When Sarah Palin speaks in public, she always finds the media spotlight. Or maybe the spotlight finds her.
Either way, the former Alaska governor will again be firmly in front of the cameras Friday afternoon, when she addresses the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.
The three-day event is billed as the largest GOP gathering of party officials, operatives, activists and strategists before the 2012 Republican National Convention, when the party will formally nominate its candidate for president.
While the 2012 election may seem far in the future, early jockeying is already under way, and the conference is considered the first real cattle call for possible Republican White House hopefuls.
The conference is “kind of like the jump-start for the 2012 presidential cycle,” says Roger Villere, the Louisiana GOP chairman and one of the organizers of this year’s conference.
While only Palin knows whether she will indeed make a bid for her party’s presidential nomination, it’s a safe bet that her speech is the most anticipated of the eight possible White House hopefuls who are addressing the convention.
Translation: The shadow government has selected the Democrats to win the next election.