Former George W. Bush chief of staff Karl Rove has been an influential GOP strategist for decades.

When Rove speaks, many Republicans listen. So when the outspoken campaign manager spoke up about Paul Ryan or Chris Christie joining the race to become the GOP nominee for the 2012 presidential election, his hint about another potential candidate entering the field also raised eyebrows.

And I also think looking at the schedule of Sarah Palin after Labor Day that she's got a campaign style schedule post-Labor Day that's either going to accentuate her celebrity hood or lay the predicate for running for president, Rove said.

Palin has been mum about a possible run, though she has a solid base of supporters. Some political experts believe her candidacy may hinge on the success of Michele Bachmann, the only female candidate in the GOP field. Bachmann won the recent Iowa straw poll, but with the addition of Texas Governor Rick Perry, it's possible Bachmann's popularity might fade.

Should Bachman not poll well in the coming weeks, Palin may throw her hat into the race. It's also  possible Palin may run no matter how well Bachmann is doing.

The big difference between Palin and Bachmann is immigration policy, a hop topic going into the 2012 Election. Palin has spoken about granting legal amnesty while Bachmann has been strongly opposed to mass legalization.

Palin is well-liked amongst Republicans. Research in June by Public Policy Polling showed 62 percent of Republicans giving Palin a favorable rating.

It's possible the former Alaska governor could be waiting for more candidates to join the race, since a crowded field could strengthen her chances of winning primaries. Palin has strong name recognition, and also has a decent foothold in the Tea Party movement.

In a March Pew Research poll, of those who agreed with the Tea Party movement, 24 percent had Mitt Romney as their first-choice candidate, while 19 percent chose Mike Huckabee, a candidate who won't be running. Palin was at a respectable 12 percent, below experienced candidates Newt Gingrich at 15 percent and Ron Paul at 13 percent. For Palin, a 12 percent showing, is a solid showing amongst a key GOP voter block.

In the same poll, Republican voters showed they cared more about electability over ideology when it comes to picking their candidates -- a similar sentiment to liberals in 2004 when the Democrats tried to unseat Bush. The poll showed 56 percent of conservative voters prefer the candidate with the best chance of beating Obama, compared to 31 percent who would prefer the candidate with conservative positions on every issue.

Those numbers may work against Palin. Top-tier candidates like Romney are less polarizing than the former vice-presidential candidate and would likely fair better in a general election. However, Palin seems to challenge conventional political wisdom, as evident with her abandoning her term as governor. She may run in spite of poll numbers and public sentiment.

So will she run make the big leap?

One piece of evidence says she will. Palin named George Washington as her favorite founding father because of his reluctance to serve at President but still serving as form of answering the call of duty. Her long delay in announcing her candidacy might be her way of showing that running for president is for the good of the country and not for her own personal gain.

Palin recently seemed to describe herself when discussing the ideal presidential candidate.

That candidate's not fearing so much what the interpretation is going to be when it comes to the comments and positions you are articulating, but just speaking from the heart, saying, 'Here's how I think we can turn the economy around, and here's what I've done in the past to show you truly a foundation of where my beliefs come from of what works in a small town, in a state, in a big industry like oil and gas - what it is that can be done to turn the economy around,' Palin said.