ABC’s Michael Falcone reports:
Hint, hint. Sarah Palin has been dropping them all over the place recently, planting seeds of speculation that she’s more than just a little interested in running for president in 2012.
In an interview with Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren on Wednesday Palin offered some of her most direct comments yet about what it would take for her to launch a presidential bid.
“A reason to run is if nobody else were to step up with the solutions that are needed to get the economy back on the right track and to be so committed to our national security that they are going to do all that they can, including fighting those on the extreme left who seem to want to dismantle some of our national security tools that we have in place,” Palin said. “If nobody else wanted to step up, Greta, I would offer myself up in the name of service to the public.”
Palin continues to take steps that push her more squarely into the 2012 spotlight. Last week she traveled to Iowa, a key early primary state, to speak at a major Republican political gathering. But other than her presence in the Hawkeye State, Palin offered few clues about her thinking, joking that her husband, Todd, advised her not to go for a job while in Iowa.
“Todd says: ‘I guarantee if anyone spots you in tennis shoes, the headline is going to be in Vanity Fair. They’re going to say: Palin in Iowa, decides to run,’” Palin told the crowd at the GOP fundraiser.
But Palin acknowledged in the Fox News interview that “anybody can make a huge difference in this country without a title, without an office, just being out there as an advocate for solutions that can work to get the country on the right track.”
And that’s what she’s been doing, carving out a more prominent place for herself within the Tea Party — her political action committee, SarahPAC, released a video earlier this week celebrating the movement — as well emerging as one of the GOP’s feistiest campaigners.
On Thursday, she unveiled a new Web site called “Take Back The 20,” which is aimed at ousting 20 Democratic members of Congress who voted for the Obama administration-backed health care reform bill and who come from districts that the McCain-Palin presidential ticket carried in 2008.
“Let’s replace them with good conservatives who will vote to repeal and replace Obamacare with patient-centered, results-driven, free market reform that provides solutions to people of all income levels without bankrupting our country,” Palin wrote in a message on the new site. “Let’s reclaim the power of the people from those who disregarded the will of the people.”