Sarah Palin pulled a page from the Paris Hilton book of media stunts when she jumped on the back of a Harley Davidson at the Rolling Thunder "Ride For Freedom" and created a vacuum of media attention during an event to honor fallen soldiers. The politically ambitious Palin said of the ride, "There's no better way to see D.C. than on the back of a Harley!"
The politician-turned-reality-tv-star's presence at the rally required amped up security and forced event organizers to deal with the cloud of reporters, photographers and curious onlookers that have followed her "One Nation" tour bus on its first week on the road. The national legislative director of Rolling Thunder, Ted Shpak, told MSNBC very bluntly that Ms, Palin did not receive an invitation from the group to attend the event.
"We're not political, this isn't a political event. Maybe she's coming because she knows we have a half a million people in town," Shpak proferred. "We're here for a reason and, in a way, this has been taking away from the reason we're here."
The online site Veterans Today posted an article titled "Sarah Palin Rolls Over Rolling Thunder," making note that Palin's own supporters had posted an entry in full contrast to Mr. Shpak's statements called "Rolling Thunder Rider's Praise Sarah Palin's Participation in Rally."
Palin is on a tour of New England that she's seems to have convinced her family is just your average founding fathers roadtrip, (her blessedly bitter ten-year old daughter railed at a TIme reporter snaping pics, saying, "Thanks for ruining our vacation!"), although few think it's a coincidence that the states she's crossing also happen to be early voting states in the 2012 presidential primaries.
"It's not the politician or the reporter who makes us free; it is the veteran," Palin said after the ride. She seems to certainly be concentrating on at least two out of three.