Seen for months as an unlikely U.S. presidential contender in 2012 and overshadowed by the jockeying among other Republican candidates, Palin ignited a storm of speculation about her political plans this week with several new moves.
The former Alaska governor and 2008 vice presidential candidate has authorized a feature-length film about herself that will premiere next month in Iowa. She reportedly bought a home in Arizona where she could base her campaign.
Palin announced on Thursday on her revamped website that she will make a campaign-style bus tour of the East Coast, beginning in Washington on Sunday at the annual Rolling Thunder motorcycle rally.
Palin, who took a trip overseas in March to bolster her foreign policy credentials, told Fox News last week she still has the ambition to make a run for the Republican nomination to challenge President Barack Obama.
“I do have the fire in my belly,” Palin said. “I want to make sure America is put back on the right track and we will do that by defeating Obama in 2012.”
The documentary approved by Palin looks at her political rise and tenure as Alaska governor in a way that could cast her formative years — certain to come under more scrutiny in a presidential campaign — in the best possible light.
“If the film is well received, you may see her back in the game. But with Sarah Palin you never know,” said Republican consultant Ford O’Connell, an aide on the John McCain-Palin campaign in 2008. “She is definitely dotting the Is and crossing the Ts in case the opportunity presents itself.”