Sarah Palin Book Tour: Warm Up Lap For A Presidential Campaign?

Nov 19, 2010 12:22pm

ABC News’ Michael Falcone reports:

Sarah Palin plans to kick start a 16-stop, cross-country trip to promote her new book next week taking her through several states that could be key to her presidential ambitions if she decides to jump into the 2012 race.

The tour for Palin’s book, “America by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag,” begins in Phoenix, Ariz. on Monday and continues after Thanksgiving with stops in Iowa, South Carolina and Ohio, among others. Notably Palin will not be traveling to the early primary state of New Hampshire where she spent little time campaigning as Sen. John McCain’s vice presidential nominee in 2008.

Palin will make two separate stops in Iowa — the first on Nov. 27 in West Des Moines and the second on Dec. 2 in Spirit Lake. She will cap off the tour off on Dec. 3, traveling to Columbia, S.C. and Cincinnati, Ohio on the same day.

Her promotional trip focuses heavily on Midwestern and Southern states, mostly leaving out the coasts. No stops are scheduled for New York, Washington, DC or California. She’ll be appearing at a mix of large book store chains, including Borders, Barnes and Noble, as well as big box stores such as Wal-Mart and Costco.

Palin is following in the footsteps of other potential presidential candidates who have recently released new books. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has been keeping a busy schedule of appearances to tout his new historical novel “Valley Forge,” in a number of the same states as Palin. Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is waiting until the new year to go on the road to sell his forthcoming biographical and political volume, “Courage to Stand: An American Story.”

The publisher of Palin’s book, Harper Collins, said it would include "selections from classic and contemporary readings that have moved" the former Alaska governor, as well as “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 in limited excerpts of “America By Heart” that have been leaked on the Internet over the last week, Palin seems more interested in rekindling family feuds, settling scores and igniting her base.

According to the leaked pages, Palin mentions her daughter Bristol’s ex-boyfriend, Levi Johnston, in less than flattering terms: “We all had to bite our tongues — more than once — as Tripp's father went on a media tour through Hollywood and New York, spreading untruths and exaggerated rhetoric. It was disgusting to watch,” she writes.

Palin also rails against the danger of “American Idol,” referring to contestants of the Fox program as victims of "the cult of self-esteem.” She does not, however, reach the same conclusion about Bristol, who is a finalist on the ABC's “Dancing With The Stars.”

Her mother calls Bristol a better role model than the 1990’s television character, Murphy Brown.

“Which is the more courageous course for a young, single mother: to sit down and shut up and avoid the critics,” Palin writes, “or to speak out in a painfully honest way about how tough single parenting is? I'm biased of course, but given a choice of role models between Bristol and Murphy Brown, I choose Bristol.”

Palin also fits in a jab at First Lady Michelle Obama for comments she made on the campaign trail in 2008, saying that for the first time in her “adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country.”

“Certainly his wife expressed this view when she said during the 2008 campaign that she had never felt proud of her country until her husband started winning elections,” Palin writes. "In retrospect, I guess this shouldn't surprise us, since both of them spent almost two decades in the pews of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright's church listening to his rants against America and white people.”

In twitter messages Palin has been complaining about the leaked excerpts: "The publishing world is LEAKING out-of-context excerpts of my book w/out my permission? Isn't that illegal?" she tweeted on Thursday.

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