Gov. Palin's long-rumored overseas excursion may be resolving into more concrete plans. The Daily Beast's Shushannah Walshe reports that Sarah Palin will be visiting Israel and England, both countries she has said she wanted to travel to in the past. Walshe says the schedule and itinerary is still being firmed up, but points out that a trip overseas next year will boost Gov. Palin's foreign policy credentials, which would be a plus for her should she decide to run for president in 2012:
Up to now Palin’s travel outside of North America includes visiting troops in Germany and Kuwait while she was governor and last year she gave a speech on the economy in Hong Kong. During the 2008 campaign, there was some confusion about whether she had also visited Iraq when traveling to see soldiers in Kuwait, but that turned out to be a visit to the border. McCain staffers at the time also said she had visited Ireland, but that was a re-fueling stopover.Walshe notes that the governor has two foreign policy advisors, Randy Scheunemann and Michael Goldfarb, and she has been writing more often about issues of global interest on her Facebook page.
Palin has long wanted to visit Israel, and in a recent Facebook post wishing the Jewish community a Happy Hanukkah she reconfirmed her support for the Jewish state: “Today we should all recommit ourselves to ensuring that the miracle of a Jewish state endures forever. The dreidel is one of the most familiar symbols of Hanukkah, with Hebrew letters on it representing the phrase Nes Gadol Haya Sham—‘a great miracle happened there.’ Indeed a great miracle is still happening there.”
Last June, Palin announced on her Facebook page that she had been invited to visit London and have a meeting with one of her “political heroines,” Margaret Thatcher. She also wished the “Iron Lady,” who suffers from dementia, a happy birthday in October.
The former Alaska governor was criticized in 2008 for her limited global travel, but this first foreign trip post-governorship would burnish her foreign-policy credentials and would certainly be accompanied by a media frenzy as both the Israeli and English press follow her closely.
Update: Palin aide Rebecca Mansour, via email to NRO, says that “the governor has no firm plans that she will announce right now for an Israel or UK trip.”