Bad news: Media “confused” by Palin’s bus tour; Update: Tour to include stops in Iowa

posted at 2:45 pm on May 30, 2011 by Allahpundit

I’m less confused than they are, but there is one aspect of it that I don’t get.

Day 2 of Sarah Palin’s bus tour, and the former vice presidential nominee has prompted little more than confusion at exactly what she is up to.

Palin started Memorial Day at the National Archives in Washington, but the only reporters who made it to her brief media availability there were those who happened to see tourists posting on Twitter that they had spotted her…

For supporters and reporters looking for more details, Palin isn’t providing. Palin’s staff has been either unresponsive to reporters’ requests or told them to check the SarahPAC website, which only updates with information after she’s stopped somewhere.

CNN reported Monday that some of Palin’s supporters had already started to gather midday at Gettysburg in hopes that she might be on her way. But by then, Palin’s bus was rolling into Mount Vernon instead.

The Times snarks that, notwithstanding the branded bus she’s riding around in and the obvious campaign implications of a tour that’s destined for New Hampshire, she’s “made it quite clear that she just wants to be left alone.” Which isn’t really true: She’s been chatting with supporters along the way but keeping her interactions with the media scrum that’s following her around to a minimum. Why make a huge press splash by announcing a tour of the country’s major historical sites and then not do any media availabilities or photo ops with local pols along the way? Time’s Jay Newton-Small speculates:

Where does she go next? North –her staff will say nothing more. Political reporters have fanned out from Antietam to Gettysburg on Sunday afternoon in anticipation of her next potential stop. Congratulations, Sarah Palin, you have turned the Washington press corps into a bunch of paparazzi stalking your every move.

As Palin moves up the East Coast, ending her trip in politically important New Hampshire, the press seems poised to follow. I would say Palin’s goal is to torture the “lame stream media,” but there may be more going through her mind. In many ways, it’s a smart ploy. The frustration and time spent looking for Palin, only to have her say next to nothing, is driving the press wild. Even if it yields few stories, Palin still controls her own message by blogging the trip herself, and forcing everyone to check her website to see what she’s saying and where she’s going.

The goal of the road trip seems to be two fold: 1) to bring the attention back to her after months of laying low, and 2) raise money for her political acti0n committee ahead of June’s Federal Election Commission reporting deadline.

Exactly. She needed the media to help put the word out about the bus tour, but once that mission was accomplished, she made SarahPAC a near-exclusive outlet for coverage. The photos of her at the National Archives posted there right now are, in fact, exclusive from what I can tell. It’s very much Palin’s M.O. to want to reach her supporters directly, without any media filter, so that makes sense. And like Newton-Small says, it’s smart politics to elevate SarahPAC’s profile given the prominence of the “Donate” button on the site. (Even the bus tour pop-up that greets you there contains a donation link.) If she’s serious about running, she’ll have to bankroll the campaign through small contributions. Pegging the bus tour to the website now is a shrewd way to nudge her supporters into thinking about that.

Or maybe it’s even more than that:

Sarah Palin’s “One Nation” Bus Tour launched Sunday, but is it an unofficial exploratory phase for a potential 2012 run or is it a Palin family vacation stopping in historic sites in the Northeast? The answer may well be both.

According to a source with knowledge of Palin’s operation and thinking, keep a careful eye on how long the tour lasts, because it is intended as a way to test the presidential waters. If the road trip ends abruptly, it’s a sign she didn’t get the enthusiastic responses she believes she needs to launch a campaign. If the tour heads to regions outside of the Northeast like Iowa and South Carolina that, the source says, is a “big indicator” that Palin will pull the trigger.

If that’s true, that she’s using the tour to gauge grassroots interest in her candidacy, then they must be keeping a close eye on the daily donation take too. It’s a better indicator of enthusiasm than the crowds at the tour stops, needless to say, since it’s immune from bad weather, people having other plans over the holiday, etc. Which brings me to the one aspect of this that I don’t understand: Why not announce her itinerary in advance on the SarahPAC website? Having huge crowds of supporters waiting to meet her at each stop would make for dynamite photo ops, especially in contrast to the palpable lack of excitement surrounding Romney and Pawlenty. Could be she’s worried that announcing the schedule in advance would also bring out the Palin critics, but that’s an unavoidable risk for any pol making a public appearance. Plus, her supporters are famously more devoted than most politicians’; I’d bet cash money that the cheers from local supporters would swamp any boos along the way. Why not give them a heads up?

Update: Another big Palin scoop for RCP, which obviously has an inside track with SarahPAC:

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will travel to Iowa next month as part of her nationwide bus tour, two sources with direct knowledge of the plan told RealClearPolitics…

Though Palin has insisted that her “One Nation” bus tour — being kicked off from Washington over the holiday weekend — is intended merely to “highlight America’s foundation,” RCP has learned that the road trip was designed as a test run to find out whether she can execute a decidedly unconventional campaign game plan.

Palin — and especially her husband, Todd — is said to be leaning toward running. But multiple sources said that their foremost remaining concern was whether it would be logistically feasible for their large family to hit the road together for the next several months in a prospective campaign that would rely heavily on bus travel.

The Shushannah Walshe piece that I quoted above also called the bus tour a test run — and said that if it detoured to Iowa, that’d be a “big indicator” that she was in. On the other hand, we already knew that the “Undefeated” movie would debut in Iowa next month; although there was no confirmation that Palin would attend the opening (RCP’s story about the movie claimed “Palin aides have not yet decided whether the former governor will play an active role in the film’s premiere”), it’s no great surprise that she might, in which case it makes sense that the bus tour might end up there. Smoking gun that she’s running or not?


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Comment pages: 1 6 7 8

What are those reasons, pray tell?

pseudoforce on May 31, 2011 at 11:16 AM

I am trying to get every argument possible to every question I have in order to vet her as a serious candidate. What better place to get those arguments than from her fans? And since people have jobs, the best time to get answers would be in the evening.

csdeven on May 31, 2011 at 11:29 AM

She announces it on a website and then the media absolutely HAVE to follow her every move? That’s her fault?

pseudoforce on May 31, 2011 at 11:27 AM

Why announce a private family vacation anywhere or to anyone other than family?

csdeven on May 31, 2011 at 11:30 AM

Wearing a visor and shorts to greet supporters and tourists outside her hotel, she played it coy when asked whether she would rather not have the press with her: “I think I don’t have a choice,” she said, adding, “We don’t want to disrupt people on their trips and on their vacations and make it chaotic for these good folks.”

She announced the tour and then claims she didn’t have a choice? Is that anything like making herself a lame duck and then complaining she can’t get anything done because she is a lame duck?

csdeven on May 31, 2011 at 11:02 AM

This is how easily dolts like you are fooled – Palin is asked stupid, loaded questions like this just so the media can drive the narrative that you are only too blissfully happy to swallow.

fossten on May 31, 2011 at 11:31 AM

Why announce a private family vacation anywhere or to anyone other than family?

csdeven on May 31, 2011 at 11:30 AM

It doesn’t matter if she took out an ad in the NYT. The media doesn’t have to show her any more attention than they give to Romney. Or Bachmann. Why aren’t they dogging those two?

pseudoforce on May 31, 2011 at 11:32 AM

Heh, go to my blog (especially trolls!) because they need a refresher on the amount of crowds that she can gather.

ProudPalinFan on May 31, 2011 at 11:10 AM

Okay. 1 free hit to you from me. Nice layout by the way.

csdeven on May 31, 2011 at 11:32 AM

csdeven on May 31, 2011 at 11:25 AM

Your concern is hilarious….LOL

idesign on May 31, 2011 at 11:33 AM

It doesn’t matter if she took out an ad in the NYT. The media doesn’t have to show her any more attention than they give to Romney. Or Bachmann. Why aren’t they dogging those two?

pseudoforce on May 31, 2011 at 11:32 AM

Sure it matters. Any rational person would know that yelling “fire” in a crowded theater would cause a predictable reaction. Unless Sarah is completely irrational, she had to have known that making a public announcement of a family vacation would cause a predictable result. As a matter of fact, I’ve seen Palin supporters giddy with glee that she has played the media like a fiddle on this proclaiming her brilliance in the way she has pawn3d the LSM. So, she either did it on purpose and is now complaining, or she is completely clueless and is complaining.

When Romney or Bachmann announce a movie and a tour, the media will follow them also.

csdeven on May 31, 2011 at 11:38 AM

No troll has ever been this bad. Maybe this is some comedy routine?

faraway on May 31, 2011 at 11:38 AM

Per Scott Conroy:

Palin at coffeeshop in Dillsburg, PA

http://twitpic.com/55222s

powerpro on May 31, 2011 at 11:38 AM

No troll has ever been this bad. Maybe this is some comedy routine?

faraway on May 31, 2011 at 11:38 AM

You might be right, I’m laughing my @ss off…LOL

idesign on May 31, 2011 at 11:41 AM

Unless Sarah is completely irrational, she had to have known that making a public announcement of a family vacation would cause a predictable result. As a matter of fact, I’ve seen Palin supporters giddy with glee that she has played the media like a fiddle on this proclaiming her brilliance in the way she has pawn3d the LSM. So, she either did it on purpose and is now complaining, or she is completely clueless and is complaining.

csdeven on May 31, 2011 at 11:38 AM

What complaining? She said she doesn’t have a choice as to whether the media want to dog her or not. They don’t have to cover her. They can ignore her and concentrate on Romney or Pawlenty or Bachmann or Huntsman or anyone else.

pseudoforce on May 31, 2011 at 11:41 AM

It’s a lovery one-note tune though, don’t you think?

Freelancer on May 31, 2011 at 11:41 AM

It’s a lovery one-note tune though, don’t you think?

Freelancer on May 31, 2011 at 11:41 AM

mmm,mmm,mmm

katy the mean old lady on May 31, 2011 at 11:44 AM

Okay. 1 free hit to you from me. Nice layout by the way.

csdeven on May 31, 2011 at 11:32 AM

Thanks! And I have some change-up and updates to do.

ProudPalinFan on May 31, 2011 at 11:47 AM

Dittohead here will sign off to watch Rush. To watch him is an experience that is out of this world!

ProudPalinFan on May 31, 2011 at 11:53 AM

It’s funny that deven thinks she deliberately alerted media to her tour. She put the announcement on FB and Twitter, meaning she was alerting us, her fans, to her tour. The media found out the same way everybody else did and they fall all over themselves to follow her around. She isn’t asking them to do it.

alwaysfiredup on May 31, 2011 at 12:04 PM

The only real question about today’s coverage is: Who is the cs states of Tara today? (Or Sybil, for us older folks)…

Tennman on May 31, 2011 at 12:12 PM

csdeven on May 31, 2011 at 11:25 AM

Don’t look, walk and quack like a duck, then complain because people think you are a duck.

littleguy on May 31, 2011 at 12:36 PM

Why announce a private family vacation anywhere or to anyone other than family?

csdeven on May 31, 2011 at 11:30 AM

Gosh, had I thought about that important point, I wouldn’t have ever said that I’d vote for such a deeply flawed person. Now I’ve got to go to confession – who should I vote for? Is that cute Wendall Wilkie or that Gary Hart still in the running?

What a trivial argument about nothing of value. What’s next -her hairstyle?

Don L on May 31, 2011 at 12:43 PM

Didn’t Reagan make his campaign about getting America back to greatness instead of keying on the negatives America has been through? I see a paralell here. It worked for Reagan. I think it can also work for The Cuda.

44Magnum on May 31, 2011 at 1:12 PM

When I first visited Gettysburg years ago, I was overwhelmed with the sense of sacrifice made to secure our union, but my most recent visit this morning was even more significant as subsequent visits allow reflection on the state of our union today. Striking to me is how ready and willing troops and civilians were in 1863 to lay their lives on the line. Are we as ready and willing to accept the call for sacrifice today in order to keep our union secure?

Hopefully the kids on school field trips whom we met this morning grasped the poignant irony at the site we toured together: that such a beautiful stretch of the Pennsylvania countryside should have been the site of the bloodiest battle in the Civil War. But perhaps it’s fitting that such a sacred place should be so beautiful now in order to commemorate the terrible sacrifices made to bring about, in the words of Lincoln’s famous address, “a new birth of freedom.”

But this “new birth of freedom” wasn’t fully realized by the generation that paid the price for it. Over 100 years after the battle, Martin Luther King, Jr. stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and declared, “Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.” It took the struggle for Civil Rights to truly complete what Lincoln called “the unfinished work” for which the heroes of Gettysburg “gave the last full measure of devotion.”

Today, when we speak of “fundamentally restoring all that is good in America,” we remember the debt of gratitude we owe to those who sacrificed to create and preserve our union. From the Civil War to the struggle for Civil Rights, generations of Americans have made great sacrifices necessary to pass on to us this great gift of freedom. It’s our duty to them to preserve it, cherish it, and pass it on to our children, so “that these dead shall not have died in vain…and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

When duty calls, are we willing to answer today? Please remember that freedom isn’t free – the price paid for our liberty has been great.

The reminders of the past costs are seen at Gettysburg. The way forward in protecting our unified body is encapsulated in Lincoln’s 2nd inaugural address: “…with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds.”

- Sarah Palin

unseen on May 31, 2011 at 1:20 PM

pseudoforce on May 31, 2011 at 11:41 AM

Okay. I’ll consider that.

csdeven on May 31, 2011 at 1:23 PM

Haven’t read the whole thread, but:

I would say Palin’s goal is to torture the “lame stream media,” …

And I would say that torturing* the LSM as much as possible is a worthy goal for anyone, any time, anywhere. ;-)

*In the metaphorical sense, of course.

Mary in LA on May 31, 2011 at 2:00 PM

1) to bring the attention back to her after months of laying low

I remember several Hot Air commentators mentioning that “laying low” for any period of time was a reason for disqualification. What do you bet Sara gets a pass from them?

scotash on May 31, 2011 at 3:31 PM

1) to bring the attention back to her after months of laying low

I remember several Hot Air commentators mentioning that “laying low” for any period of time was a reason for disqualification. What do you bet Sara gets a pass from them?

scotash on May 31, 2011 at 3:31 PM

Has she been in taller grass than frontrunner Romney has been over the past 3 years? Nah, never.

pseudoforce on May 31, 2011 at 5:06 PM

But she didn’t yell, “fire.”

She yelled, “I’m going to get popcorn.”

What kind of person yells “I’m going to get some popcorn!” in a crowded theater?

csdeven on May 31, 2011 at 6:50 PM

No, I believe she crashed it for her own selfish benefit. Read what Tom Shpak said. Have you noticed that the actual Rolling Thunder ride was completely eclipsed by her presence?

Well, read what a few others connected to Rolling Thunder said (amply linked at HA, if you can read). Just because Shpak did not get the word. . .

Also, watch the video of her there, and see that ALL she says is she is there to support RT’s mission.

Too bad you do not have 2% of SP’s class, integrity or intelligence, eh?

Siddhartha Vicious on May 31, 2011 at 8:06 PM

What difference does it make? She surely didn’t yell, “fire.”

blink on May 31, 2011 at 10:35 PM

You response illustrates my point that Sarah brought unneeded attention to her family vacation and now she is complaining about it.

csdeven on June 1, 2011 at 7:28 AM

She’s claiming that it’s not her fault that the media has decided to chase her.

blink on June 1, 2011 at 12:53 PM

What person announces to the media a private family vacation? No one unless they are inviting interest. And unless Sarah is completely clueless, she knew the media would follow her. Now she complains that they are following her. Not buying it.

csdeven on June 1, 2011 at 6:32 PM

blink on June 1, 2011 at 9:22 PM

1) They do not announce it and then complain about the press.
2) She said it was a family vacation and complained that the press was following her around.
3) RCP
4) Why are you obsessed with defending her?

csdeven on June 1, 2011 at 11:12 PM

csdeven,

Can you tell me where you found: that Palin announced to the press that she was taking her road trip? Where she complained about the press following her?

What I’ve picked up is that she announced on FB that her family was touring America. I don’t remember seeing a press release to that effect. From the stories that I’ve seen, it’s been the press that are complaining that she isn’t providing and itinerary.

Gohawgs on June 2, 2011 at 1:10 AM

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