Some of Steele’s critics are fearful of a Palin-Steele alliance. One RNC member, an influential Steele opponent, said Palin could give Steele credibility with conservative activists, which could go a long way towards absolving Steele of what critics say are his many, many sins as RNC chair.

Some take this line of thinking further, suspecting that Palin might work to get Steele reelected as RNC chair, believing he could be a useful ally if she were to run for president in 2012…

Others say it’s just about the money. A GOP strategist close to the situation said the RNC has been negotiating with Palin over her legal expenses ever since the 2008 presidential election. “Somebody at the RNC promised to pay those expenses, before Steele even came in as chairman” the source said, adding that they’ve been haggling over it ever since.