Time’s latest cover story is a feature on Sarah Palin. Some of it is the old familiar story line (Palin vs. the establishment), but there’s also some intriguing details about how her fundraising compares to Mitt Romney’s, her staff’s day-to-day operations, and how she uses Facebook. Here’s a few excerpts, beginning with whether Palin will run for the presidency:
“I would run because the country is more important than my ease, though I’m not necessarily living a life of ease,” says Palin, who answered questions from TIME via e-mail. And in a shot at Obama’s habit of playing golf during the “recovery summer,” she added, “I’m very busy helping people and causes. So busy, in fact, I haven’t had time to hit the links in quite a few years.”
On Palin’s fundraising:
She hasn’t made a big fundraising push, holding just two events for her PAC this year, compared with Mitt Romney’s nine. Still, her popularity has helped her rake in the cash online and by mail: through her PAC, now 23 months old, Palin has raised $5.4 million, more than Tim Pawlenty and Haley Barbour combined, but less than Romney, who has raised $8.8 million. The bulk of her funds have gone to pay for her travel, staff salaries and fundraising itself, and she spent about the same amount on 2010 candidates as her likely rivals did: less than 10%. But Romney has devoted the past two years to building a much broader network of statewide PACs, which will enable him to raise millions more if he proves successful in the early contests. Palin has not moved beyond her simple federal PAC.
How Palin’s focuses have evolved:
“The biggest change I’ve seen in her in the last year is that her scope is much broader,” says [Palin lawyer Thomas] Van Flein. “When I first met her, oil and gas, making the state more efficient — those were the issues that consumed her. Her focus has broadened to where her targets are national, foreign and economic issues.”
On balancing work and family:
That a politician of Palin’s stature often wrestles with her schedule is a reflection, aides say, of her being a mother of five without a nanny. The Friday before the elections, for example, 2-year-old Trig had a routine operation related to his Down syndrome, and Palin did not want to commit to any events until she was sure that he was recovering. That’s a decision every parent can understand — and that constant calculation is a part of her unusual appeal with women. Her aides say family issues will be a big factor in Palin’s decision about her future, but which way they cut is anyone’s guess.
Read the whole piece here.