So much for any talk of Senator Sarah:

Gov. Sarah Palin plans to raise money for the re-election campaign of Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, and hopes to end speculation she might challenge Murkowski in the primary for the U.S. Senate next year.

"The governor has no intention of running for the senator's seat in 2010," Palin spokeswoman Meg Stapleton said Tuesday. "(Palin) thinks the senator is doing a great job and that's why she's looking forward to hosting a fundraiser for her."

An interesting decision, if not a particularly shocking one. On the one hand, a Senate run would have kept her in the news, enabled her to expand her fundraising networks, and, had she won, made her a presumptive face of the GOP opposition. On the other hand, taking on a Republican incumbent could have been messy, and early polls were all over the map. My guess is that she would have won, but a loss would have been truly embarrassing. We'll see whether this choice to remain in the Land of the Midnight Sun, combined with her awkward cancellations of high-profile GOP appearances, causes her public profile to recede a bit.

--Christopher Orr