Sarah Palin tour heads to New England

May 31, 2011

By Jackie Kucinich, USA TODAY

ASHINGTON — Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin spent the second day of her self-labeled “One Nation” bus tour visiting some of the nation’s most recognizable historic sites, taking photos with tourists and fueling speculation she may run in 2012.

During a morning stop Monday at the National Archives, home of the Constitution, Declaration of Independenceand other founding documents, Palin told a reporter she and her family were “kind of contemplating” whether she will run for president, but later insisted her bus tour was not “a campaign bus.”

“This is a bus to be able to express to America how much we appreciate our foundation and to invite more people to be interested in all that is good about America and to remind ourselves we don’t need to fundamentally transform America; we need to restore what’s good about America,” she said.

Palin aides have closely guarded the schedule for the tour, telling reporters to check the SarahPAC website for updates. The tour will continue into New England, according to the site.

Palin kicked off the tour Sunday in Washington, riding along on the back of a motorcycle during the annual Rolling Thunder Memorial Day weekend event.

After leaving the Archives, Palin then made a stop at President George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate where she was repeatedly approached by tourists asking for pictures with the former vice presidential candidate.

Near the end of her visit, Palin, flanked by a small entourage, and security, stopped to chat briefly with a group of well-wishers before moving on to Fort McHenry in Baltimore, the site of a crucial battle in the War of 1812.

While there, Palin told CNN that the bus would eventually head to Iowa.

“I’m sure at some point I will be going to Iowa,” Palin said. “At some point.”

If she decides to run, GOP strategists and lawmakers agreed on Sunday she would have a noticeable impact on the 2012 race.

“I think she does command a great deal of attention,” former National Republican Committee chairman Ed Gillespie said Sunday on ABC’s This Week. “But I, like everyone else here, have no idea whether or not she’s, you know, going to run or not.”

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