Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin told The Washington Post in an interview Friday that she is “seriously interested” in running for the White House in 2016.

“You can absolutely say that I am seriously interested,” Palin said, when asked to clarify her thinking about a possible presidential bid…

“I am. As I said yesterday, I’m really interested in the opportunity to serve at some point,” Palin said Friday, as former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, a potential 2016 rival, looked on…

Palin said, “It is a significant step, of course, for anyone to publicly announce that they’re interested. Who wouldn’t be interested? Who wouldn’t be interested when they have been blessed with opportunities to speak about what is important to this country and for this country?”

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“You’ve got to take her seriously because she can raise a lot of money, she has a big following and she has been through a national campaign, which is important to be competitive in a presidential primary,” Republican strategist Chris Brown told the Herald. “I think she really changes the field and she has the potential to hurt a lot of candidates — especially Tea Party conservatives.”…

Former Alabama GOP Chairman Marty Connors said Palin “has built a career around being underestimated.”

“I would immediately put her in as a top- or mid-tier candidate if she decides to run,” Connors said. “Much like Rand Paul, she has a built-in constituency and so she wouldn’t have to raise the money that some of the other candidates would and I think she’d be an exciting candidate that a lot of people would rally around.”

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Republican firebrand Sarah Palin is rarely at a loss for words but became unmoored on Saturday in Iowa after her teleprompter froze and left her without portions of her prepared speech

The 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee flipped through a binder of notes and strung together a series of one-liners – and some of them made little sense.

‘The man can only ride you when your back is bent,’ she said, as audience members looked at each other quizzically. 

‘So strengthen it! Then the man can’t ride you, America won’t get taken for a ride, because so much is at stake.’

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The former 2008 vice-presidential nominee told reporters last week that she was “seriously” considering running in 2016. But her meandering and often bizarre 33-minute speech in Des Moines proved she wasn’t. Sample line: “The man can only ride you when your back is bent, so strengthen it so America won’t get taken for a ride.” She will always be an entertaining speaker at conservative events, but she clearly lacks the discipline for a full-fledged campaign.

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“There was a certain coarseness to her that wasn’t there before,” said yet another social conservative who noted that some in the crowd were uncomfortable with Palin declarations like, “Screw the left in Hollywood!” (It’s not that they like the left in Hollywood — just the opposite — but the crudeness of Palin’s expressions turned them off.)

“I know she is popular, but it is hard to take her seriously given that performance,” said Sam Clovis, the conservative Iowa college professor, radio commentator, and sometime political candidate. “Palin was a sad story Saturday. With every speech she gives, she gets worse and worse. If one were playing a political cliche drinking game, no one would have been sober after the first 15 minutes of an interminable ramble. It was really painful.”…

“Calling Gov. Palin’s remarks bizarre and disjointed would be charitable,” said a well-connected Iowa Republican. “Her shelf-life, even with the most conservative voters in our party, seems to be near the end. In a day filled with strong performances from likely candidates ranging from Scott Walker to Ted Cruz, her remarks were a distraction.”…

“No offense to Gov. Palin, but I do think it is problematic to have someone give a speech like that in the midst of a string of serious speeches by people who are seriously thinking about running for president. Palin made a guy like Trump look like a serious presidential candidate today. Incredible,” [said Iowa Republican blogger Craig Robinson.]

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The Democratic National Committee, meanwhile, enjoyed Palin’s address so much that communications director Mo Elleithee sent out a press release Saturday night that could scarcely contain the group’s glee at seeing Palin back in the national spotlight. 

“Thank you!” the statement read. 

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The former vice presidential nominee was all over the map in her Iowa speech. It didn’t matter. She’s a star to grassroots conservatives, and her incendiary language with regard to President Obama and Hillary Clinton fired up the crowd. “You can absolutely say that I am seriously interested [in running],” Palin told the Washington Post on Friday. If Palin does not jump in, instead playing “will she/won’t she” throughout primary season as she did in 2012, she could throw the field into turmoil.

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