It’s wafer thin but lots of fun to game out, and I figure our resident Palinistas would appreciate having a new reason to believe after last month’s great disappointment. Here you go. The ballot deadlines have passed in New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Florida, which means there are three possibilities. One: It’s not true. Two: It is true but she’s going to run third party, which means she doesn’t have to worry about primary deadlines. Three: It’s true and she’s going to run as a Republican, having been lured back into the race by the vacuum on the right after Perry’s collapse and Cain’s sudden vulnerability. What about NH, SC, and FL, though? Well, in theory she could run hard in Iowa, win there, and then immediately start campaigning in states with later primaries while Romney, Perry, and Cain duke it out over the rest of the early states. That would be awfully risky given the momentum that Romney would have if, as expected, he wins in New Hampshire and Florida, but the media would love the suspense of watching Palin defy the conventional playbook by skipping traditional early “must wins.” Imagine the drama if Romney steamrolled Perry and Cain and turned up on Super Tuesday with only Palin, the Iowa winner, left to stop him. Gut-check time for Republican voters: Would they opt grudgingly for Mitt on grounds that Palin might be unelectable or would they rally to Palin on “Anyone But Romney” grounds? Three words, my friends: Blog. Traffic. Apocalypse.

Anyway. Not happening. But fun to consider.

Update: Via Business Insider, are we sure Palin wouldn’t win that Super Tuesday showdown with Romney?

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