Sarah Palin’s official “One Nation” Bus Tour website front page states the tour is about educating and encouraging Americans to learn about their country through Palin’s program, “Fundamental Restoration of America.” Still, speculation runs high as to why she wants to stay in the public eye if she’s not running for president in 2012.
Sean Hannity couldn’t quite pin her down in a June 3 interview, where the former Alaska governor said that not being a candidate while touring was a very liberating feeling. A June 2 AFP report on Mitt Romney speculated a presidential bid for Palin, while on the same day the Alaska Dispatch devoted an entire article to suspecting whether her bus tour was a campaign kickoff and, if so, how it was being financed.
Finally this morning, RealClear Politics’ Scott Conroy gave her the benefit of the doubt by writing that the media shouldn’t imply she’s lying…maybe she just really hasn’t decided yet.
Palin firmly re-stated her “Fundamental Restoration of America” purpose on the third day of the tour, when Fox News’ Greta van Susteren joined her on the bus for an interview (at tour website’s main page, May 31). Palin told van Susteren, who hosts “On The Record,” that the tour from the beginning was an intentional reminder of the country’s history and locations, not a run for president or publicity for herself.
Among the daily blog notes at the tour website, Palin says the most frequent question from reporters has been, “Why are you visiting historical sites?”
She reminds them it’s important to learn America’s history and founding goals. When she asks them back if they’ve ever been there before, their negative answers prove an important point — Americans need to learn more about their own country.
How’s the trip being financed?
The tour website states that individuals and organizations can make donations to Palin’s PAC (political action committee). According to the Federal Elections Committee website, funds can be collected under a PAC from individual supporters and groups for reasons such as (1) national efforts like the “Fundamental Restoration of America” or (2) for campaign expenses as a candidate or campaigning for other candidates.
What else is on the “One Nation” Tour website?
There are pictures of Palin and her entourage at historical and sightseeing locations, showing her as she relates to vacationers, spectators, student tour groups and reporters. Included is a map and list of stops as the bus progresses. But Palin told van Susteren she is purposefully not giving out a list of future stops because of several reasons, including security.
The week of May 29 in New England was just the first leg of the bus tour. It will include other areas of the country. Here’s where she’s been so far:
May 29 – She traded the bus for the now-famous motorcycle ride alongside “Rolling Thunder” bikers in Arlington, Va., for their Vietnam Memorial trip honoring missing soldiers. Palin wasn’t scheduled to speak, but was received well when the group gave her the opportunity. She then visited the presidents’ monuments and National Archives.
May 30 – Palin conversed with people along Mount Vernon Highway, then stopped in Baltimore, Md., at Fort McHenry.
May 31 – She visited Pennsylvania’s Gettysburg National Military Park, Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, where she drew a crowd.
June 1 – She appeared in Manhattan, at Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. On the blog, she reminded readers it was National Fleet Week, and thanked the Navy, Marines and Coast Guard.
June 2 – Next were famous Boston sites like The Paul Revere House and Bunker Hill. A blog entry illustrates the devastation she saw in parts of Massachusetts hard-hit by the June 1 tornado. But this was overtaken by a “mistake” the mainstream media shouted about when Palin claimed Revere “warned the British.” She told interviewer Chris Wallace on June 5 that, in a way, Revere did warn the British by showing them the colonists wouldn’t back down from achieving independence.
June 3 – She had breakfast at a Golden Egg in Portsmouth, N.H., and thanked employees of the U.S. National Park Service and Foundations.
In the interviews mentioned above, Palin spoke as an advocate for the GOP and Tea Party. Palin told van Susteren there is blame to pass around both Democrats and Republicans, but President Obama’s philosophies on health care, the economy, and coddling enemies while snubbing friendly nations are wrong. She said the Democrats, while claiming the GOP isn’t cooperating, aren’t accepting Republican ideas and that the economy is worse than two years ago. To Hannity, she said the liberal media was spreading unfounded Obama/Pelosi/Reid claims that the Republicans want to destroy Medicare.
According to a May Gallup Poll , Palin would nearly tie Mitt Romney for the lead if she decided to run for president.
Sheryl Young has been freelance writing for newspapers, magazines, organizations and websites since 1997. Her specialties are American politics, education, society and religion. Credits include Community Columnist for the Tampa Tribune Newspaper, Interview Columnist with Light & Life Magazine, and a National First Place “Roaring Lambs” Writing Award from the Amy Foundation.