Palin’s Iowa bus tour to compete for coverage with Ames Straw Poll

As Republican presidential candidates converge on Iowa for Thursday’s debate and Saturday’s straw poll, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin has not been content to sit on the sidelines and watch from north of the 61st parallel.

No, this weekend Palin will be hopping aboard her “One Nation” bus and heading to the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines — what many news outlets are describing as “crashing” the presidential straw poll. (RELATED: Sarah Palin to resume bus tour Friday at Iowa fair)

“We are very happy to jump back on the bus for another leg of our ‘One Nation Tour’! We accept with gratefulness an invitation to meet folks at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines this week,” Palin wrote Wednesday in an email to supporters. “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.”

On Wednesday SarahPAC, Palin’s political action committee, released a new video explaining the tour. While the YouTube video provides no specifics, it has fueled speculation that Palin’s bus will travel throughout the Midwest.

“A writer observed [that] we grow good people in our small towns with honesty and sincerity and dignity,” Palin says in the video, “and I know just the kind of people that writer had in mind.”

“I grew up with those people,” she continues. “They’re the ones who do some of the hardest work in America, who grow our food and run our factories and fight our wars. They love their country in good times and bad, and they’re always proud of America.”

This is not the first time Palin has moved in on presidential candidates’ territory: In June she overshadowed Mitt Romney’s presidential announcement in New Hampshire when she drove her bus through the Granite State on the same day.

Palin appeared in Iowa in late June to attend a premiere of the film “The Undefeated.” She is scheduled to return to the state over the Labor Day weekend to speak at a tea party event.

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