Sarah Palin’s Bus Tour: A Campaign Event, Or The Oddest Family Vacation Ever

Time’s Jay Newton-Small tries to reconcile the reality of the “One Nation” bus tour with Sarah Palin’s statements:

Palin says she is not inviting media attention on her family vacation. But she’s driving around a giant bus painted with “One Nation; Sarah Palin” on the side and a banner at the back reading: Join the “Fundamental Restoration of America”. And while the rest of her family is in flip-flops and shorts, she’s dressing in candidate- style clothing: skirts and heels and jackets with tiny American and Israeli flags on her lapel. Not to mention the ready-for-TV makeup. On most of the stops, Palin hasn’t lingered: she didn’t see the slave quarters or take the cruise at Mount Vernon; she spent only 20 minutes at Fort McHenry, 30 minutes at the National Archives; under an hour at Gettysburg and Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Really, just long enough for a photo op, to answer a couple of questions from reporters and to sign some paraphernalia for supporters. And her staff is leaking to select reporters where and when she’s going next in case they lose the bus. But, really, it’s all coincidence.

Palin announced this tour and began it a week before the June 1 Federal Election Commission reporting deadline. She heavily hyped her SarahPAC website on Facebook and Twitter and on the side of the bus. Every blog post came with a plea for donations. Because showing strong fundraising ability is really important… for a private citizen and Fox News contributor. Coincidence.

She just happened to stumble upon Donald Trump along the way. And they just happened to have dinner in the most visible fishbowl restaurant on the busiest corner of New York’s Times Square – because that couldn’t possibly be designed to draw attention.

And talk about timing, she just happened to beef up her staff and buy a house in the city her staff has long mulled basing a campaign out of right before the trip. Yes, there are no coincidences in life and Sarah Palin’s really not running for President.

And yet, through it all, Fox News continues to operate under the illusion that it isn’t treating her differently than it treated Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and Mike Huckabee.
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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. CB says:

    man, who cares. she will run, her base will love it, she will come in third or fourth in republican primaries, and then we can all get on with our lives. ignore this circus.

  2. kincaid says:

    jealousy is ugly,
    Player Hater. Don’t hate the player, hate the game

  3. Murray says:

    I don’t think she’s treated differently from Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and Mike Huckabee, because I don’t think she’ll run. This tour is just a publicity stunt to keep her in the spotlight at the expense of her PAC.

  4. James in LA says:

    She stepped on Mittens’ tepid I’m Running But Not Losing Yet Again speech, in which he told us in his best game show host deadpan that everything in the universe is the fault of Obama, who is THE worst (insert pathetic hyperbole here). Nothing about the future, nothing about jobs, just a speech that McCain gave in 2008.

    In other words, she didn’t interrupt anything important. I had a lab partner like Sarah once. She was the perpetual high schooler who deliberately fouls experiments when it is about to be revealed how little she knows, and how much she relies on negative thought and emotion just to get up the morning.

  5. MarkedMan says:

    Is she running for VP again?