The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Palin Parks Her Bus

Posted on | June 22, 2011 | 29 Comments

Scott Conroy of Real Clear Politics — who got an early scoop about the Sarah Palin documentary The Undefeated — seems mystifed by the pause in her “One Nation” bus tour:

Though Palin and her staff never announced a timeline for the remaining legs of her trip, aides had drafted preliminary itineraries that would have taken her through the Midwest and Southeast at some point this month. But those travel blueprints are now in limbo, RCP has learned, as Palin and her family have reverted to the friendly confines of summertime Alaska . . .
More than a few of Palin’s core supporters have grown impatient and confused about her strategy, venting their frustration on Internet fan sites.
The former governor herself has consented to only one interview since her East Coast jaunt ended early this month, and her lack of recent public activity has generated a host of rumors about what her next step might be. Last week, the American Spectator, citing a single and unnamed Republican source, claimed that her presidential decision was imminent. Palin shot this speculation down immediately, but she didn’t counter it with anything definitive.
And earlier this week, some of her staunchest supporters grew concerned about gossip suggesting that she had reached out to Texas Gov. Rick Perry about lending her support to his potential presidential run. . . .

It wasn’t “speculation.” What I reported was a fact: Certain people were told to expect a decision this week, although whether they were told this with Palin’s authorization (or knowledge) is obviously a question mark.

However, Conroy notices what I noticed: Palin’s response was not “anything definitive,” so tea-leaf readers would naturally find signficance in the fact that Palin’s bus tour itinerary is now in “limbo.”

Speculation and gossip are common enough, and the Palin-Perry deal was a topic that got kicked around among some of those who attended last week’s Right Online conference. But nobody I talked to claimed to have any specific knowledge about that, so I didn’t write about it.

If I may be permitted to play the tea-leaf reader, the uproar generated by my American Spectator item last week exposed one obvious truth: Once Palin makes a decision, her decision won’t stay a secret very long.

So count this as “speculation,” if you will: Formally announcing a genuine presidential campaign will require the involvement of dozens of people, and if Palin is moving in that direction, someone involved in the process will somehow (perhaps accidentally) tip off the media’s Palin-watchers and the news will leak. On the other hand, if we don’t see any such signals of an impending announcement, we are then likely to start seeing leaks to the effect that Palin has decided against running.

One final tea leaf to consider: Sarah Palin hasn’t posted a new Twitter message since Sunday.

UPDATE: Obviously, she’s reading my blog. At 4:12 p.m. ET, I mentioned she hadn’t Tweeted in three days, and at 4:31 p.m., she started Tweeting up a storm, including this:

She’s also promoting Bristol’s new book, Not Afraid of Life: My Journey So Far.

UPDATE II: Dave Weigel proposes a new philosophical principle he calls Palin’s Razor: The simplest explanation for what Sarah Palin does is most likely that she is Sarah Palin.


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