Sarah Palin will be high on her rented Hog on Sunday, but she will not be speaking at Rolling Thunder’s annual Memorial Day ride in Washington, a spokesman for the organization tells National Journal.
Palin, who says she is seriously considering a White House run in 2012, will ride a rented motorcycle with her husband, Todd, in the mammoth procession of military veterans from the Pentagon to the Korean War Memorial.
“She’s just another participant,” said Nancy Regg, a spokeswoman for Rolling Thunder, who sounded more than a little perturbed at the media’s black-hole focus on the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee. “She’s going to be riding a motorcycle, yes, and she’ll be in the Pentagon parking lot when we leave. I don’t know what it means or how she’s getting there; she’s just riding with us in the demonstration. Case closed.”
Palin’s camp is billing her participation in Rolling Thunder as the kickoff of her “One Nation” tour along the Eastern Seaboard that will focus on “our nation's historic sites, patriotic events, and diverse cultures” (and that could easily be mistaken for a 2012 campaign tour).
Regg said that Palin was invited to the event, but Ted Shpak, a director for Rolling Thunder, suggested otherwise: “She wasn’t invited,” he told MSNBC on Friday. “We heard yesterday that she came out with a press release saying she was coming to Rolling Thunder.”
Shpak verbalized what Regg declined to, calling Palin’s involvement “a big distraction, because my phone has been ringing off the hook ever since she announced that.
“This is not a political event,” he continued. “Maybe she’s coming because she knows we have half a million people in town, and she’s thinking she can start her [campaign] … but we’re not endorsing anybody. She’s not speaking on our stage during our program. We’re taking care of our issues and that’s why we’re here.”
If Palin is trying to cement her ties to blue-collar America, a photo of the former Alaska governor on the back of a Harley couldn’t hurt.
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Watch Shpak's interview here: