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N/A | National USA - Sarah Palin participates in the Rolling Thunder "Ride for Freedom”

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by Sir Ride Alot, May 30, 2011.

  1. Palin's Harley ride revs up campaign-style tour

    SMH May 30, 2011 - 2:56PM

    Sarah Palin's ride through Washington on a Harley-Davidson yesterday as part of the Rolling Thunder "Ride for Freedom" has put her back in the national spotlight as the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

    The former Alaska governor joined about 400,000 bikers for the annual ride, which coincided with the first leg of a bus tour that is renewing speculation about her 2012 White House ambitions.

    Mrs Palin, who had no official speaking role at the event, arrived wearing a helmet and rode on the back of a Harley from the Pentagon towards the Vietnam War Memorial.

    Rolling Thunder, which began in 1988, was established by Vietnam veterans to draw attention to missing service members and prisoners of war.
    Mrs Palin's husband, Todd, and daughters Piper and Bristol also took part in the ride.

    In a posting on her political action committee website, the 2008 Republican vice-presidential candidate said Rolling Thunder, through the roar of tens of thousands of bike engines, kept alive the Memorial Day spirit of honouring veterans.

    "I love that smell of emissions," Mrs Palin told Fox News at yesterday's rally.

    Mrs Palin's campaign-style "One Nation Tour" by bus from Washington through New England could be a prelude to a bid for the Republican nomination - or an effort to command the spotlight as the competition heats up.

    "Is this bus tour a trial run for a planned race, or is it an attempt to remain visible and relevant?" asked Charlie Cook, publisher of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report in Washington.

    "You can count all the people who really know what Sarah Palin is thinking and planning on one hand."

    Palin not invited

    Before getting on her motorcycle, Mrs Palin mingled with the bikers, surveying the tattoos of one and accepting a rally souvenir patch from another.

    Bristol Palin, daughter of Sarah Palin, smiles before taking part in the Rolling Thunder motorcycle ride. Photo: Reuters

    Ted Shpak, Rolling Thunder national legislative director, said on MSNBC on May 27 that Mrs Palin hadn't been invited and that the group did not endorse candidates.

    "We can't stop her from coming to ride," Mr Shpak said.

    "If she wants to ride, that's fine," he said. "It is a big distraction" because "we're not political."

    Rolling Thunder director Artie Muller said on CNN yesterday that she was welcome to join the ride.

    "It's a smart political move on her part," said Kristina Skirving, a 42-year-old from Charleston, South Carolina.

    "She's all about guns and America. She knows there's a lot of patriotic people here whose vote she could get."

    Mrs Palin has limited her public appearances over the past several months to her role as a paid analyst for Fox News and to occasional posts on Facebook and Twitter.

    She did little to build formal campaign operations in early voting states such as Iowa.

    Indications she may be serious about a bid include hiring additional staff and finishing a two-hour biographical documentary.

    She has also bought a home for about $US1.7 million in Scottsdale, Arizona, which could become a campaign base, according to reports from news organisations such as The Wall Street Journal and the Arizona Republic.

    "She certainly is a major factor," Senator John McCain of Arizona, who as the Republican presidential candidate in 2008 chose Mrs Palin as his running mate, said on Fox News Sunday. "Whether she'll even run or not, I don't know."


    Full story plus pics at