Gov. Sarah Palin is not fully disengaging from political life.
The Alaska Republican sparked a certifiable tsunami of speculation about her political future when she announced last week that she was resigning from the governor's chair at the end of July. Since then, the conventional wisdom has been that she was making her first move toward running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012. But others, notably NBC's Andrea Mitchell, have reported that she was removing herself from all levels and forms of political engagement.
As of today, that isn't true. Palin remains a member of the National Council for a New America, the upstart Republican organization established to re-brand the party. An official with House Minority Whip Eric Cantor's office, which started the effort, confirmed that the Alaska Governor remains on NCNA's panel, despite her self-removal from elected office.
The Congressman hasn't spoken with Palin since her announcement, the official said, adding that there is no reason to believe her status with NCNA has changed.
Which is not all that surprising.
While still in its nascent stages, the National Council for a New America seems to be the exact type of political vehicle to which Palin would attach herself (though she hesitated before joining its ranks). The group's defining purpose is to move the GOP to more stable footing as the 2010 elections approach. And while the NCNA hasn't advanced the ball much since its inception, it does have the capacity to play a significant role in revamping the party. For Palin, who remains very much a Washington outsider, the NCNA provides some contact with establishment figures as well as the ability to prove that she has remained committed to the Republican cause in her post-gubernatorial career.