Look for Palin to take frequent journeys to the bank before going on the road to the White House.
The public's attention span is short, so it is in Palin's self-interest to seek the gains that come with fame.
The governor's Fairbanks farewell speech last Sunday, with its warnings about big government and attacks on the media -- even a celebration of hunting -- was tailored to tastes of America's political right.
What the far right wants is red meat, served up bloody red.
We have, this week, Fox News' race-baiter Glen Beck calling President Obama "a racist" and accusing Obama of having a "deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture."
What is white culture? One thing it is is not black.
On CNN, Lou Dobbs has fanned the Birthers, challenging Obama to "provide the long-form birth certificate," and hinting -- without evidence -- that the certificate produced in last year's campaign is not "the real document."
Dobbs is a certified dirtbag, a hysterical demagogue.
As this column is written, CNN's "Larry King Live" is readying a lowbrow face-off: Judge Sonia Sotomayor's qualifications for the U.S. Supreme Court will be discussed by left-wing publicity hound the Rev. Al Sharpton and right-wing attention seeker Ann Coulter.
Who cares what those two think? Judge Sotomayor is about to become a Justice, and whatever objections Coulter has are irrelevant.
Sarah Palin would fit cable TV "commentary" like a glove, witness her 2008 speeches about Obama "palling around with terrorists." If caught wordless, she could always wink at the camera.
William Kristol surely would love that.
Doubtless, the former governor will undergo analysis by the elite media's two ranking psychobabblers, Maureen Dowd of the New York Times and Gail Sheehy of Vanity Fair. They've sucked every possible milligram of blood out of Hillary Clinton. But such attacks will only strengthen Palin's credentials with the right-thinking faithful.
Elite psychobabblers; love that. Yes, the more the liberals in the media attack her, the more Palin's supporters will love her.
The right does the nominating in the Republican Party, and two early deciding states -- Iowa, with its caucuses, and South Carolina with its primary -- are strongholds of the Christian right.
As well, Palin -- for the moment -- is an honest-to-goodness national celebrity.
Time will tell, but if she writes a book (well, if someone writes a book that she can say she wrote) the publicity will keep the spotlight on her. And she is surely going to travel and campaign for certain candidates, all of which themedia she loves to bash will cover.
Alaska lawmakers attending last week's National Council of State Legislators' meeting were spotted wearing buttons saying, "I'm from Alaska. Please don't ask me about her." A Washington, D.C., airport newsstand, displaying the Time magazine with Palin on the cover, put out a sign reading "Only two copies per customer." "Starting this afternoon, she's someone else's story," the Anchorage Daily News' irreverent "Alaskan Ear" column opined last Sunday.
They'll miss her. Until this month, I never thought any Alaska governor could match Wally Hickel's famous declaration: "We can't just let nature run wild."
But that was before Sarah Palin intoned: "Only dead fish go with the flow."