Sarah Palin wades into Wisconsin union battle

Sarah Palin is traveling to Wisconsin this weekend to provide some in-person support for embattled Gov. Scott Walker's push against state labor unions.

The former Alaska governor is scheduled to speak Saturday at a tea-party rally at the state Capitol in Madison, according to organizers of the event.

For Palin, the decision comes at time when her political future--or lack of same--is being fiercely debated. Recent polls, including one this week conducted by CNN, show her tumbling down the ranks of potential GOP 2012 contenders.

Donald Trump appears to have supplanted her as an incendiary right-wing media colossus. Meanwhile. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, who holds similar appeal to social conservatives,  has been laying the kind of groundwork in Iowa and elsewhere for a presidential campaign that Palin has avoided.

Her decision to thrust herself squarely into the battle over collective bargaining rights in Wisconsin, however, is one that guarantees her attention. Other potential 2012 candidates such as Newt Gingrich and Tim Pawlenty have supported Walker's efforts, but none have gone as far as to appear in person in Wisconsin during the fight.

It also marks a return of sorts by Palin to the public arena. After campaigning heavily for congressional candidates last year, Palin has spoken to small groups and programs, while largely confining her more public remarks to Facebook and Twitter.

"She was an early supporter of Scott Walker's and so it makes sense that Sarah Palin would come to Wisconsin to celebrate Scott Walker's war against its working families," said Wisconsin Democratic Party chair Mike Tate in a statement. "Equally-divisive and equally hungry for attention, the two make a perfect pair of poster children for a bizarre social agenda, diminished Wisconsin standards, a hostility to education and lower wages and benefits for Wisconsin families."

Palin has not made any statement about her appearence.




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