Is Sarah Palin duping her supporters into funding her bus tour?
So, how's Sarah Palin paying for this grand tour anyway?
At the Statue of Liberty today, ABC News asked the former Alaska governor how much her tour has cost so far and how she's paying for it.
"How am I paying for it? SarahPAC," she said, adding that she's traveling in "our own personal motor home that we've had in Alaska."
Palin didn't answer when asked how long she's owned the bus that's adorned with the Constitution and a larger-than-life version of her signature. When asked, twice, how much her "One Nation Tour" has cost four days into the trip, she got visibly irritated.
"Check SarahPAC.com," she said. "I don't know why in the world you would ask a question like that. I'm just thinking about America and our foundations and our freedoms and our opportunities. Why would you ask something..."
So here's what seems to be happening...
While the signs -- the bus tour, the movie, etc. -- are pointing to a presidential run, there's really no evidence at all that she plans on running. In fact, political insiders think she won't run and whatever evidence there is actually suggests she has no intention of running. As she has done before, she is tantalizing us, and mostly the media and her supporters, with the possibility of a run. And, as usual, we're playing right along.
What does this have to do with who's paying for her bus tour? Well, by her own admission, her PAC is paying for it. Which is to say, her supporters are paying for it, those who have donated to SarahPAC:
SarahPAC.com does not currently offer any information about how much money has been spent on the tour. It does, however, feature a big green "Donate" button, inviting visitors to help fund Palin's trip across the nation.
Adverisements on sites like Drudgereport.com also encourage Palin fans to donate.
But why are they donating? Are they donating just to support the bus tour, one that includes a pizza dinner with Donald Trump? Or are they donating because they think she's running for president and that the bus tour is one of the first steps in what may be an unconventional rollout? I'd guess the latter, which means that Palin is basically duping her supporters into stuffing her coffers, into financing her egomaniacal quest for the spotlight, which had begun to fade for her, and for a life of luxury (in case you were wondering, she's not living on the bus), both on the tour and generally. It's one thing for Fox News to pay her loads of money to be whatever it is she is for that network. It's quite another for her to deceive her supporters, many of whom no doubt don't have much money to begin with, into adding to her wealth. (And getting "visibly irritated" when asked about the bus tour. Why get defensive? What is she hiding?)
It would be one thing if she were running. In that case, her supporters, her donors, would have every reason to get involved and help finance her campaign. But while I think there's a very small chance she runs, which is more than I would have said even just a couple of weeks ago, I remain (almost) certain she won't. Maybe some of her donors are just happy to have her back in public again, back in the glare of 24/7 media attention/obsession, but I wonder how many of them realize they're just subsidizing her own money-making efforts -- for what else is this ridiculous bus tour but an effort to recover her star and to profit even more off her stardom?