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Sarah Palin Rides Into DC On A Motorcycle

Brianne Walker |
May 30, 2011 | 11:53 a.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin rode into Washington DC Sunday to visit the US National Archives on the back of a Harley Davidson. This stop marks the start of her “One Nation” bus tour. 

Sarah Palin at an event in 2005
Sarah Palin at an event in 2005

Donning black leather and saying 'I love the smell of the emissions!', Palin attended the annual Rolling Thunder motorcycle rally for veterans with her husband and two of her daughters, The Los Angeles Times reported.

Palin said to ABC News that the tour is not for campaigning purposes but “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.”

Palin is to visit Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and Mount Vernon, Virginia this Memorial Day weekend, as well.

Others say all signs point to Palin being a presidential candidate.

Real Clear Politics' Scott Conroy, in a recent post about Palin's bus tour, said the tour is “another strong indicator that she is leaning toward jumping into the 2012 race”:

Though the expedition is certain to generate an avalanche of media attention, Palin will utilize the trip primarily to recapture the everywoman persona that was so integral to her political rise.

According to aides who have traveled with her on past campaigns, Palin loathes fundraisers and many of the other necessities of life on the trail, but she relishes opportunities to interact with voters face-to-face. Palin's retail politicking skills were indeed a key factor in her political rise in Alaska.

In spite of the celebrity profile that she has embraced since 2008, the unorthodox nature of the bus tour indicates that Palin recognizes that she would have to run a grass-roots campaign that removes some of her shine, in order to highlight her blue-collar persona.

Huffington Post blogger Michael JW Stickings similarly predicts Palin is running

Other clues that suggest her interest in a presidential campaign include the documentary on her titled “The Undefeated,” her recent purchase of a home in Scottsdale, Arizona and her rehiring two logistics aides John Rechner and Doug McMarlin.

A Gallup poll released Thursday showed Palin was second behind former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

Some other presidential candidates are making steps this holiday weekend to prepare for the election. 

CNN reports that Republican Michele Bachmann of Minnesota is spending the day in New Hampshire. Although Bachmann is said to make a presidential announcement in June in her hometown of Waterloo, Iowa, she has already hired staff in the key states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. And, former Minnesota Governor Republican Tim Pawlenty will spend the holiday in Iowa and have a pancake breakfast in Waukee. Romney did not release his holiday plans.

Reach reporter Brianne Walker here. Follow on Twitter here.



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