Sarah Palin's words scampered across my iPhone screen on Saturday: "You can absolutely say that I am seriously interested" in running in the 2016 election. What?

Typical sarcastic remarks, followed by derision, and then pleas from the left to please, please run followed in full force on my Twitter feed. The words "go for it" didn't leap out at me.

So let's get serious. A Palin run — let alone a nomination — ain't gonna happen.


This routine smells like 2012 when she flirted with running, and surprise, surprise, didn't. But she vowed to stay an active participant in the political discussion. How can we take Palin seriously when even she doesn't? Other than supporting a handful of candidates in cursory ways, what has she done?

While the media would love nothing more than to report on a Palin vs. Hillary Clinton match-up, covering it as, sadly, a colossal fight over dibs for 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, their glee is one of the reasons why she won't do it.

Yes, there are many Republicans who would love to see a Palin ticket. Those who voted for her for governor, or watched her Alaskan tundra reality show, or read her books, for example. But she knows, and we know, that those numbers alone don't hunt. Despite her popularity in some circles and her high name-recognition, she's a half-term governor who lost a race for vice president and has been mocked mercilessly for her seemingly endless faux pas, a la this exchange with then-CBS News anchor Katie Couric.

COURIC: You've cited Alaska's proximity to Russia as part of your foreign-policy experience. What did you mean by that?

PALIN: That Alaska has a very narrow maritime border between a foreign country, Russia, and on our other side, the land — boundary that we have with — Canada. It, it's funny that a comment like that was — kind of made to cari — I don't know. You know. Reporters —

And then there was the movie, the disastrous campaign. Ugly.

I remember when Palin stormed onto the public stage at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn. I had pulled in my driveway, not wanting to go inside because I was riveted by Palin's fiery debut speech. Game changer, I thought. McCain has a secret weapon, I thought. Yet I watched over the next year as the mainstream media relished in destroying her, driving a stake into John McCainJohn Sidney McCainOvernight Energy: Lake Mead's decline points to scary water future in West | White House leads opposition to raising gas tax | Biden taps ex-New Mexico lawmaker for USDA post Lake Mead's decline points to scary water future in West Five takeaways from the Biden-Putin summit MORE's last chance at the presidency.

If she runs again, the media will be ready with their pitchforks. And Palin knows it. On Fox News yesterday, I said that her toying with running reminds me a lot of Donald Trump. It's pure showmanship — an area where she excels. So far there have been no reports of meetings with potential aides, no talks of raising money, and no big Republican names backing her.

Mark my words. She's not running. And if she does, well, I never wrote this column.

Ashburn is an award-winning Washington-based reporter and TV analyst covering media and politics.