Sarah Palin, judging by her tour, may run for president in 2012 after all.

Palin just announced a cryptic tour to historic sites in the United States.  Her stated purpose is to educate and energize Americans about our nation's founding principles, in order to promote the Fundamental Restoration of America.

She wouldn't say much more about the purpose, namely if it's a precursor to her 2012 presidential campaign.

After the failed McCain-Palin presidential bid in 2008, Palin was able to stay in the public spotlight.  She also remains popular with Republicans, according to the latest Gallup poll of Republican primary voters, which places her second behind Mitt Romney.

She scored the best on social issues and moral values and did well in national security and foreign policy and business and the economy.

Given the weakness of the Republican field, she can probably capture the Christian right and has a decent chance of winning the GOP nomination.

Palin's performance during the 2008 campaign as the vice presidential candidate, however, was questionable.  Many, including Republicans, thought she weakened the McCain ticket.  She was criticized for her performance in a big interview with Katie Couric of CBS and was thought to have lost her debate against Joe Biden.

Nevertheless, Palin has an exceptional strong track record in politics.  Her approval ratings as the Alaskan governor was astounding, with a low of 54 percent and a high of 93 percent.  During her tenure, she cleaned up Alaskan politics, cut government spending, and developed intelligent policies for resource development.

Her chances of winning aside, a key question is if she is willing, on a personal level, to endure a presidential campaign.  Ever since she was thrust into the public spotlight in 2008, she and her family have received numerous personal attacks from public figures and the media. 

That, along with what she called frivolous ethics complaints against her, pushed her to resign as the governor of Alaska in July 2009.