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The return of Sarah Palin? Former Alaska governor hints at possible run for US Senate

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Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin has hinted that she may run for a US Senate seat.

“If God wants me to do it, I will,” Ms Palin said at a Christian conservative conference hosted by Che Ahn, leader of the New Apostolic Reformation movement.

Ms Palin was governor of Alaska from 2006 to 2009, when she resigned. The potential comeback she hinted at would be to run for senator of that state, which would mean campaigning against a longtime incumbent, Senator Lisa Murkowski.

Ms Murkowski, a moderate Republican, represents the opposite wing of the GOP from Ms Palin, who has closely associated herself with the arch-conservative Tea Party movement and, more recently, with Donald Trump.

Ms Palin rose to national fame in 2008, when John McCain chose her as his running mate in the US presidential election. But Ms Palin soon wilted under the scrutiny of that campaign, during which she was widely mocked as ignorant and unprepared. In November, she and Mr McCain were badly beaten by Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

For Ms Palin, the memory of that experience clearly still stings.

“If I were to announce, I’d say, you know what? You guys better be there for me this time, because a lot of people were not there for me last time,” she told Mr Ahn.

If Ms Palin does run, she will face a formidable opponent in Ms Murkowski, who has prevailed over primary challengers before. In 2010, a Tea Party candidate beat her in the Republican primary, but Ms Murkowski went on to beat him as a write-in candidate in the general election.

However, the political landscape is very different now than it was when Ms Palin last ran for national office. In the shadow of Mr Trump, who Ms Palin heartily supports, a loose grasp of facts and fringe right-wing positions are not necessarily disqualifying. Among pro-Trump Republicans, they may even help.

Nevertheless, Ms Palin showed some reluctance about running.

“You see where I live, you see what I get to wake up to every day,” she told the crowd, describing the beautiful scenery of her current home in Alaska, as compared to what she called the “bubble” of Washington, DC. “You know, it would be a sacrifice.”

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