Palin commands $100,000 per speech, putting her in the same league as fellow Speakers Bureau clients Colin Powell, George W. Bush, and Rudy Giuliani.
Love her or hate her, she is an interesting person. She draws crowds like few others. But even her admirers take issue with some of her new-found wealth and demands. For example Palin’s $100,000 contract for the tea-party event—which drew fire from rival tea-party groups angry that Palin was cashing in at their expense—included $18,000 for private-jet travel for her and an entourage of five people, according to two people who’ve seen the contract.
Though Palin may not like it, she makes money for Democrats and Republicans alike. Across the political spectrum, Palin is a ratings magnet. Whenever she appears on Fox News, ratings tick up by 10 to 15 percent. At MSNBC, she’s also a ratings phenomenon, albeit with opposite adjectives. Tina Fey’s reprisal of her Palin character in early April juiced Saturday Night Live’s ratings, beating prime-time programming, a rare feat. Online, right-wing sites like the Drudge Report frequently plug Palin headlines, while Palin’s presence at liberal outlets like the Huffington Post and Talking Points Memo routinely sparks hundreds of reader comments. During the campaign, people said she could be another Oprah, but now, in many ways, she’s bigger than Oprah, an empath for people who feel, rightly or wrongly, that America has forgotten them.One of my interests is in "branding" and creating images for products and people. Sarah Palin has created a very powerful brand and it is paying off. Whether it will pave the way to the Presidency is, to me, a different question. Even the best of brands don't transcend all lines, and what may be commercially successful, may not seem presidential.