If she does run, she confronts skepticism like few other candidates have faced down -- and not just from establishment voices.
An ABC News/Washington Post poll taken last month found that 67 percent of registered voters don't consider Palin qualified to be president -- not simply that they don't want her to serve in the job, but that they don't consider her qualified to hold it.
Conventional wisdom, of course, would hold that Palin is better served where she is now, as the most successful practitioner of a new blend of celebrity and politics, rather than as a candidate for president.
But conventional wisdom has never held much sway with Palin herself. Last summer, barely half-way into her single term in elected statewide office, Palin resigned her post, with the memorable aphorism that "only dead fish go with the flow."
The ensuing year and a half seems to have validated her instincts. For better or worse, Palin now sets the pace for a Republican Party that senses vulnerability in President Obama, one Tweet and one reality show at a time.