50 People Who Matter 2010 | 13. Sarah Palin

Tea lady.

Since her theatrical resignation as governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin has become a figurehead of the right-wing Tea Party movement.

Her influence has been felt in the recent Republican primary elections, in which established figures were ousted by Tea Party insurgents.

But leaving power was also lucrative: Palin's $1m-a-year contract with Fox News and bestselling book Going Rogue have made her rich, and confirmed her status as de facto leader of the opposition to Barack Obama. For her part, Palin has refused to rule out running for the 2012 Republican nomination.

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This article first appeared in the 27 September 2010 issue of the New Statesman, The 50 people who matter