GOP presidential debate at the Reagan library: Sarah Palin won't be there.

From Wasilla to Washington.
March 8 2011 4:50 PM

Palin Makes Other Plans for the Night of the First GOP Debate

The chances she's running look ever-slimmer.

Sarah Palin seems determined to ditch the first GOP presidential debate. She's booked a speaking event at a military-family tribute in Denver for that evening —this is, in fact, the second time she's committed to this particular gig on this particular night, which was previously and temporarily canceled after Palin's initial announced appearance led to "an onslaught of negative feedback." Apparently, Palin would rather speak to a roomful of people who don't seem to want her there all that much than debate other Republican luminaries over policy issues.

Though this might seem a pretty strong signal that she's not running, the meter only dips to 35 percent: Palin seems to think the pols who are already showing their hand, like the five potential candidates who showed up for last night's Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition's presidential forum, are overthinking this presidential campaign thing. As she told Fox Business Network Friday, "I still think it's months away before people need to be lining up and making announcements as to what to do."* Only losers get excited about the school dance; the cool kids make other, better plans, and sometimes still win prom queen.

Correction, March 10, 2011: The original version referred to the network as Fox Business News.

Previous Palin Meter Readings:

Monday, March 7, 2011: 40 percent 

Friday, March 3, 2011: 45 percent

Tuesday, March 1, 2011: 51 percent

Noreen Malone is a senior editor at New York magazine.