What Does Sarah Palin Do Now? A Look Back at the Career of John McCain’s Former Running Mate

Whatever happened to Sarah Palin? The governor of Alaska rose to national prominence when Sen. John McCain selected her as his running mate in the 2008 presidential race. Even though McCain lost that election – a defeat some blame partly on the divisive Palin — she didn’t give up her spot in the limelight. She emerged as a conservative hero, giving the keynote address at the first Tea Party convention in 2010 and writing a best-selling book.

But in recent years, Palin’s star seems to have faded. Though she endorsed President Trump in 2016, she didn’t land a role in his administration. McCain said that he regretted choosing her as his running mate. She isn’t even on the list of people invited to any of the late senator’s memorial services.

Sarah Palin’s career after 2008

Sarah Palin and John McCain

Sarah Palin and John McCain | Darren Hauck/Getty Images

After the 2008 presidential campaign ended, Palin kept busy. Among her activities:

  • Resigning as governor of Alaska in July 2009, just 2½ years into her 4-year term
  • Writing Going Rogue, a 2009 bestseller for which she was reportedly paid an advance of least $1.25 million.
  • Starring in Sarah Palin’s Alaska, a 2010 reality TV show on TLC that aired for 9 episodes.
  • Joining Fox News as a contributor in 2010, in a contract that was said to be worth $1 million a year. In 2015, the network opted not to renew her contract.
  • Hosting Amazing America with Sarah Palin, an outdoors-themed reality show in the Sportsman Channel that aired for two seasons beginning in 2014.
  • Launching the Sarah Palin Channel, a subscription-based online news network, in 2014. It shut down a year later.

Palin’s various ventures earned her a lot of money in the years immediately following the 2008 election. Forbes estimated that she may have ultimately earned as much as $6 million from Going Rogue, though the follow-up, America By Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith and Flag, was likely less lucrative. She also reportedly earned $250,000 per episode of her TLC show.

Palin also commanded substantial speaking fees. Forbes said she was bringing in $100,000 per appearance. All told, it was a substantial amount of money, but the magazine warned that “her best days, financially, could be behind her.”

What she’s doing now

Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin at the funeral service for Rev. Billy Graham on March 2, 2018. | Brian Blanco/Getty Images

Palin might not be quite as prominent as she once was, but she is still active in politics and entertainment. In 2017, she visited the White House with Kid Rock and Ted Nugent for a private dinner with Trump and campaigned for Alabama senate candidate Roy Moore. In 2018, she gave a keynote address at a Palm Beach County Republican Party dinner held at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort.

She’s also set to return to the small screen. Daughter Bristol Palin has joined the cast of the upcoming season of Teen Mom OG, and her mom has appeared in teaser clips for the show. CNN also speculated that Palin has embarked on a new career as an Instagram influencer. She’s shared photos and discount codes on her account for Teami, a brand of “skinny tea.”

Palin was also one of a number of public figures interviewed by Sacha Baron Cohen for his controversial Who Is America? show. But her segment never aired. Palin said on Facebook that she walked out of what she initially believed was a legitimate interview after realizing that Cohen, who she claimed was disguised as a U.S. combat veteran, was disrespecting the military.

Someday, we could even be talking about Judge Sarah. In 2016, there were rumors that producers for a new reality court TV show had trademarked the name “Palin Rules.” If the show ever comes to fruition, it could be a big money-maker for Palin. Judy Scheindlin, America’s most famous TV judge, makes $40 million a year.

Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!