Sarah Palin's 'One Nation' Tour: Adventures of a Short Bus Rider

Drawing attention to herself like a snake-oil salesman with the remedy for all of America's ills, former governor or Alaska and undeclared Republican candidate for president Sarah Palin has announced she will be going on the road in a "One Nation" bus tour.

Given its sea-to-shining-sea title, it would appear Palin is going to go national (maybe end up at the new home in Arizona?), but the scarce details available on her SarahPAC website so far make it look more like a short bus ride around a few historic sites along the East Coast.

The "One Nation" bus tour is set to start in Washington on Sunday. Palin has attached herself to a more than worthwhile charity ride known as Rolling Thunder, an annual event were motorcycle enthusiasts descend on the nation's capital -- historically, as many as 500,000 -- over the Memorial Day weekend to raise awareness for prisoners of war and soldiers who have gone missing in action.

Rolling Thunder spokeswoman Nancy Regg said she didn't know how Palin became involved. "I'm not the person that invited her," she told ABC News. "We send letters to people all the time and invite them. We invited her to ride, she has accepted and she and her husband have both agreed to ride for us."

But any publicity for the cause is good publicity is the consensus opinion, no matter what Palin's motives are for joining Rolling Thunder. Some, like Andrew Sullivan at "The Dish," are skeptical that she is simply using the event for her own political agenda. Still, Palin's celebrity and the enormous amount of publicity she is generating simply by teasing the media about running for president will provide Rolling Thunder a broader audience, therefore achieving their reason to be.

How far Palin will travel with the riders is unknown.

The bus itself isn't all that large. McCain's "Straight Talk Express" would dwarf it. But photos on Palin's website are taken at an angle, giving the viewer the impression that it is larger, perhaps in an attempt to forego the inevitable "short bus" jokes. The bus showcases the U. S. Constitution and the "One Nation" (with Liberty Bell) motto on the side. The vehicle appears to be about as large as an oversized bookmobile.

The short bus tour is to be just one of a series of short bus tours, each to cover a section of the country with Palin and her family stopping at historically significant places along the way. When asked about the purpose of the tour, SarahPAC treasurer Tim Crawford told the Washington Post, "Because she wants to see how this nation was built and get fired up about that."

Perhaps Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, who seems to have a problem with American history, could hitch a ride.

In a pop-up on the SarahPAC website, just above the obligatory request for donations (the bus tour is reportedly being funded through the political action committee), Palin says she wants to "educate and energize Americans about our nation's founding principles, in order to promote the Fundamental Restoration of America."

Sounds more like an evangelical rolling revival. Perhaps it is, in a sense. As for her ability to "educate...Americans about our founding principles," it is hoped that the former governor of Alaska has first studied up on the Constitution she knew so little about during her one and only vice presidential debate in 2008, when she seemed to not understand what her duties as vice president would have been should she have been elected.

Sarah Palin, short bus rider, "One Nation" restorer, potential Republican presidential contender, and peruser of American historical sites, is set to go. Buckle up, America; Palin and the media are about to take the country for a ride.


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