Will she, or won't she? According to Sarah Palin's spokesman, we probably won't know either way for quite some time:
The 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, who acknowledged last week that she is “seriously considering” a run for the presidency, will continue her “One Nation” tour with as-yet-to-be-announced stops in New England. The trip will take her to “historical sites that were key to the formation, survival, and growth of the United States of America,” said spokesman Tim Crawford.
Palin-watchers should jump to “no conclusions” about the former Alaska governor’s 2012 plans, Crawford told National Journal. Crawford indicated to National Journal that any announcement about Palin’s plans may be months away. Last week, in an interview with Fox News, Palin said that her timetable will be dictated by legal filing deadlines, the first of which falls in October, when Utah requires candidates to file for its presidential primary ballot.
Translation: She's gonna milk this buzz for all it's worth. And why wouldn't she? She's getting gobs of attention, she's keeping her profile sky-high, she's pressing the flesh with voters from coast to coast, and she's doing it all without jeopardizing her Fox News gig:
Fox News does not plan to suspend its contributor contract with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin just yet even though she’s about to embark on a campaign-style bus tour.
Palin’s “One Nation” bus tour, starting in Washington on Sunday and making its way into New England, could be the sign of a Palin presidential campaign to come. Palin’s political action committee, SarahPAC, announced the bus tour Thursday. The tour is not described by SarahPAC as the beginning of an exploratory campaign, but rather as a “good way to … appreciate the significance of our nation’s historic sites, patriotic events and diverse cultures.”
Two other Fox News contributors who are running or exploring a bid for president, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, had their contracts suspended by the network when it became clear they were thinking seriously about a White House run.
Love her or hate her, Sarah Palin is a master at keeping herself relevant -- which is a valuable asset for an ambitious politician.
UPDATE - A tidbit from the "won't she" side of this equation:
For all the chatter — on blogs, cable news and elsewhere — that Palin’s latest series of moves has occasioned, there remains no evidence in any early voting primary or caucus state that she or her political team are doing anything to lay the groundwork for a 2012 bid.
“There has been zero outreach, zero effort,” said one senior South Carolina strategist of Palin. “Even when she was here for the [Gov. Nikki] Haley endorsement and the book signing, she swooped in [and] swooped out.”
An Iowa operative closely monitoring the 2012 race in the state although unaligned with any candidate echoed that sentiment. “If [Palin] is doing any outreach at all, it would have to be totally under the radar and not with the traditional activist crowd.”
(h/t: Ed Morrissey)
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography
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