Palin rides Harley and fuels 2012 suspicion

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
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Sarah Palin has hit the road and is fueling suspicion that she’s eying the White House.

The former governor of Alaska launched a cross-country tour Sunday from Washington D.C., hopping on a black Harley and riding across the city with thousands of veterans this Memorial Weekend.

“Heck yeah,” said Palin, wearing all black and a Harley-Davidson helmet before getting on the back of a motorcycle at the Pentagon, where the Rolling Thunder bikers gathered. “I can’t wait.”

But the Republican did not disclose any clues about her thinking on a presidential run. Along with her husband, Todd, and daughters, Bristol and Piper, she posed for photos and signed autographs, but didn’t answer questions about whether she’s getting in the race.

But it was on the mind of some of the bikers who were gathering at the Pentagon before the ride.

“Run, Sarah,” one biker screamed.

Todd Palin, who was wearing a “Washington D.C.” tourist t-shirt, told The Daily Caller that his wife was simply there to “support Rolling Thunder and our vets.” In a Sunday afternoon posting online, Palin wrote that the day, “is all about freedom. And it’s about duty and loyalty and service.”

While many bikers swarmed Palin, others appeared agitated at the press that showed up to film and take pictures of her. Some cussed at cameramen for getting too close to their bikes.

“This is not what this is about,” yelled one biker at the media.

One man, who only gave his name as George from Arlington and who has participated in the Rolling Thunder event for five years, said Palin’s visit was a distraction.

“I think it’s an utter shame,” he said. “It’s not suppose to be a political event. She’s turning it into a political thing.”

But others said they had no problem with it.

“I approve of her motive,” said O.P. Ditch, a Marylander involved in the group Vets4Sarah. “She was invited.”

The bus tour Palin’s about to embark on — starting Sunday in D.C. — was only announced last week and her aides have released little information about where her bus is going and the purpose of the trip, other than to say she will visit historic sites. It will end in New England.

“The ‘One Nation Tour’ is part of our new campaign to educate and energize Americans about our nation’s founding principles, in order to promote the Fundamental Restoration of America,” according to a release from Palin’s political action committee, SarahPAC.

Despite the speculation that Palin is preparing for a presidential run, she has no formal campaign operation in place in the early primary states and Fox News has not suspended its contributor agreement with her as it has with other candidates.

Daily Caller reporter Amanda Seitz contributed to this report.