BIG SIGN SARAH PALIN ISN’T RUNNING: Neither she, nor anyone on her behalf, is courting top donors, early-state activists or experienced operatives – all of whom are getting locked down, day by day.That's an important piece of news. The things that Allen is talking about here are serious parts of the nomination contest. This isn't fluff.
However, with Sarah Palin, it's important to be careful interpreting tea leaves. Here's the thing: what we've known about Palin from Day 1, ever since John McCain selected her as his running mate, is that she doesn't believe that the normal rules of politics apply to her. Since she's wrong about that, she wound up highly unpopular with the bulk of the electorate, but as far as anyone can tell it hasn't shaken her conviction that she can set her own terms.
What that means is that we can observe whether Palin is doing the kinds of things a candidate would have to do to win the Republican nomination for president, we can only guess about what she really intends to run or not -- because it's quite likely she might enter primaries and caucuses without doing those things. And because she does have a relatively large and loyal following, she would certainly make a lot of noise if she did enter. Even if, as increasingly seems to be the case, she would have little chance to actually win.
I'm not saying that she's going to be running by fall 2011...just that the only way to know is to get inside her head, and none of us are in a position to do that.