Tales from the Trail

Palin says tour is “not about me”

Is Sarah Palin running for president or isn’t she?

If  the former Alaska governor and Republican superstar knows the answer  to that question, she’s not saying.

And her silence has  speculation running rampant  over the meaning of her  family’s East Cost  bus tour of historic sites.

Is it  a dry-run for the 2012 campaign or just a brilliant burnishing of the Sarah Palin brand?

“It’s not about me. It’s not a publicity-seeking tour. It’s about highlighting the great things about America,” Palin  said in an interview with Fox News Channel’s Greta Van Susteren  aboard the bus on Tuesday.

Wherever the tour lands,  Palin has been swamped by media even though her exact schedule has been something  of a mystery.

Sarah Palin’s next move: television pundit

What’s left to do after running Alaska, running for Vice President, and authoring a bestselling book?

For Sarah Palin, it’s turning into a television pundit for FOX News.

USA-POLITICS/MCCAIN-PALINSince losing the 2008 election for the White House, Palin has not quietly faded into the obscurity from which John McCain plucked her.

Instead, she has firmly stayed in the public eye, waving her conservative ideals and gathering a following. People lined up for hours on her “Going Rogue” book tour to catch a glimpse of the former Republican candidate.

Republican northern light sparks up Southern town

Sarah Palin remains the hottest Republican ticket if the crowds and enthusiasm at her book signings are anything to go by.

On Friday she brought her “Going Rogue” book tour to Plano, an affluent town just north of Dallas that is in deeply red Republican country. About 1,500 people lined up for hours in the winter cold to wait for Palin’s bus. A lucky 1,000 among them had advance tickets to get their copy of her new autobiography signed.

USA-POLITICS/PALIN

The former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee clearly remains the northern light of the Republican Party that can spark up its Southern and conservative base. She now reigns almost unchallenged with this base after the apparent downfall of former Arkansas governor and Republican White House hopeful Mike Huckabee.

On book tour, it’s Palin unplugged

Like one of those grizzly bears way up yonder in Alaska, Sarah Palin was in hibernation for months while she wrote her book. And now that the book is out, she’s become unplugged.

The conservative firebrand, who says she was all “bottled up” by the John McCain staff on the campaign trail last year, is chock full of opinions and letting lose on all manner of subjects.

USA-POLITICS/MCCAIN-PALINLet’s go over several of them.

The shootings at Fort Hood were “an act of terrorism” and authorities missed “massive warning flags” about the alleged shooter, Major Nidal Malik Hasan, she said.

Palin’s Exxon Valdez account draws guffaws

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Sarah Palin’s new memoir, “Going Rogue,” already has been strongly criticized by John McCain’s aides for her account as a vice presidential candidate on the ticket with him in their unsuccessful 2008 race for the White House.

Now, add Alaskan experts who were involved in the case over the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster saying her account over her role in the litigation is distorted for a number of reasons.

EXXON OIL SPILLIn the book, Palin claims to have helped the fishermen, Alaska Natives and other individuals suing Exxon over spill damages prevail in their legal case.

Next round in Covergirl Palin photo flap…

The flap over Sarah Palin’s photo on the cover of Newsweek magazine is turning into a fray…

To use the words of TV detective Monk, “here’s what happened…” USA/

Newsweek put Palin on the cover ahead of the release of her book “Going Rogue.”

The First Draft: Crossing the Grey Line

President Barack Obama admits he has crossed the grey line.

In the well-worn tradition of those who entered the White House before him, the president’s hair has greyed. And it’s only his first year in office.

USA-POLITICS/OBAMAPerhaps not exactly the change he was hoping for.

“My hair has gotten a lot greyer because I was at the age where my hair was going to start getting grey. Having said all that, you know this has been an extraordinary year,” Obama said in an interview with NBC.

The economy, healthcare, Afghanistan war are all on his mind — “I would be lying if I said that those aren’t weighted questions that I carry around on my shoulders every day.”

In the words of a football coach, philosopher, father…

At the start of  Sarah Palin’s “Going Rogue,” before the words begin, there’s a map: “The View from the Top of the World.”******It shows Alaska closer to the center of the top of the world than Washington, D.C. — deliberate perhaps?******Then wandering through the book, the quotes at the start of each chapter caught our eye. USA/******There’s the famous words from college football coach Lou Holtz: “I don’t believe that God put us on earth to be ordinary.”******Greek philosopher Aristotle: “Criticism is something we can avoid by saying nothing, doing nothing, being nothing.”******That is followed by chapters that feature wise words from basketball coach John Wooden, Christian pastor Charles Swindoll, humor columnist Dave Barry and American author Mark Twain.******The lead in for Chapter 6 is a quote from Palin’s father, Chuck Heath Sr.: “Sarah’s not retreating; she’s reloading!”******What do these quotes say about Palin?******Click here for more Reuters political coverage******Photo credit: Reuters/Mike Segar (Rodin sculpture “The Thinker” outside Philosophy Department of Columbia University)

Live blogging Sarah Palin’s “Going Rogue”

Veteran Reuters political correspondent Steve Holland is reading Sarah Palin’s “Going Rogue: An American Life” and sharing his thoughts on Twitter. He’s well-qualified as a reader — he broke the news of Bristol Palin’s pregnancy on the eve of the Republican National Convention.************Follow Steve on Twitter***

The First Draft: Palin Phenomenon

USA-POLITICS/PALINShe’s everywhere.

We can think of no other losing vice presidential candidate who has captured so much media coverage a year AFTER losing the bid for the White House.

The Palin phenomenon perseveres (this week anyway).

The Washington Post has TWO columnists writing about her today — Eugene Robinson’s “Our Evita,” and Richard Cohen “Time for some Palintology.”

The front page of the Post showcases a quote from Sarah Palin’s book “Going Rogue” which is out in bookstores today: “I always remind people from outside our state that there’s plenty of room for all Alaska’s animals — right next to the mashed potatoes.”