From a post at Palin4President2016 in October
Wither Palin-A Senate Run In 2014 Her Bravest And Most Dangerous Option?
If Mitt Romney wins it seems highly unlikely, as Sarah Palin herself admits, that he would offer her a post in his administration (although I make the case that it would be good politics for him to do so).
Here's Sarah Palin on Brian Kilmeade's program addressing the question as to whether she would accept the position of Secretary of Energy in a Romney administration. This is of course a position she would be eminently able to manage, as she rightly sets out in her answer;
BK – (on being asked to serve as Energy Secretary in a Romney Admin)
SP – You know I don’t see that happening, the offer coming, uh, from Governor Romney. He’s got an amazing list of people who he can choose from but energy is my baby because I understand it and having been Commissioner if the O&G Commission in AK and the nation’s Chairman of the Interstate O&G Compact Commission I have good experience in energy and I know what it takes to get our country on that path to energy independence and that’s why, you know, I get pretty opinionated when I'm watching what Obama and Biden do to, um, for, opportunities for energy independence.
Apart from Palin's natural modesty she is, perhaps, also correct in surmising that the offer might not come as key Romney personnel have no love for Palin and she has, as of now, not given a "side by side" endorsement for him. Of course there is also the matter of her not being given a proper speaking slot offer for the convention.
If Romney loses, the of course there would be zero chance of the Obama administration giving her a role, as he has done with a number of Republicans. Thus the question can be asked in either case-wither Palin?
She has indicated that she has not closed the door on a run in 2016 on a number of occasions and her visit to an Iowa king maker recently is a clear indication of that possibility.
However it is a long three years until the 2016 primary campaign starts to get under way, albeit tentatively,in 2015
and it would be important for Palin to keep some degree of public profile in that period. Further, her Fox position might end shortly as, with the election being over the need for a political commentator, especially one on a high salary would be much reduced.
There are only a limited amount of books Palin could produce and I don't see her as an agent provocateur type like Coulter.
What did other eventual nominees do in their respective hiatus periods? Nixon joined a law firm, Reagan did the rubber chicken circuit, Romney had his extensive business interests. Law and business, apart from the family fishing firm, are out for Palin and with her young family an endless round of Rotary clubs visits across America would also seem to be out.
Options would include high profile speaking engagements which would bring in income, or running for elective office. It is the latter which could bring the highest rewards and the greatest risks.
A Senate seat for Alaska becomes available in 2014 which would seem the most obvious opportunity. If Palin chose that option she might have to run a primary campaign against the man, Joe Miller, whom she promoted to run in 2010. If that happened and she lost, her career would be over immediately-as happened with Geraldine Ferraro who lost in her primary campaign for Senator from New York after her VP run.
Even if she ran unopposed, she would have the problem of her opponent, presumably the sitting Senator Begich, accusing her of only wanting the job until the presidential election of 2016. If she denied that, then if elected she would miss the presidential campaign and couldn't run until 2020. And again, if she ran for the senate and lost, any presidential aspirations would be finished.
If Palin does not have any mechanism to keep her profile up, apart from say a massive assistance to candidates in the 2014 mid-terms, she would be at a substantial disadvantage to serving potential candidates like Christie or Ryan for instance. This may not preclude a run,Pawlenty for example made an effort without holding any office, but it would make things difficult.
Precluding any substantial and dignified media role or ongoing high profile speaking engagements, it may be that, no matter the risk, a senate run would be Palin's best chance to have an eventual tilt at the presidency. Being a senator is not to be dismissed either as a fitting career path.
A bold and brave decision, but Palin showed that nothing daunts her, as her resignation from the governorship under impossible circumstances, showed. To the brave the spoils perhaps.