Sarah Palin bus tour heads to Iowa as GOP race heats up [Video]

Washington Bureau

Sarah Palin is crashing the party again.

Just as the announced Republican candidates descend on Ames, Iowa, for the straw poll and another prepares to throw his cowboy hat into the ring, the former Alaska governor has decided to resume her “One Nation” bus tour with a stop this week at the Iowa State Fair.

“The heartland is perfect territory for more of the One Nation Tour as we put forth efforts to revitalize the fundamental restoration of America by highlighting our nation’s heart, history, and founding principles,” an announcement on the website of Palin’s political action committee says. The site also features a new video teasing the trip (watch below).

Palin launched the One Nation tour on Memorial Day weekend, following a path of historic sites up the northeast coast that took her to New Hampshire on the very day that Mitt Romney was announcing his candidacy in the state.


Then in June, as Michele Bachmann made her candidacy official in her hometown of Waterloo, Iowa, Palin decided to head to the Hawkeye State herself to attend the premiere of “The Undefeated,” a favorable documentary about her time as governor.

Even as her own plans remain a mystery, Palin will be in the center of the Republican political universe this week. On Thursday, Fox News and the Iowa Republican Party are hosting a candidates debate attracting the field’s biggest names. And Saturday most of the candidates are mobilizing their supporters to make a show of strength at the quadrennial Republican straw poll in Ames, also at the Iowa State Fair.

Palin’s latest bid for media attention also comes as Texas Gov. Rick Perry is set to signal his intentions regarding the 2012 election. He is scheduled to speak in South Carolina and New Hampshire on Saturday, with a possible formal declaration of his candidacy possible in Texas next week.

The precise itinerary of the latest leg of Palin’s bus tour was not immediately confirmed. But she not only threatens to draw attention from the Republican candidates, but also President Obama, who is set to start a three-day bus tour of the heartland in Iowa on Monday.

In a posting to her Facebook page this week, Palin offered another cryptic clue about her plans, telling supporters to get engaged in 2012 electoral politics and support experienced, vetted, pro-free market fiscal conservatives who will dedicate all to preserving our Republic and protecting our Constitution.”

She is scheduled to be back in Iowa next month to headline a major “tea party” gathering.