Good news, you guys: the One Nation Bus Tour—a multi-state junket that began in Washington, DC and will conclude in the quadrennially-significant state of New Hampshire at some unknown point in the future—is not about Sarah Palin or publicity, despite Sarah Palin having publicly announced it to reporters before her bus disappeared. If the lamestream media wants to act like the former vice presidential candidate’s trip up the east coast in a bus with eagles and primary source documents painted on the side of it is a campaign tour, that’ll just be the sort of bullshit they pull. As she explained to Greta Van Susteren:
I know that many of the mainstream media are looking for kind of a conventional campaign-type tour. And I’ve said from the beginning this isn’t a campaign tour, except to campaign on our Constitution.
Okay so, um, is a campaign tour, then? When you say you’re campaigning on something, you are still campaigning—even if, as Palin elaborated, all you want to do is “highlight the great things about America.” That’s like Dick Clark saying that really it’s about New Year’s Eve. Even more belying promotional video after the jump.
The bear just grabs you, doesn’t it? I’m going to say that this is not simply a Palin family vacation, based on A) the decoration of the bus as displayed in this promotional video and B) our having just seen the bus in a promotional video. The tour is also funded by SarahPAC, which implies that it has some sort of political purpose, although the words “political” and “action” have taken on surprisingly flexible meanings in the hands of Palin’s committee.
It’s possible that the Palins are taking a donor-funded sightseeing tour, but if that’s the case, why tease the media? When it comes to the delicate dance of seduction between public figure and public press, Palin has always been a do-a-shot-and-grab-your-junk kind of person: witness her willingness to trot out various of her descendants on the 2008 campaign trail, plus her damn reality show. Now, though, having announced her drive across the northeast in a bus with George Washington painted on the side, she’s a little peeved that the media think they’re supposed to cover it:
They want kind of a conventional idea of ‘We want a schedule, we want to follow you, we want you to bring us along with you.’ I’m like a) I don’t think I owe anything to the mainstream media.
Then she stopped talking, relying on the mainstream media to not loudly demand a (b) and maybe point out that she has inadvertently made a Biff joke from Back To the Future. Also, given that she is currently under contract to News Corp through Fox, Sarah Palin literally owes several specific things to the mainstream media. But whatever—there’s nothing in that contract says she has to make sense. In fact, I think it’s specifically precluded.
According to Fox, that contract is still in force—the surest indicator yet that Palin’s named trip to New Hampshire in a bus with eagles on it isn’t a campaign tour. If Palin announced for President, she’d have to leave her lucrative commenter position at the network, where both the compensation and the stresses of having to speak positively about firefighters and Christmas offer serious advantages to the Oval Office. It would appear that Palin is campaigning for re-election to the job she already has: a person who might run for President and therefore must be taken seriously, despite the daily accumulation of evidence that she shouldn’t.