The 2012 primary will be about competence

Though Palin has embraced rather than downplayed her celebrity status and has not shied away from weighing in frequently on the culture wars, she has also begun to more forcefully make the case for her record of achievement in Alaska at the local and state level.

In a recent interview with RealClearPolitics, Palin aide Rebecca Mansour was eager to defend the former governor’s record of initiating reform and her reputation for taking on entrenched interests, which was a primary reason John McCain selected her to be his running mate.

“When she sees governors who are right now having to deal with reforming their public employee retirement systems, she’s been there and done that,” Mansour said. “I don’t think that people realize she had to reform that in Alaska, and there was tremendous pressure put on her to return to the unfunded, underwater defined benefits program. But she had to reform it to make it solid, and because she didn’t cave on it, the unions ran full page ads against her in Juneau.”