4:59pm

Thu May 26, 2011
It's All Politics

Sarah Palin Bus Tour, Home Purchase, Film Fuel 2012 Speculation

Can't an Alaskan woman announce an East Coast bus tour that will take her to New Hampshire; buy a house in the lower 48, and be the subject of a new, authorized documentary without triggering all kinds of speculation that she'll soon be running for president?

Not if she's Sarah Palin.

News of all these events is generating coverage of the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee this week and causing some to ask whether she's gearing up for a presidential run. Or not.

Back in the day, Palin earned a reputation as a very aggressive high school basketball player. So she still probably knows a thing or two about faking out opponents with a strong head and ball fake.

In the end, this may be just be the political version of that. Palin has made millions of dollars as a Fox News Channel personality, and from books and speeches. Running for president would put at least a temporary halt on those money making activities.

Keeping her brand name in the mix as a possible GOP presidential candidate only helps that income stream.

But whether she intends to run or not, she's polling so well with Republicans. And often a fake is followed by a strong move to the goal and a score.

A new Gallup Poll has her essentially running right with Mitt Romney, with the former Massachusetts governor polling at 17 percent and Palin at 15 percent.

Unfortunately, "none/no opinion" outpolled both of them at 22 percent of Republican voters. Also, Donald Trump was polling at similar levels just a few weeks ago.

Palin, one of American politics' most polarizing figures since 2008, is launching her "One Nation Tour" this weekend. According to her Sarah PAC website:

Starting this weekend, Sarah Palin will embark on a One Nation Tour of historical sites that were key to the formation, survival, and growth of the United States of America. The tour will originate in Washington DC and will proceed north up the east coast. More information will follow.

Politico reports that Palin plans on stopping at Civil War battlefields.

Palin will also be stopping at other spots of symbolic national significance on the East Coast, including the Civil War battlefields at Gettysburg and Antietam, and the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia.

Jim Rutenberg and Jeff Zeleny of the New York Times reported that Palin and her husband Todd are thought to be the purchasers of a $1.7 million Scottsdale, AZ house. The speculation is that the air connections are easier from Arizona than Alaska which would make a national campaign easier.

But another possible explanation, the NYT notes, is that the Palins just want to be closer to their daughter Bristol who recently bought a house in nearby Maricopa.

Stay tuned.

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