By Bonnie K. Goodman
Ms. Goodman is the Editor of History Musings. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University.
ELECTIONS — PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN 2012….
Damon Winter/The New York Times
Sarah and Todd Palin after a family visit on Monday to the National Archives in Washington.
This past week Sarah Palin has embarked on a tour of the Northeastern US with her family starting in Washington and ending in New Hampshire. Dubbed the “One Nation” Bus Tour, the modern whistle stop trip included stops at historical locations, meeting with the people and the press. The media has been closely monitoring Palin’s tour, speculating the true intention; a trip or a Presidential campaign exploration. Either way, the tour has captured the attention of the press and country, especially with Palin stopping in New Hampshire, the early primary state on the same day at fellow Republican Mitt Romney launched his Presidential campaign also in New Hampshire.
- Palin Watch – Sarah Palin News Blog Alaska Dispath
- Photos: Sarah Palin’s “One Nation” Bus Tour: Sarah Palin has been willing to offer but a scrap of information of upcoming destinations, Palin set off from Washington for an East Coast bus tour, telling reporters that her tour might “at some point” go to Iowa, where the 2012 voting begins….. – Denver Post
- Sarah Palin to collide with Mitt Romney rollout in New Hampshire: Sarah Palin will be casting a long shadow over Mitt Romney’s day in the sun in New Hampshire on Thursday.
She’s bringing her I-haven’t-made-up-my-mind-yet bus tour across America to the Granite State even as Romney formally declares he’s in the 2012 race.
Palin will attend a coastal clambake Thursday evening with some key New Hampshire Republicans. According to Politico, she called the timing “coincidental.”
Palin is spending much of the day in Boston. She visited the Old North Church early Thursday.
The ex-Alaska governor, who is winding up her weeklong tour, told the assembled media throng that has doggedly followed her every move from the Pentagon parking lot to the Freedom Trail that she still doesn’t know if she’s running for president in 2012.
“Still looking at the field, knowing there’s going to be a lot of shakeup in that lineup,” Palin said
Romney will be delivering a speech in Stratham, N.H. Palin said, “Maybe we’ll run into him.”
Palin hasn’t been going out of her way to make friends in the early primary state. Earlier this week in an interview with CNN, she said that New Hampshire voters aren’t particularly special.
“I guess that’s that nonpolitician in me not looking at a New Hampshire voter any differently just because they have, you know, an earlier primary than somebody else,” she said…. – LAT, 6-2-11
- Palin tours Boston, says Romney timing coincidence: Sarah Palin took her tour of the United States, seen by some as a possible warm-up to a run at the Republican presidential nomination, to the Democratic stronghold of Massachusetts on Thursday.
On a tour through the city’s Revolutionary War-era historic sites, Palin said her trip was not timed to distract attention from Massachusetts ex-governor Mitt Romney’s formal announcement in neighboring New Hampshire of the start of his presidential campaign .
Palin, a former governor of Alaska, told reporters in the morning that the timing of the trip was “coincidental.”
She herself was expected to travel next to New Hampshire, traditionally the state with the nation’s first nominating primary, making it a key destination for all potential candidates.
After visiting sites including the Old North Church and the house of Revolutionary War hero Paul Revere, Palin stopped to talk with onlookers on the cobblestoned streets of the city’s North End…. – Reuters, 6-2-11
- Sarah Palin Remembers Ronald Reagan At Liberty State Park: Sarah Palin, a potential candidate for the Republican presidential nomination and former Governor of Alaska, visited the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island today on her “One Nation” bus tour. Last night, Palin went to dinner in Manhattan with real estate mogul and reality TV star Donald Trump.
Palin’s “One Nation” tour continues to be defined by themes of freedom, liberty and patriotism. The Statue of Liberty was a gift from the French and is an internationally recognized symbol of both freedom and democracy. Ellis Island served as the inspection station for the millions of immigrants who came to the United States between 1892 and 1954.
“What a wonderful day to visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island!” said Palin. In what seemed like a veiled reference to her own presidential aspirations, Palin talked about former President Ronald Reagan’s visit to Liberty State Park in 1980. “He spoke of the Americans who passed through Ellis Island and whose first glimpse of their adopted country was the grand statue in New York’s harbor. He talked about our shared values and the common thread of the American dream across an endless mix of backgrounds,” said Palin…. – The State Column, 6-2-11
- On the Media: News flash — Sarah Palin rides a bus What it means, though, nobody outside of Team Palin knows for sure. But reporters still give chase, just in case: It’s not exactly blockbuster news when Sarah Palin calls the U.S. Constitution an important document, tries to one-up President Obama in praise of the U.S. military or heaps another load of condescension on the media.
But it is news when Palin does all these things within a few days of one another as part of a tour that has her dancing around a possible run for president of the United States. It’s news, less because Palin might actually run than because this is what politicians do. And the media cover what they do, good bad and indifferent, especially when they are as fascinating and polarizing as Sarah Palin.
Ever since Palin announced her “One Nation” tour, multiple media outlets have scrambled to follow her bus, with no itinerary or real help from the principal and her team. And plenty of other people have taken to the Internet to denounce the whole spectacle as a publicity stunt and brand-booster for a brand badly in need of a lift.
Far from the daily schedules and constant updates they are accustomed to on campaign tours, reporters have had to beg sources close to Palin for hints about what will happen next. A reporter for the Times of London incorrectly guessed at a Memorial Day trip to Gettysburg (it came a day later) and only happened on her as he later staked out the road to Mount Vernon.
Team Palin threw the trailing scribes off the scent again Tuesday, leaving her bus idling outside her Gettysburg hotel while she slipped out to take a tour of the Civil War battlefield in an SUV. Palin is believed to be arriving in New Hampshire, which holds the first presidential primary, by week’s end. But no one outside the Palin bubble knows for sure…. – LAT, 6-1-11
- The Influence Industry: The fine lines between a Palin vacation and Palin tour: When most families go on a summer vacation, they don’t have a political-action committee to pay the bills.
Not so for Sarah Palin, the former vice presidential candidate and Alaska governor, who has joined her husband, children and parents in a widely publicized bus tour of East Coast historic sites this week.
The trip appears to be part vacation, part political rally and part reality show. Fuel, lodging and other expenses are being paid for by SarahPAC, Palin’s political committee, which is also soliciting donations online in connection with the journey.
“You can show your support for the Fundamental Restoration of America and the ‘One Nation Tour’ by making a generous donation to SarahPAC today,” reads a message on the SarahPAC Web site.
The arrangement is perfectly legal, campaign-finance experts say. SarahPAC is set up as an unconnected PAC, meaning that the usual restrictions on candidate committees don’t apply. Regular candidate committees, for example, are barred from converting campaign money to personal use.
As a result, unless Palin decides to formally explore a possible presidential run, she is free to spend the money raised by SarahPAC for “any lawful purpose” under federal law, experts said. That means it doesn’t matter whether the trip is a holiday, a political event or something in between…. – WaPo, 6-1-11
- Palin tour: campaign prelude or publicity stunt?: Sarah Palin is going rogue again, confounding the press and delighting fans on a family bus tour that could be a prelude to an unconventional White House campaign — or a branding exercise for Palin Inc.
The 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee has kept reporters scrambling across three states for three days, refusing to publish her schedule while traveling the countryside in a flashy, painted campaign-style bus.
After announcing the tour of East Coast historic sites last week, Team Palin went silent on the itinerary and refused to accommodate press coverage. It was an unusual strategy for any politician, particularly one considering a White House run in 2012.
It was hardly surprising for Palin, however, who denounces the “lamestream media” and built her political image around her unconventional style. And it paid immediate dividends with coverage from reporters who chased her like paparazzi after Angelina Jolie…. – Reuters, 5-31-11
- Palin confirms she’s in LLC that bought Ariz. home: Sarah Palin has confirmed that she is part of a company that purchased a home north of Phoenix, but she said she hasn’t moved from Alaska.
Safari Investments LLC paid nearly $1.7 million cash for the five-bedroom, 7,900-square-foot home in rural north Scottsdale in May.
In an interview aired Tuesday night, the former Alaska governor told Fox News Channel’s Greta Van Susteren that she is part of Safari Investments and it “has some property in Arizona now.”
“You know, many, many Alaskans purchase property in Arizona, Nevada and Texas,” Palin said from her bus that has been touring the East Coast. “I think we do that because not only are we good investors, and it’s a buyer’s market, but we like to thaw out once in a while.”… – AP, 5-31-11
- Sarah Palin’s bus tour stops at National Archives, Mount Vernon and Baltimore: The former Alaska governor is believed to be headed to Philadelphia next. She continues to insist her patriotic-themed bus is not a campaign bus.
It’s still unclear whether Sarah Palin’s road trip is an educational family tour of historical America or a dry run for her potential Republican presidential bid.
But Monday, two things became clear: She will not shy away from unscripted encounters, and she isn’t going let anyone know in advance where she’s going as she wends her way across the country this summer.
In an impromptu news conference Monday evening in the parking lot of her Gettysburg hotel shortly after taking a four-mile run in steaming heat, Palin said she thought the current crop of Republican presidential contenders is “strong” and that any campaign she might wage “would definitely be unconventional and nontraditional, yes, knowing us, yeah, it would have to be.”
And that was as far as she would go, leaving the former Alaska governor’s intentions, like much of her bus tour, a mystery. Although she announced her “One Nation” tour with great fanfare on her website, Palin has refused to post information about her schedule, leaving reporters scrambling across the Eastern Seaboard to figure out her stops.
Her bus tour began for real on Monday after she spent Sunday, the ostensible start day, riding in a motorcycle procession for veterans and surreptitiously visiting Washington monuments. Her patriotic-themed bus, decorated with a blown-up image of the U.S. Constitution, pulled up to the National Archives in Washington at 9:30 a.m. on Memorial Day, half an hour before opening.
Her party — which included her husband, three daughters and her parents, as well as Greta Van Susteren, a host on Fox News, with whom Palin has an exclusive contract — was ushered into the building for a private look at the U.S. Constitution, Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights, cloistered in a darkened rotunda under glass.
By the time she exited the archives half an hour later, a small crowd of reporters and well-wishers had gathered outside.
“I wish every student in America could get here,” she afterward. “It is heartwarming, and it means so much to so many of us to be able to physically be here and see the foundation of America.”… – LAT, 5-31-11
- SARAH PALIN: Memorial Day brings out presidential hopefuls: Politicians were in plentiful supply this Memorial Day as the ramp-up to the 2012 presidential election began in earnest.
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who began a nationwide bus tour Sunday, generated plenty of buzz, visiting Fort McHenry in Baltimore and Mount Vernon in Virginia on Monday.
She told CNN on Monday that she plans to take her “One Nation” bus tour to Iowa, the state that votes first in the race for the Republican presidential nomination…. – CNN, 5-31-11
- Palin Family Hits Road, if Not 2012 Trail: Sarah Palin dropped a fresh hint Monday about her presidential ambitions, telling reporters that her “One Nation” bus tour might “at some point” go to Iowa, where the 2012 voting begins.
But that scrap of information was about all Ms. Palin was willing to offer to reporters as she spent Memorial Day bouncing among historic locations in Washington, Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania.
Day 2 of the tour started Monday morning with a visit to the National Archives in Washington, where she and her family took a private moment to look at the Constitution. The family went from there to Mount Vernon, home of George Washington, and to Fort McHenry in Baltimore. A stop at the Gettysburg battlefield in Pennsylvania was also on the itinerary.
Throughout the day, Ms. Palin continued to play coy with reporters eager to know her itinerary. After the National Archives stop, a reporter yelled out, “Sarah, where are you going next?” She quickly answered, “Mount Vernon,” then added, “Oh — you are a reporter, darn you!”
Ms. Palin announced her bus tour with great fanfare last week and is using it on her Web site to raise money for her political action committee. Despite that, she is acting as though her family is just like any other on vacation…. – NYT, 5-30-11
- In Gettysburg, post-jog Palin greets supporters: It’s too hot in central Pennsylvania, according to Sarah Palin, but while it wore out those on her bus tour, she snuck in a jog as reporters and supporters searched for her whereabouts.
The Palin-crazed media and faithful fans found her late Monday afternoon, as she and her family paused their northbound road trip to rest up at a hotel on the outskirts of Gettysburg.
National reporters trailed the Palins throughout the day, during their stops at the National Archives, Mount Vernon and Fort McHenry. When her bus was spotted at a hotel minutes from the historic battlefield that she was expected to visit today, reporters flocked and fans posed for pictures next to the Constitution-emblazoned motorcoach.
Rumors swirled that she would be heading back out later that evening, and with a group gathered watching one hotel exit, she drew stunned looks as she and her daughter Piper walked up from behind the crowd and said hello…. – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 5-30-11
- Palin Appearance at ‘Rolling Thunder’ Feeds Election Speculation Fury: Sarah Palin arrives at the beginning of Rolling Thunder at the Pentagon during the Memorial Day weekend in Washington.
Sarah Palin could win the Republican nomination and defeat President Obama, Sen. John McCain said Sunday as his former vice presidential running mate fueled 2012 speculation by appearing at the annual Memorial Day rally on the National Mall.
“Of course she can, she can. Whether she will or not, whether she’ll even run, I don’t know,” McCain, R-Ariz., told “Fox News Sunday.” “She certainly is a major factor. And I believe that she can be very competitive.”
Palin’s participation in the annual Memorial Day parade in Washington, D.C., has fueled as much noise about a potential presidential candidacy as the thousands of motorcycle-riding veterans participating in the Rolling Thunder ride-along Sunday.
At the Pentagon parking lot where the mob of veterans and their families pre-positioned for the thunderous two-wheeler march down Constitution Ave, Palin, who did not address the Memorial Day crowd, said she was thrilled to participate.
“I love that smell of the emissions,” she said, donning sunglasses and a Harley Davidson skullcap-style, black helmet…. – Fox News, 5-29-11
- Palin swarmed at first bus tour stop: Amid the chaos, there was Sarah Palin. Only one advance staffer was on hand to wrangle the fans and reporters hoping to get close to the former vice presidential nominee, who arrived at Sunday’s Rolling Thunder rally driving her own motorcycle.
At the first stop on Palin’s bus tour – which so far has a vague itinerary but no other formally announced stops – security and press relations were left to a small group of disgruntled bikers.
When asked about the tour, Palin offered only, “This is our first stop, we’re very thankful to be here.” A map of the tour’s stops on her PAC’s website remains blank.
Palin arrived with her daughter Willow on the front of the motorcycle she was driving and her husband Todd and oldest daughter Bristol each on separate bikes. Still, their presence was very small in comparison to the rest of the rally, drawing about 200 people in a swarm around her at an event that drew thousands of veterans. Her husband, wearing a navy blue T-shirt with “Washington, D.C.” printed on the front, worked the crowd with ease – offering fast and short responses to a few reporters and glad-handing the many fans of his wife. They talked happily with those within shouting distance, and they joined the former vice presidential nominee in signing leather vests, posing for the cameras and answering questions to the few reporters who got close enough. She even held a brief availability with reporters in the corner of the parking lot away from the main group.
Organizers of the annual veterans motorcycle ride were clearly frustrated by the media attention and fuss brought by Palin, and the bikers weren’t as encouraging as the Palins. Yelling, and in a few instances, shoving, they tried to keep away press trying to snap photographs or capture a rare quote…. – Politico, 5-29-11
- Sarah Palin’s ‘One Nation’ bus tour shrouded in secrecy: 2012 run for President or publicity stunt?: Sarah Palin is hopping aboard a national bus tour this weekend and now the big mystery is whether she’s also switching gears for a White House run.
The former Alaska governor’s One Nation road trip is shrouded in secrecy, with her political action committee only revealing that she’ll start in Washington and go up through New England to “educate and energize Americans about our nation’s founding principles.”
Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty shrugged off Palin’s bus tour Friday when asked on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” if the trip indicated a run for the Oval Office…. – NY Daily News, 5-27-11
- Palin to Begin Public Tour This Weekend: Sarah Palin will begin a bus tour of the East Coast on Memorial Day weekend, the latest and most significant evidence that the former governor of Alaska is still seriously considering a run for the Republican presidential nomination this year.
Ms. Palin will begin the series of high-profile public events in the Washington area, starting with the annual Rolling Thunder motorcycle rally and continuing on through the Northeast, according to a statement on her Web site.
Her purchase of a house in Arizona and recent additions to her staff have prompted renewed speculation about her political intentions even as the field of Republicans who are vying to challenge President Obama has dwindled in recent weeks.
The bus tour, which will extend beyond the weekend, will take Ms. Palin and her family through the Northeast in a decorated, red-white-and-blue charter bus, heightening comparisons to a campaign whistle-stop tour…. – NYT, 5-26-11
- Sarah Palin and her ‘One Nation’ bus tour, coming to a town near voters soon: Sarah Palin, who admitted recently that she had the fire in the belly to run for president, now has a bus tour to go with it.
The Republican former governor, who wandered all over Alaska in a motorhome last year for her Discovery Channel reality series, will do the same starting Sunday at a biker rally in Washington.
According to Scott Conroy at RealClearPolitics.com, an essential daily read for politics fans, the tour will, of course, involve members of the Palin family and first focus on the Northeast. That’s a seemingly unlikely place for RepSarah palin one nation Busublican political kickoffs, unless you can say ‘the first primary state of New Hampshire is a whole lot nicer in June than January.’
The trips could last for weeks and are guaranteed to attract many media trailing along in the bus exhaust fumes. Like the NASCAR race she attended last year, Sunday’s annual … … Memorial Day Rolling Thunder biker rally at the Pentagon and down the National Mall offers an ideal opportunity for the kind of handshaking, picture-posing, you-betcha retail politicking that Palin loves and is so good at. Among folks who like her…. – LAT, 5-26-11
Sunday: Sarah Palin arrives at the beginning of Rolling Thunder at the Pentagon during the Memorial Day weekend in Washington.
Sarah Palin: ‘I’m Not the Conventional, Status Quo Politician … the Last Thing I Worry About Is the Mainstream Media': GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Here’s Governor Palin on her “One Nation” bus tour.
VAN SUSTEREN: So Governor, we’re on the bus. Whose idea was this bus?
SARAH PALIN, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR/FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: You know, Todd had this idea. He was reading on an airplane some months ago an article by Thomas Sowell, and in this article, Thomas Sowell was talking about our economy and how to get it back on the right track and how much of the solution has to do with the foundation of America.
And Todd — he texted me when he landed at the airport and said, You know, we need to remind America about our charters of liberty, about our Constitution, about our Declaration of Independence and how America was built on this idea of individual power within us, and then collectively, how we all work together to create this great union. We need to remind America how important it is to protect all that’s good about America as written out in our Constitution and our Declaration of Independence. Go around the country and start talking about it.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, you…
PALIN: Right on!
VAN SUSTEREN: You’ve obviously driven the media nuts. I don’t know if you’ve noticed that. But I mean, everybody’s talking about it. Everyone’s trying to find out where you’re going, what are you doing. What do you say about that because it’s — it — everybody’s been talking about it.
PALIN: Well, you know, I know that many in the mainstream media are looking for kind of a conventional — a campaign-type tour. And I’ve said from the beginning this isn’t a campaign tour, except to campaign on our Constitution, our charters of liberty. And they want kind of a conventional idea of, We want a schedule. We want to follow you. We want you to bring us along with you.
I’m, like, (A) I don’t think I owe anything to the mainstream media. I think that it would be a mistake for me to become some kind of conventional politician and doing things the way that it’s always been done with the media in terms of relationship with them. Tell them to come on along and then we’ll orchestrate this, we’ll script this, and we’ll basically write a story for you, media, about what we’re doing every day.
No, I want them to have to do a bit of work on a tour like this, and that would include not necessarily telling them beforehand where every stop is going to be. You know, if they — we’ll do a stop. We’ll do a lot of OTRs, off the records. We’ll meet a lot of great Americans. And then I’ll write about that at the end of the day.
And it’s not about me. It’s not a publicity-seeking tour. It’s about highlighting the great things about America. And the media can figure out where we’re going if they do their investigative or they are going to keep kind of , as you put it, going crazy trying to figure out what we’re doing…. – Fox News, 5-31-11