Writing Their Way to 2012? Potential Presidential Candidates, GOP Rising Stars Pen New Books

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For a handful of potential 2012 presidential candidates and rising stars of the Republican Party literary ambition is mingling with political aspirations this month as they unveil new books and take to the road for promotional tours.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was one of the first out of starting gate on Monday with the release of "Valley Forge," a new historical novel he co-authored that focuses on George Washington and the bone-chilling winter of 1777.

Tea Party favorite Sarah Palin's new book, "America By Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith and Flag," is set to hit store shelves on Nov. 23, one week after her reality TV show premieres on TLC. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's book, "Leadership and Crisis" is due out next week.

Timed to coincide with the end of one election cycle and the symbolic beginning of another, these new releases are not only an opportunity for potential presidential contenders to move some merchandise, but also to tour the country, spreading their message and taking the pulse of the electorate.

Gingrich and his co-author Bill Forstchen are about to embark on a national book tour beginning in New York with stops in Texas, Virginia, Ohio, Florida, and notably, events in West Des Moines, Ames and Cedar Rapids, Iowa -- key cities on the 2012 election circuit.

"The fact that we're doing book signings in Iowa for two days next week has nothing to do with" a potential presidential bid, Gingrich said with a smile in an interview on ABC's "Good Morning America" on Tuesday.

Click HERE to read an excerpt of "Valley Forge."

The Web site for "Valley Forge" describes the book as "a tour-de-force about endurance, survival, transformation and rebirth." The blurb continues: "Washington and his Continental Army, against all odds, will be forged into a fighting force that will win a revolution."

The former House Speaker, who also has a doctorate in history, is a prolific author with more than 20 other books under his belt. He's also emerged as one of the most vocal critics of the Obama administration and one of the GOP's most talked-about potential presidential candidates.

But no one is the subject of more speculation than Palin, and she is hoping to build on the success of her first book, "Going Rogue" with her latest work, which will include "selections from classic and contemporary readings that have moved" the former Alaska governor, according to her publisher, HarperCollins.

In a statement, the publisher said that "America by Heart" will also feature "portraits of some of the extraordinary men and women she admires and who embody her deep love of country, her strong rootedness in faith, and her profound love and appreciation of family."

But the new book, which will have a first printing of 1 million copies, is part of Palin's one-two publicity punch. On Sunday her new reality show, "Sarah Palin's Alaska" debuts on The Learning Channel.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, whose name has been tossed around as a possible 2012 contender, is in the midst of a high-profile tour to promote his new book "Fed Up: Our Fight to Save America from Washington," which goes on sale Nov. 15.

But the Texas governor is insisting that the book should not be taken as a signal that he's interested in a presidential bid. In fact, in a recent interview, Perry claimed the opposite.

"The best concrete evidence that I'm really not running for president is this book, because when you read this book, you're going to see me talking about issues that for someone running for public office, it's kind of been the third rail if you will," Perry told the Associated Press. "But these are issues that really need to be talked about."

Another possible GOP presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, got a head start. Romney released his book, "No Apology: The Case for American Greatness" in March. It includes a 64-point plan for getting the country on track.

And there appears to be some back-cover presidential politicking going on too with many of the authors and possibly soon-to-be candidates endorsing each other's books.

Perry got a nod from his fellow GOP governor, Jindal, who wrote in a blurb for "Fed Up": "Rick Perry knows that it is the American people who make this country great and not Washington. With appropriate respect for both our rich history and the practical needs of today, Rick sees a bright future for America, based on freedom and limited government." Both Gingrich and another 2012 wildcard, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, gave Jindal's book rave reviews.

But leave it to a former president to steal some of the thunder from his fellow Republican authors. George W. Bush has kicked off his own book tour this week for his newly-released memoir, "Decision Points."

Bush sat down with NBC News' Matt Lauer for an hour-long prime time special Monday night and he will appear on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" on Tuesday in addition to other stops around the country.

But, not to worry, there is more reading material from rising-star Republicans yet to come. South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, a key figure in the Tea Party movement, has a new book scheduled to hit shelves in July 2011.

Titled, "The Great American Awakening: Two Years that Changed America, Washington, and Me" a publisher's note says it will provide "insider views of the controversial stimulus bill passage, corporate takeovers, and lesser-known executive actions that epitomize political paybacks and moral decay will further motivate DeMint's fellow citizens to reclaim their government and country in 2012."