As her reality series is set to debut on the small screen this weekend, Sarah Palin is also gearing up for a 16-stop tour through the heartland to promote her second book.
The preliminary schedule for the tour to promote “America by Heart” includes 13 states, two of which are noteworthy for their significance to the presidential nominating process — Iowa and South Carolina.
Other stops are predominantly in the Midwest, and in predominantly Republican states. It begins in Phoenix on Nov. 23, and includes stops in Oklahoma, Nebraska, Kansas, Texas and Kentucky.
“Family gearing up 4 Thanksgiving break book tour; anxious 4 kids 2 have ‘what I did on my vacation’ experiences in great US towns along way,” Palin tweeted Friday morning.
Harper Collins, Palin’s publisher, says her new book “ranges widely over American history, culture, and current affairs, and reflects on the key values -- both national and spiritual -- that have been such a profound part of Governor Palin’s life and continue to inform her vision of America’s future.”
Palin will stop in Des Moines on Nov. 27, the Saturday following Thanksgiving, and return to the Hawkeye State on Dec. 2 in Spirit Lake. The final stop on the preliminary schedule is in Columbia, S.C., the following day.
Not on the list at this point is New Hampshire, home to the first-in-the-nation presidential primary. Palin hasn’t been to the state since she campaigned there as John McCain’s running mate in the fall of 2008.
Since leaving office as Alaska’s governor, Palin has made political appearances in both South Carolina and Iowa, including a headline role at the Iowa Republican Party’s Reagan Day fundraising dinner.
Palin also tweeted Friday that more stops would likely be added, including a final appearance in her home state of Alaska.
Alaska is the featured attraction, along with Palin, in a new series debuting this weekend on TLC. “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” is described as “more than just an eight-part special television event -- it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn about, and experience for yourself, what life is really like in Alaska.”
“The show has nothing at all to do with the 2012 presidential campaign and when you watch this Sunday night you will see that for yourself,” a blog post on the show’s promotional website says.
Promoters have played off Palin’s political caricature, however, asking: “Did you know you can see Sarah Palin’s Alaska from your living room?”
Palin has not yet said whether she will run for president in 2012, only that she would consider a candidacy if the right Republican did not step forward.
But book tours like the one Palin is embarking on have been popular ways for potential candidates to travel to key states before mounting active campaigns. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich will make three stops in Iowa next week as he promotes his new fiction novel, “Valley Forge.”
Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, another likely Republican candidate, plans to travel to promote his forthcoming autobiography after he leaves office in January. The unsettled race to choose his successor has put that launch in doubt, however, since a prolonged recount could require him to remain in office beyond his term.