The Daily Beast's Shushannah Walshe wrote this morning:
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 Ms. Walshe's source is right, and if RCP's Scott Conroy's sources are right, then Gov. Palin just fired a round and hit the target dead center:
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.This game is soooo on...
Palin's trip to the nation's first voting state -- where she has not yet set foot this year --will further escalate the already feverish speculation that she is leaning toward a White House run.
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 answer to that question will play a critical role in how the 2012 race develops.
A political Merry Prankster, Palin clearly relishes her unique ability to confound and surprise her prospective opponents, as she test-drives a possible presidential run that she and her team -- with a discernible wink -- have publicly billed as something akin to a mere sightseeing trip.
Update: Gov. Palin confirmed to CNN Monday that that her "One Nation" bus tour will roll across the key presidential primary state of Iowa:
"I'm sure at some point I will be going to Iowa," Palin said during a visit to Fort McHenry in Baltimore. "At some point."Her tour through Iowa would be her first trip to The Hawkeye State since she made a book tour stop there in December. The governor's most recent speaking engagement in the state was a fund-raising dinner for the Iowa GOP last September.
The comments come on the heels of a RealClearPolitics website story that said Palin is planning a visit to Iowa in June, the same month a documentary about her rise to power is set to debut in the Hawkeye State.