Sarah Palin’s 45-minute cameo in Philadelphia couldn’t have been scripted better. After spending the entire previous day in Gettysburg, her visit to the Liberty Bell during a “non-presidential campaign” bus tour provided dream visuals consistent with the images of America she constantly tries to portray in the impromptu speeches she’s delivered since taking the national stage.
The media coverage surrounding Palin’s tour of the East Coast has made headlines this week, even as fans and reporters have been left in the dark about her schedule day-to-day.
“When she first mentioned the tour, I thought it was a brilliant idea,” Keystone pollster Terry Madonna said. “She would go to these culturally iconic places in history. Then it turns into an unorchestrated, chaotic venture where the press that I am following on Twitter are wondering, ‘Where is she?’ and ‘Where is she going?’”
The media heavily outweighed the public on Tuesday as many visitors of the Liberty Bell walked by wondering why the entire media was waiting outside the building all morning.
“It reminds us of the star power that Gov. Palin has. She can put together a bus tour in the way that she has and from the sheer power of her media status she is able to draw major media attention,” Republican consultant Matt Mackowiak said.
Because of her media power Mackowiak says that Palin would have to be taken seriously if she were to run for president.
But Mackowiak and Madonna both agree that they believe this trip will not end in Palin announcing a run for president.
She knows how to work a crowd
British journalism student James Thorpe got an eyes-on lesson in American media coverage of non-news news yesterday. He watched dozens of reporters and camera people scurry around, a helicopter circling overhead, all angling for shots of Sarah Palin and family visiting Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.
“All of this is for her?” the Kings College student asked, soaking in unexpected sights on a class tour. “Do you think she’ll run?”
The answers mattered little to those also at the Liberty Bell during the Palins’ half-hour stop. Accompanying a class trip of fifth-graders, Dina O’Brien of Edison, N.J., said one student asked, “Is that Sarah Palin?” It was, and they posed for pictures with her.
After the hubbub died down, classmates Sabrina and Sarah were still giddy. “I see her on TV all the time. It was shocking,” said Sabrina, fighting to catch her breath.
Nearby, a fourth-grader from Rhode Island, Jared Haugh, said he’d vote for Palin if he could. From the looks of her sign signaling support for Palin, Independence Hall Tea Party Association President Teri Adams has Haugh covered.
“She just generates excitement like nobody else in politics. She’s upbeat, cheerful, a great personality,” Adams said. “She embodies the message of the Tea Party.”