The obligatory “Palin’s bus tour might be over, or maybe not” post; Update: Palin cancels planned trip to Sudan
posted at 4:40 pm on June 22, 2011 by Allahpundit
I felt like the “double rainbow” guy reading this. Ohhhhhhhhh, wha-ha-wowwwww. What does this mean?
Though Palin and her staff never announced a timeline for the remaining legs of her trip, aides had drafted preliminary itineraries that would have taken her through the Midwest and Southeast at some point this month. But those travel blueprints are now in limbo, RCP has learned, as Palin and her family have reverted to the friendly confines of summertime Alaska, where the skies are currently alight for over 19 hours a day and the Bristol Bay salmon fishing season is nearing its peak.
As Palin enjoys her sojourn to the 49th state, she has not reconnected with key early-state figures like Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, and she may have jeopardized whatever political momentum she gained from her recent reemergence in the 2012 discussion. Her political action committee’s website still greets visitors with a stale banner, announcing the nationwide bus tour beginning “[t]his Sunday, May 29th.”…
And earlier this week, some of her staunchest supporters grew concerned about gossip suggesting that she had reached out to Texas Gov. Rick Perry about lending her support to his potential presidential run. But two Perry aides told RCP that they were not aware of any recent contact between Palin and the Texas governor.
Palin’s extended hiatus could mean that in spite of her readily apparent “fire in the belly,” her family has persuaded her not to further pursue the presidency. Alternatively, it could indicate just the opposite — that she is plotting her next move and wants to ensure that it is well thought-out — and that she retains the element of surprise. Indeed, the problem with assessing how Palin’s movements figure into her 2012 calculus is that she remains one of the most unpredictable political figures in America — even to her most trusted aides.
That’s from RCP’s Scott Conroy, who’s rattled off a series of Palin scoops over the past month. First he broke the news about “The Undefeated,” then he had early details about her bus tour, then a few days later he revealed that the tour would include stops in Iowa (according to “two sources with direct knowledge of the plan”). On June 2, he warned readers that Palin really, truly might not have made up her mind on whether to run, noting that “Several close Palin associates, in recent private conversations with RCP, have said the same thing.” All of which is to say, this guy clearly has an in with people in her orbit and presumably reached out to them to discuss the sudden change of plans. If they knew that the tour would be picking up again later this summer or that she’s hunkered down in anticipation of an announcement, I take it they would have said something to him to steer him away from his suggestion that she may have jeopardized the media momentum from her bus tour by suspending it before the final legs. The “unpredictable Palin” meme isn’t one they want floating around on the eve of a potential presidential campaign. I’m surprised they left it hanging out there for Conroy.
Update: Another change of plans, this one attributed to “scheduling” reasons. What does this mean?
Palin scrapped her plans to visit the North African country for scheduling reasons, several sources close to Palin said. She was planning to travel with Franklin Graham, the son of evangelical leader Billy Graham, as well as Fox News personality Greta Van Susteren to the July 9 independence ceremony of South Sudan, the sources said…
One U.S. official who spoke on condition of anonymity because of Palin’s potential political aspirations said the governor had gotten so far in the planning process as to secure permission from the government of South Sudan to attend the independence ceremony. The official said Palin was planning to travel with Van Susteren in addition to Graham.
The official said one challenge of the trip was security; Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is also tentatively scheduled to attend the ceremony, may not make the trip because of safety concerns in one of the world’s most war-torn countries.
Update: A new tweet from Palin herself:
I did? Hmm, glad I have media to let me know my plans. They never cease to amaze MT “@foxheadlines Palin Ends Bus Tour http://fxn.ws/ip0mgb”
The media outlet she’s chastising there is … Fox News. Note the non-denial denial too; she used the same sort of rhetoric last week in responding to R.S. McCain’s report that she was close to deciding whether to run or not.
Update: A reader points to this June 1 report at ABC as proof that Palin always intended to return to Alaska after the northeastern leg of the bus tour ended. Right — I don’t think Conroy’s suggesting otherwise. His point isn’t that she’s made some sort of unplanned trip home, it’s that allegedly her aides prepared an itinerary for a new leg of the tour and that itinerary’s not being implemented for some unknown reason. If staying home for the better part of June was always the plan, presumably one of Conroy’s sources would have told him that to set him straight.