The rally, which is a Memorial Day event for veterans living in Arlington, VA staged at the Pentagon, received the former governor with mixed feelings. While fans flocked to her, some attendees stated they wished she had stayed away.
"'I'm very not appreciative of the way she came in here,' Ted Shpak, Rolling Thunder’s national legislative director, said of Palin’s arrival. The former governor came in the front of the Pentagon’s north parking lot, where event staff and press were assembled. 'If she wanted to come on the ride, she should have come in the back.'"
Many complained because they didn't want her to politicize the event, as the organizers are withholding judgment on which candidate, if any, to back.
"While many riders said they were fans of Palin, they still did not want her to bring politics to the ride. 'Don’t come here and try to make a political point out of it,' said Joe Clark of Pennsylvania. 'If she’s just here backing the cause of the entire run, that’s fine. If she’s just trying to get votes, she should just stay out of it.'"
"Mark Posey of Indiana agreed: 'I think she has no reason to be involved in this,'" he said. 'If she’s launching her campaign to run for president, I don’t think this is the place to start.'"
Not an auspicious start for her tour, which has been a confusing mix of rumors and guesses. Locations and dates haven't been released, and the purpose of the tour is still a mystery. Palin has yet to throw her hat into the crowded ring of Republican candidates, leaving everyone to ask-- is she actually going to run?
Perhaps the better question is: does it matter?
She hasn't done terribly well in the polls since Republican speculation began, regularly falling behind Romney and even Trump. The question being, of course, whether or not she would be a viable candidate to run against the popular incumbent, President Barack Obama.
Former presidential contender John McCain, even though some speculate he regrets choosing her as a running mate, stated that she is, indeed, a viable candidate against the Democratic President.
"'Can she win the Republican nomination and can she beat Barack Obama?' Fox News' Chris Wallace asked McCain Sunday.
"'Of course she can -- she can," McCain insisted. 'Now whether she will or not, whether she'll even run or not, I don't know.'
"'A lot of things happen in campaigns, Chris. I was written off a couple of times and was able to come back. It will be a roller coaster ride for all of them before we finally arrive at our nominee. But she certainly is a major factor. And I believe that she can be very competitive,' he added."
We will see. I have a feeling this whole tour is going to be a circus and a mess.