In the Boston Phoenix, David Bernstein mulls over Sarah Palin's future and suggests that one path she might take is lending her name to a big-time conservative fundraiser who has the infrastructure to rake in the bucks but lacks the star power:
One name-brand who takes that route is radio talk-show host Michael Reagan, son of the late president. He has teamed up with David Bossie — a Republican operative so sleazy that, when Bossie was a top Clinton-scandal investigator for House Republicans, Gingrich had to fire him for having "embarrassed" the effort.
Reagan lends his name and face as "co-founder" of, among other things, Bossie's Presidential Coalition. That PAC raised and spent about $6.5 million in 2007–'08....Of that $6.5 million, three-quarters was spent on fundraising....More than $400,000 of the rest went to salaries....mostly to Bossie and his cohort Michael Boos.
After rent, insurance, and legal and accounting fees, that left less than $150,000 — about two percent of the contributions — to put to actual use.
Of course, once people start contributing, you can make money just by renting their names to other fundraisers. So what would a list of Palin's true believer fans be worth? Bernstein's list of the drawing power of other conservative stars is on the right, and it's an interesting metric of who the big draws in wingnut land really are. I'm not sure where Palin would slot in on that list, but surely she could outdraw Fred Thompson, couldn't she?