What would this look like? Per the first link:
Dartmouth Professor Brendan Nyhan, a best-selling media critic, said the prospect would raise overwhelming flash — if not overwhelming results at the ballot box.
“It would be a spectacle,” Nyhan said, “but I don’t think she’d be taken nearly as seriously by the press as a centrist third-party candidate like Perot would be. Perot actually briefly led in the polls, whereas she has negative ratings well over 50 percent and would be lucky to get double digits.”Nyhan overlooks that "spectacle" is Palin's middle name, though! (As well as a great source of limelight, money, etc.) Running for president via a third-party movement would require a lot less work than doing so as a true independent, so, don't be surprised if you haven't heard the last of Sarah Palin.
And, that wouldn't end her ability to stick her toes in GOP waters. Plenty a Republican, including cantankerous wingnut Ron Paul, has had some sort of flirtation with the Constitution Party. Pat Buchanon ran for president on the Reform Party ticket.
And, to riff on Marx's quote about history repeating itself, first as tragedy, then as farce? In this case, farce was already the first act. The recurrence would be torture.
OTOH, Salon's Steve Kornacki says it's too bad she didn't run. That way, she could have gotten her ass kicked and her bubble would have been fully burst, once and for all.