Sarah Palin's efforts to raise her profile and broaden her support suggest she is preparing for a tilt at the White House in 2012.
Newly published election spending figures show Sarah Palin ended the last quarter with a war chest of more than $1m, suggesting gathering momentum for a run at the White House in 2012.
Her political action committee, a body for raising and distributing election cash, raised $866,000 in the three months from April 1, the most since it was formed in January 2009. She spent about $742,000 over the quarter, most of it on building up her political profile and base support.
Palin, who enjoys the support of the Tea Party and other grassroots activists but is distrusted by the Republican party establishment, has not yet said whether she will stand as a candidate. She and other potential rivals for the Republican nomination would normally begin to make their intentions clear early next year, in the wake of November's Congressional mid-term elections.
But a breakdown of money raised and spent by Palin suggests she is putting in place the political framework for a bid. She spent almost twice as much as in any previous quarter, much of it on speechwriters, private jets for public appearances, and hiring consultants to advise her on domestic and foreign policy, which were embarrassing weaknesses during her vice-presidential run in 2008.
She is also taking on more staff, including for the first time someone to keep control of her schedule. Until now, her organisation has tended to be chaotic.