Since leaving her post as Alaska's governor last July, Sarah Palin has earned a whopping $12 million, according to a new estimate published Tuesday by ABC News.
The estimate says it draws on "publicly available records and news accounts," but doesn't offer a detailed accounting. ABC reporter Matthew Mosk says much of her earning power has come from her TV, book deals and scheduled speaking appearances.
For her speaking gigs, Palin has received as much as $200,000 a pop, making the $12 million figure seem eminently more plausible. Last October, Palin also received a $1,250,000 retainer for publication of her memoir "Going Rogue" from HarperCollins, which doesn't include royalties she's been paid since the book's publication last December.
While governor of Alaska, Palin earned a (relatively measly) $125,000 annual salary. By contrast, Palin now earns as much in a single day: she's said to be accruing a nearly $200,000 honorarium for speaking to a hospital fundraiser in Toronto on Thursday.
The $12 million estimate for the past nine months is "conservative," Mosk averred. The sum would be more than 100 times her gubernatorial salary.
"The actual number is probably much higher, but is hard to quantify because Palin does not publicize her earnings, and has managed to keep a lid on reliable figures for her earnings from a multi-year contract with Fox News and a second book deal with HarperCollins," Mosk wrote.
An unnnamed Palin spokeperson told ABC that Palin's income statements are not for public consumption.
Palin "is now a private citizen," the aide purportedly said. "As a result, her fees and earnings are private."
The aide isn't quoted as disagreeing with ABC's estimate.
During her vice presidential run, Palin and her husband reported $166,080 in taxable income and more than $1 million in assets as of 2007. Most of Palin's earned income came from her salary as governor.