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The Palin brand: how an ex-Alaska governor amassed $12 million in 1 year, plus lots of political capital

April 27, 2010 | 11:20 am


Palin Inc. has lots of cool slogans (remember "Re-load!") and tons of money. In fact, the brand has everything except a logo and a listing on the New York Stock Exchange.

Ever since she resigned as governor of Alaska -- to defy a state ethics czar who was giving her a hard time about going out on a book tour, according to New York magazine -- Sarah Palin has become a media celebrity with a huge commercial footprint.

According to a new profile in New York, Palin over the past year has piled up a $12 million fortune. Her memoir has sold more than 2.2 million copies. She is planning a second book.

She has a three-year deal as a contributor to Fox News worth $1 million a year.

She sold a cable show to TLC for a reported $1 million per episode, though her take-home is "only" $250,000 for each of the eight installments. And she gets $100,000 per speech, putting her in the....

...same league as Colin Powell, George W. Bush and Rudy Giuliani. But Palin  gets a lot of perks, like the private-jet travel from Alaska for her and an entourage of five people, including daughter Piper, that she requested for the speech to the tea party convention in Nashville.

But can a self-described rogue who whips up frenzy at "tea party" rallies  translate popularity on the stump into votes at the polls in the 2012 presidential election? Political observers wonder.

"Palin's fiery rebuke of Washington certainly firmed her base, but it did little to widen her appeal to moderates and independents, two groups without which she’d have a real tough time passing the threshold of electoral votes," commented Newsweek's Daniel Stone.

Still, with a richly endowed PAC and a facility to call out the faithful from her Facebook page, Brand Palin could keep on rolling in the cash while, as Ticket has reported, still posing a credible threat to Democrats in November.

Politico, noting that her PAC is relatively unfunded and her bark more of a draw than her ideas, argues that Palin may be all noise and little political impact,

But don't bet on it. Palin knows that her brand needs a few victories to stay robust. She's already stumped for Texas Gov. Rick Perry, helping him to victory over Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison. And if Arizona's embattled John McCain wards off a tough primary challenge from Republican J.D. Hayworth, look for Brand Palin to turn victory into more celebrity lecture-fee dollars.

-- Johanna Neuman

Photo: Palin waves to the crowd before signing her memoir "Going Rogue" as daughter Piper looks on at the North Post Exchange on Nov. 23, 2009 in Fort Bragg, N. C.  Credit: Getty Images

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