Where is Sarah Palin's not-a-presidential-campaign bus tour up the East Coast headed next? It's not just her fans who are dying to know; it's also the park rangers at Civil War battle sites who worry the scene will get "chaotic" if Palin shows up unannounced. "We don't know anything," an Antietam ranger told The Wall Street Journal's Gary Fields. "We're watching her website, like you are." The "you" he's referring to would be the press, the other core Palin constituency eagerly awaiting some kind of roadtrip schedule to make it easier to chronicle every single one of her movements, gaffes, and quips. But Palin wants to keep the media in the dark. After a stop at the National Archives in Washington Sunday, a reporter shouted "Sarah, where are you going next?" The New York Times' Michael D. Shear reports. She replied, "Mount Vernon," then realized who she was talking to. "Oh--you are a reporter, darn you!"
One journalist in the know is Fox News' Greta van Susteren, who scored an interview with Palin Monday, to the envy of her peers. Van Susteren's husband John Coale organized Palin's political action committee two years ago, and the couples are friends. The cable news host defended her access, explaining that Palin has a contract with Fox, so she's not allowed to talk to other networks. And even van Susteren was told by Palin's staff that they'd have to watch the SaraPAC website for updates like everyone else. A Palin aide "said they don't want the media following them, and that includes us," van Susterern wrote on her blog Monday.
In a preview of the interview, which airs Tuesday night, Palin explains the secrecy by saying, "I don't think I owe anything to the mainstream media... I want them to have to do a little bit of work on a tour like this. ... It's not about me. It's not about a publicity-seeking tour. It's about highlighting the great things about America."
The Daily Beast's Shushannah Walshe followed Palin's roadtrip. Palin visited with veterans on motorcycles at the Rolling Thunder rally in Washington, viewed America's founding documents at the National Archives, trekked to Mount Vernon, then Fort McHenry, then Arlington National Cemetery, where she zinged President Obama.
She also made a slight dig at President Obama for saying Monday at Arlington National Cemetery that his "most solemn responsibility as president [is] to serve as commander in chief of one of the finest fighting forces in the world." Answering a question about Memorial Day, Palin said, "This is the greatest fighting force in the world, the U.S. military. It's not just one of the greatest fighting forces. And I sure hope our president recognizes that. We’re not just one of many. We are the best."
Palin will stop by Gettysburg and the Liberty Bell Tuesday before heading north to New York City and then New Hampshire, Walshe writes. With her husband pushing her to run for president, Scott Conroy reports, Palin next heads to Iowa, site of many battles of the primary campaign kind.