Ed Morrissey observes that SarahPAC's One Nation Tour wasn't a traditional listening tour as much as it was an object lesson in how the media treats Gov. Palin, and the whining and sometimes hysterical press pack made a spectacle of themselves:
The tour started with MSNBC reporting (mistakenly) that Palin would arrive uninvited to the Rolling Thunder motorcycle rally in Washington last weekend. This turned out to be untrue, and was based on an internal miscommunication at the veterans' organization that took only a few minutes to diagnose, as I did the same evening by checking with Rolling Thunder's media representative.Though Morrissey's observations are, as always, perceptive, he has swallowed -- hook, line and sinker -- the media narrative of Sarah Palin as kingmaker. This is a fallback position for the Democrat/Media Complex. Where they once argued that the former governor, mayor and oil & gas commissioner was not even "qualified" to read water meters or something, now they hope to discourage any talk of a potential Palin presidential candidacy by attempting to auction her off as someone who can theoretically choose the next GOP presidential nominee.
The coverage reached its nadir when reporters began claiming that Palin was putting their lives in danger by not giving them an itinerary of her bus tour, apparently because keeping up with a large and not exactly speedy bus decorated with the American flag was beyond the ability of journalists.
The media turned Palin's bus tour into a celebrity chase, instead of covering it as a political event. As a political event, Palin's travelogues show that it's been pretty low-key. She has not made grand speeches or committed to a campaign, but instead is using the tour to raise political action committee funds -- in the same way other announced and unannounced candidates have done for months, with little or no comparable national media coverage.
So why does Palin rate such a press gaggle and make headlines for her tour? Palin generates ratings and page views; she sells advertising. She puts money in the pockets of media outlets. And her bus tour has exposed the media's craving for all things Palin, even while they treat her as a fringe character in American politics. The bus tour puts that paradox on display for all to see.
Beyond exposing the media hypocrisy, what significance is there in the bus tour? It strengthens Palin's hand whether or not she decides to get in the race. A regional or national tour -- with the media in tow -- helps generate enthusiasm for a potential candidate and could affect perceptions and polling results. Assuming that the momentum builds throughout the tour, Palin would have the opportunity to announce her candidacy at a peak moment to take advantage of all the publicity.
One thing they always fail to mention when mouthing this meme is that there are no guarantees that her candidate of choice would be the one nominated at next year's RNC convention. Indeed, it is more likely, in our opinion, that if they somehow managed to get Gov. Palin to settle for the unofficial title of "kingmaker," the Geriatric Old Party's "good ol' boys" would go right ahead and push the candidate of their own choosing, in all probability a another Bob Dole whom voters would not perceive as being that much of a bargain. Fortunately, Sarah Palin is not one to "settle" for table scraps.