RealClearPolitics political reporter Scott Conroy's takeaway from covering the first leg of Gov. Palin's nationwide bus tour is though the 2008 GOP vice presidential candidate may be genuinely undecided about a 2012 presidential run, she is without a doubt having fun:
At just about every stop she made along her East Coast jaunt, the former Alaska governor took in the scenery, chatted amiably with locals, signed autographs and always seemed to have a smile on her face while she was doing it. And whenever members of the "lamestream media" shoved audio recorders and video cameras in her face, Palin cheerfully and thoroughly answered our questions, often lingering far longer than her small team of aides and daughter Piper would have liked.The big question should have a answer soon. Gov. Palin has said in several recent interviews that her decision will come in a matter of weeks.
But perhaps there is a simple answer to whether Palin will run that neither her most ardent fans nor her inside-the-Beltway critics seem to fathom: She truly hasn't decided yet.
Each time Palin was asked The Question last week, she insisted -- with a thinly veiled exasperation missing during her answers to other queries -- that her mind was not yet made up. Several close Palin associates, in recent private conversations with RCP, have said the same thing.
Throughout her career, she has embraced the role of the underdog, and anyone who spent significant time around her over the past week would be hard-pressed to escape the perception that she is indeed inclined to run. Her ultimate decision, as she herself has said, will likely be determined by where her family comes down on the matter.
Though he said that he is "not pushing her either way," Todd Palin -- Sarah's husband and also her closest adviser -- offered a revealing indicator of where his own thinking stood during a brief interaction with reporters in Pennsylvania last week.
"There are pros and cons, of course, but this country -- we have to get back on the right track," he said. "This family has been tested. When people talk about ‘She was just plucked up out of Wasilla,' you have to look at her career. Every step in her career is another step for the family, and we were prepared."