In a move sure to ramp up speculation about a potential Sarah Palin presidential bid, conservative filmmaker Stephen Bannon will in June release a full-length documentary extolling the former governor's tenure in Alaska politics, RealClearPolitics reports.
Palin has so far been coy about whether or not she intends to enter the contest for the GOP presidential nomination, but the film's June premiere - in Iowa, a crucial early-primary state - adds fuel to the theory that she is, at the very least, still seriously considering the option. (Bannon said that, after Iowa, he would release the film in other early primary states - including New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada - before rolling it out to the rest of the country.)
According to RCP, Palin reached out to Bannon last year about making a series of videos touting her work as governor of Alaska. Bannon agreed, and said he would not only produce a full-length feature film about Palin, but that he would finance it himself. Ultimately, RCP reports, he spent upwards of $1 million in the process.
According to the RCP report, the film, entitled "The Undefeated," is divided into three acts and focuses largely on Palin's successes as Alaska governor - particularly in regard to energy and fiscal matters - while avoiding controversial ideological issues like abortion. The film paints Palin as an inspirational maverick, as well as "the only conservative leader who can both build on the legacy of the Reagan Revolution and bring the ideals of the tea party movement to the Oval Office," as RCP's Scott Conroy writes.
Palin is purported to love the film, according to SarahPAC treasurer Tim Crawford.
"The governor thought it was great," Crawford told RCP.
Palin spokeswoman Rebecca Mansour also praised the film.
"I'm a huge fan of Steve's work," Mansour told RCP in a Tuesday statement. "I think his new film really captures the essence of Governor Palin's stewardship of Alaska, and I think people will be really surprised by it. It shatters so many false stereotypes because it shows what she actually accomplished as governor. You can't leave it thinking the same way about Sarah Palin."
Indeed, the film apparently zeroes in on criticism Palin has endured at the hands of detractors since being selected for the 2008 presidential ticket. "Bannon dramatizes the theme of Palin's persecution at the hands of her enemies in the media and both political parties, a notion the former governor has long embraced," writes Conroy. "Images of lions killing a zebra and a dead medieval soldier with an arrow sticking in his back dramatize the ethics complaints filed by obscure Alaskan citizens, which Palin has cited as the primary reason for her sudden resignation in July of 2009."
While Palin's somewhat subdued political activity over the last several months had led some to doubt her presidential aspirations, the former VP nominee has recently reupped her presence on the political scene, delivering a major foreign policy speech, taking a highly-publicized foreign trip to Israel, and hiring a chief of staff. She is also rumored to have purchased a home in Arizona, which could serve as a future campaign headquarters were she to jump into the race.
Either way, Bannon says the film aims to serve as a challenge to the "establishment" in the 2012 campaign.
"This film is a call to action for a campaign like 1976: Reagan vs. the establishment," Bannon told RCP. "Let's have a good old-fashioned brouhaha."