Lights, Camera, Positive-Spin Action: Sarah Palin Is Back

May 25, 2011 5:54 a.m.

Just when Republicans were starting to worry their 2012 presidential field would be too boring to bother with, Sarah Palin might be fixing to ride in like a movie hero just at the nick of time.

RealClearPolitics’ Scott Conroy has the details on a feature-length documentary set to release next month. The film is produced by Steve Bannon and the team behind Generation Zero, a tea party favorite about the financial crisis. Bannon funded the film himself “and he insisted upon taking complete control” — after Palin asked him to make some videos about her — but the results as Conroy describes them sound like the best campaign commercial Palin could have hoped for.Pretty much all you need to know about the tone of the film — titled The Undefeated — from Conroy’s exclusive look:

The film’s third act puts a positive spin on Palin’s 2008 vice presidential run, reminding viewers of her initially valuable impact on the McCain campaign by showing the Gallup poll trend lines that had the Republican ticket taking its first lead over the Democrats before the collapse of Lehman Brothers on Sept. 15.

It also gives an extended treatment to Palin’s speech at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., her ’08 peak.

“The Undefeated” eschews less flattering topics, such as the Troopergate saga — which had little effect on the VP campaign but left a lastingly negative impression of Palin in the eyes of many Alaskans — and her unimpressive series of interviews with Katie Couric.

About that title: “Bannon originally titled his film “Take a Stand,” which was the campaign slogan for Palin’s 2006 gubernatorial run,” Conroy reports. “But in order to give it a more triumphant punch, the filmmaker changed the title to “The Undefeated.”

Palin apparently loves it.

“The governor thought it was great,” Palin’s PAC treasurer told Conroy.

The film will premiere in Iowa next month, and Palin’s supporters have “spent months eagerly anticipating” its release, “even as Beltway Republicans have largely concluded that she won’t run.”

Meanwhile, Palin is apparently getting closer to a move to Scottsdale, AZ, which would give her a base in the Lower 48. As the Daily Beast reports, rumor has it Palin has purchased a $1.7 million mansion in Scottsdale. Features of the homestead: “an 8,000-square-foot, 4.5-acre ranch property with billiard and theater rooms.”

Conroy reports Team Palin has yet to go looking for a campaign HQ, though they’re “operating under the notion that they are laying the groundwork for a future campaign, until they are told otherwise.”

Palin’s arrival on the presidential scene would no doubt shake up the field, which many Republicans have called lackluster at best. Though her starpower has faded somewhat, there’s little doubt that Palin could still rally large crowds the way others in the crop of potential nominees just can’t.

Palin has consistently polled near the top of the GOP primary field nationally, and according to a Suffolk University poll released last week, her stock rose when Mike Huckabee announced that he would not run in 2012. In that poll, Palin came in at 12% nationally, trailing only Mitt Romney who finished with 20%.

In Iowa, site of The Undefeated‘s June premiere, the picture is a bit more muddled. Huckabee had cleaned house in virtually every survey there, drawing as much as 33% of the vote as of last month. But a PPP poll in mid-April that excluded Huckabee from the mix found Palin at 15%, second only to Romney’s 25%.

Democrats, of course, are as thrilled as some conservative Republicans at the prospect of a Palin run for the White House. The TPM Poll Average shows her trailing President Obama by nearly a 20-point margin, 53.7% to 35%.

Jonathan Terbush contributed to this report.

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