[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/07/06/art.palinclap0706.gi.jpg caption="The co-founder of a pro-Palin online movement says there was an enormous surge in interest over the weekend after the Alaska governor's surprise announcement on Friday."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) – While Marjorie Dannenfelser acknowledges that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's decision to resign from office "defies conventional wisdom," it hasn't dampened the enthusiasm this mother of five has for Palin to run for president in 2012.
"One thing we have learned about Sarah Palin is that conventional wisdom is just that," said Dannenfelser, co-founder of Team Sarah, a 70,000 person strong on-line movement dedicated to promoting all-things Palin. "She is not a conventional campaigner. She is not a conventional model of women in politics. And it is that very lack of conventionality is what attracts grassroots supporters to her."
If Palin wants to increase her influence in the Republican Party or run a serious campaign for president in 2012, she is going to need the backing of grassroots activists, as it now appears the GOP establishment is distancing itself from the soon-to-be former Alaska governor. Very few GOP strategists have described Palin's decision to resign from office with 18 months remaining as a political wise move, and many have even suggested that her decision was so irrational that she can no longer be considered a serious contender for the GOP nomination.
But Dannenfelser understands the grassroots, specifically social conservatives - an influential Republican constituency. She is the president of the "Susan B. Anthony List" and "Team Sarah" is under the umbrella of this anti-abortion rights organization.
Over the weekend, Dannenfelser said that she saw "an enormous surge of support for" Palin and noted that membership at "Team Sarah," alone, has grown by 1,000 people.
"There is just a sense of trust for her motives and authenticity that these folks have been looking for, for so long," Dannenfelser said. "And they are not listening to the Op-Ed writers … and the cable shows. She really has got something that no candidate can buy. She has got charisma."
"Team Sarah definitely wants her to run," Dannenfelser added. "There is no question they want her to run."
So far, it looks like Palin is maintaining support with the grassroots and only time will tell if she is able to convince others to join her to "rebuild and help our nation achieve greatness," as she stated in her open letter posted July 4 on Facebook.