WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Sarah Palin rolled into Washington on Sunday on the back of a Harley-Davidson, sparking a frenzy of attention and renewed speculation about her 2012 presidential plans.
Palin, in black jeans, leather jacket and motorcycle helmet, joined tens of thousands of participants in the annual Rolling Thunder motorcycle rally, which honors military veterans.
Palin joined the riders in the Pentagon parking lot before heading to the rally on the Mall in downtown Washington. Her arrival sparked a mad crush of photographers and fans who swarmed the 2008 vice presidential nominee, taking photos and getting autographs.
"Nice to meet you," Palin told a motorcycle rider. "Thanks for doing what you're doing for the veterans."
Palin's participation in the rally was the kickoff of a campaign-style East Coast bus tour of historical sites that has focused attention on her presidential plans.
Her website said the "One Nation" bus tour was part of a drive to educate Americans on the country's founding principles, although her camp has been vague about the details.
In addition to the bus tour and a revamped website, the former Alaska governor has made several other moves in the past week that have raised speculation about her political plans.
Palin authorized a feature-length film about herself that will premiere next month in Iowa, the state that kicks off the race for the Republican nomination in February. She reportedly has also bought a home in Arizona where she could base her campaign.
(Reporting by John Whitesides; Editing by Eric Beech)