“It has become very apparent to everyone on her staff that she is preparing to run for president”

“No one has been told directly, but staffers are working under the assumption that she’s running,” says one former aide who has knowledge of the inner workings of the PAC, who requested anonymity talking about his ex-boss’ plans. “It has become very apparent to everyone on her staff that she is preparing to run for president. The staff is now working. They are writing speeches, preparing talking points, picking congressmen to endorse all under the umbrella of what you would do two years out before running for president and that’s their understanding. It’s a 2012 ball game, and they should plan on that basis.”

Ask her staff about this observation, and its members remain coy.

“No one can speak for her on that [2012],” said Rebecca Mansour, one of Palin’s top aides. “Nobody should underestimate her and I believe that she knows that to change the country, we have to change the Congress. So these elections are important to her because that’s what she’s focused on.”

But surely, if Palin’s endorsees are elected this fall and in office come 2012, it would be easier for her to govern, Mansour is asked. “Bingo,” the aide replies.