Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Shushannah Walshe on Day 2 of the One NationTour

Palin’s ease with a rope line and her politicking skills are one of her best assets
Shushannah Walshe, who covers the political beat for The Daily Beast and co-wrote Sarah From Alaska, reports on the second day of Gov. Palin’s One Nation bus tour, during which the governor dropped a few hints about what a potential Palin presidential campaign might look like, while keeping reporters earning their paycheck in the media's scramble to catch up with her:
At each stop Monday on her family vacation/testing the waters bus tour, Palin was greeted by supporters urging her to run, and by some reporters who were able to figure out her schedule. So far, she appears to be enjoying this untraditional tour immensely. It is clear that if she does run, her campaign won’t look anything like those of her rivals.

According to a source with knowledge of Palin’s thinking, the tour is a test of whether she can do it “her way,” which the source described as “nontraditional, low-cost, high-tech…. The key is to be totally unpredictable and always keep her rivals off-balance.

After two days on the road, Palin now realizes a campaign “could be fun and exciting,” the source said, and she’s getting “more into the swing of things” as she tours and realizes “the press is not hostile to her.” The source added that a “big part” of the tour was husband Todd Palin’s idea; he wanted to get “back onto the road, get into the swing of things, and see how the family pulled together.”


Unscripted moments that go badly can haunt a politician on YouTube during a campaign and into the future, but Palin’s ease with a rope line and her politicking skills are one of her best assets. A Palin campaign may not have a press bus or the more formal interviews that reporters crave, but her team will undoubtedly factor in added time for her to greet supporters and campaign not just in large rallies but one on one as well.


Besides touring the Gettysburg battlefields, where she may lay a wreath, Palin also is expected to make a stop Tuesday at the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. From there her tour heads north to New York City, with a possible stop at Ellis Island, and then on to the first primary state of New Hampshire.

Though Walshe describes the One Nation tour as a "testing the waters" endeavor, we believe that it may also be a test for the Palin and Heath families. They have already felt the impact of a vice presidential campaign on the family, but it was one poorly managed by the McCain team, and more importantly, it was done someone else's way. This time they are getting at least some glimpses of what a presidential campaign could be like when done their way. If the Heaths and Palins can have some fun along the way on this road trip, when and if it comes to a vote of family members, it may more likely be "yes," with perhaps a "hell yes" or two for good measure.

- JP

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