A law firm linked to Sarah Palin has been trying to figure out the absolute latest date a candidate could enter the 2012 presidential race and meet all the deadlines to get on state primary ballots, Politico's Maggie Haberman and Kenneth P. Vogel report. The law firm, Baker Hostetler, employs Mark Braden, a lawyer for SarahPAC. The firm doesn't work for any other presidential candidiates. What's the deadline? October 28, the deadline for paying the filing fee in New Hampshire. So it's just three more weeks till Palin is officially irrelevant as a political candidate.

ABC News' Shushannah Walshe reports that Braden wouldn't even confirm that he works for Palin. But, Walshe writes, "According to a source with knowledge of the inner workings of SarahPAC, inside the Palin world it's still a possibility that she might run. However, as the deadline approaches not even her staff knows what she will decide." Why does that sentence sound familiar? Because we've heard it a million times this year. And Republicans are tired of it: Politico's Alexander Burns reports that even as Palin leaves open the possibility she'll run, the party has moving on. With New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie out of the presidential race, strategists concluded the presidential field is set. Ed Rollins, ex-campaign manager for Michele Bachmann, told Burns, "At best she could attract some Bachmann voters, some Cain voters and maybe come out as the tea party candidate, but she is not going to end up being the nominee." 
 
One of her most important backers, Fox News chief Roger Ailes, brushed aside a question about Fox's conservative bias by explaining, "I hired Sarah Palin because she was hot and got ratings," he told the Associated Press's Frazier Moore. Not, it's implied, because she was a future president.