Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin ended her months-long flirtation with a presidential bid Wednesday, announcing in a letter to supporters that she will use her influence next year to help elect Republicans from statehouses to the White House.
Palin's announcement, which also cited the needs of her family, ends nearly a year's worth of media speculation about her political aspirations that she fueled with regular public comments and posts on Twitter and Facebook and with a high-profile bus tour over the summer that included stops in key early-voting states.
Among the questions now are whether she will choose to play a role in winnowing the Republican field or confine herself to remaining one of President Obama's chief adversaries. GOP strategists said Wednesday that Palin's popularity with tea party activists and her fundraising prowess would help any candidate with whom she aligns herself. Candidates quickly started sending out complimentary statements after Palin's announcement, suggesting that the courtship for her endorsement has begun.