Sarah Palin has proved masterful at jerking around the “lamestream media” with her bizarre bus tour of the Northeast. (Now she’s reportedly on her way to Philadelphia to see the Liberty Bell.)
What’s she about? Running for president? It might not matter.
Palin has said that the PAC-financed One Nation bus trip is just a family vacation to historical sites, not that anyone really believes that. The trip was launched with a slick, campaign-commercial style video and breathless blog posts on her web site stating that its mission was nothing less than the “restoration” of America to its fundamental values as expressed in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.
In the bifurcated way of nearly everything Palin has done since bursting on the scene as the Republican vice presidential nominee in 2008, the trip is framed as either the Evita-style ego trip of a politician struggling to re-establish her relevance, or a genuine and unconventional way to explore a presidential campaign that the media and political elite simply cannot understand.
At any rate, it is confusing to follow. Palin’s staff has ignored media questions or else suggested reporters consult the SarahPAC website, which does not list the stops until after they are over. Buttons for donations are prominent on the site, however.
Palin would no doubt upend the Republican race if she were to get in – she has a core of devoted followers and is popular among Christian conservatives – but some recent polls suggest the former Alaska governor would have a hard time winning the nomination, and almost no chance of winning a general election against President Obama.
In late April, for instance, Gallup asked Republican voters which potential candidate they would definitely not vote for – Palin was named by 37 percent, by far the most toxic name on the list. Sixty-five percent of registered voters overall (including Democrats and independents) said they would never vote for her.