With a staggering 440,870 followers on Twitter, 2,771,899 friends on Facebook, and countless speaking arrangement requests, Sarah Palin is spending quality time galvanizing her political base, and making major money in the process.
Even if Palin decides not to run for office in the future, her social networking and speaking skills are proving to be a valuable- and profitable- asset. According to reports, Palin can fetch in excess of $100,000. She is represented by the Washington Speakers Bureau, one of the most high-profile booking agencies in the country. On April 15th, Palin will keynote the Women of Joy Christian women's conference in Oklahoma to an audience of seven thousand people, each paying $89.
Despite the hefty price tag, organizers of her booked events say she is worth it because she relates to their audience. "We have used her before," says Sam McElroy, the executive director of the event. "She speaks on faith and family and about her own special-needs child." Palin's agenda is filling with little regard for the GOP or Tea Party's planned events. She is set to speak in May at Colorado Christian University in Denver, Colorado-- the same day as the first Republican debate is scheduled to be held at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California. Palin is also bypassing the Tea Party's October convention in Kansas City, and opting to speak at the "Extraordinary Women Conference" in Lynchburg, VA instead.
And while many of Palin's supporters are willing to shell out to see her speak, some outspoken public opponents are more than happy to capitalize on criticizing Palin and her family.Emmy award winning comedian Kathy Griffin said that it was her New Year's resolution to "destroy" Willow, Sarah's 16-year-old daughter, who posted a homophobic slur on her Facebook page. The Palins' have long been the butt of Griffin's jokes, but this one hit home, prompting the former Alaska Governor to quickly retort that Griffin is a "bully" and a "has-been."
For her part, Palin fires off plenty of criticism of her own. Her latest tweets, attacking MSNBC and director Michael Moore, linked to a 2009 post that calls Moore a hypocrite for not using union labor when shooting his last film.
With Twitter followers and Facebook friends rising by the day, such comments are proving to be beneficial to Palin, and certainly an apt strategy for staying in the political limelight.