Sarah Palin - last year's Republican vice presidential nominee - is starting a book tour next week to promote her memoir, "Going Rogue: An American Life."
Is it a thinly-veiled bid to test the waters for a possible 2012 Republican presidential bid, or simply an effort to make money and cement her celebrity status?
Only time will tell. For now, the opening stops of her tour in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama and Florida, could be valuable if she later decides to run, Reuters reports.
It was also reported, when Palin emerged from a self-imposed semi-exile on Nov. 6 to speak before 4,000 fans just outside Milwaukee at what organizers called the largest pro-life gathering in Wisconsin history, two things were abundantly clear: Palin is now a thoroughly professional rogue — and she is going to sell a ton of books. She has become her own reality show.
The line began forming at the state fairgrounds more than three hours before the main event and stretched longer than half a mile. The crowd wore buttons bearing her image and passed the time making jokes about the media while eagerly snatching up T-shirts a local talk-radio station was giving away that labeled Palin "America's Conservative Conscience." Once inside the cavernous exhibition hall, they chanted, "Sarah!" with growing fervor until their heroine appeared, flexing her distinctive charisma in a killer red dress, high heels and her trademark glasses. The event was closed to the press, and cameras were barred from the hall, not only to preserve the mystery and anticipation before her formal debut but also to protect against unflattering YouTube postings. I bought a public ticket for admittance, as did several other journalists, TIME reports.
News agencies also report, on Monday, she'll be on Oprah. On Wednesday she's embarking on a whirlwind, seven-day, 13 city tour that's sure to sell lots of books.
Not only is she eschewing the big cities, but nine of the 13 stops are in congressional districts won by McCain. The ones won by Obama are either swing presidential districts or places where a good potential GOP candidate could unseat the Democrat.
The bookend states -- Michigan and Florida -- are the primary states that the Democrats had their delegate fight over during the 2008 primaries, msnbc.com reports.
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