Though the “rogue” politician is always liable to spring a surprise, a source inside Palin’s orbit said she would not endorse a presidential candidate in her speech but would instead aim to unify the conservative movement…

No matter how much her influence may have waned, Palin’s presence figures to be the talk of the conference on Saturday.

And though there was little pronounced enthusiasm for her impending speech as CPAC opened Thursday, many of the former vice presidential nominee’s most ardent supporters plan to descend on the event this weekend — a presence that surely will bolster the energy level…

“I know a lot of people out there think her star has completely faded, and realistically it’s probably been knocked down a little bit, but I think everyone’s going to be interested to hear what she has to say,” McCormick said. “To be honest with you, there’s no one out there who’s saying anything that fits the mood of the Republican electorate right now, and even though she’s not running, she might be able to at least drive the conversation like she was able to do with crony capitalism.”