sunday news broke that she may have purchased a home in Arizona, which could provide her a “Lower 48” base not only for a presidential bid but also a possible Senate campaign in 2012, both Fox News and the Arizona Republic reported.

Palin has been rumored to be considering headquartering her 2012 White House campaign, if there is one, in Scottsdale. She also has been mentioned as a possible candidate for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by the retiring Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz.

Just last month, Palin launched a new website for her PAC with significantly ramped-up content and features, including the ability to capture email and other information so useful in political fundraising.

Because of the extraordinary appeal both Palin and Bachmann enjoy with grass-roots conservatives, some analysts have speculated that if one announces it could preclude the other from running. But Bachmann told Fox News on Tuesday that she will make her own decision, independently of whether the former Alaska governor opts to run.
Palin is a paid contributor for Fox News. Like Huckabee, she will eventually have to decide whether she wants to work for Fox, or run for office.

In her letter to potential donors — logoed “From the Desk of Gov. Sarah Palin” — the author, TV personality, and former vice-presidential candidate gives no hint she covets the highest office in the land.

The massive mailing by Palin, at the very least, will show whether she can use the vacuum generated by Huckabee’s exit to raise a blizzard of bucks on behalf of conservatives.

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