Sarah Palin came to Washington D.C. on Sunday to take part in a motorcycle ride honoring U.S. veterans, an event which also marked her first stop on short tour that will take her to New England as speculation mounts about her willingness to mount a presidential run.
Palin's tour is meant to promote the nation's founding principles on Sunday by participating in the Rolling Thunder motorcycle ride that honors veterans in Washington D.C.
There's no better way to see D.C. than on the back of a Harley! Palin said in a posting to her SarahPAC.com website.
Today's Rolling Thunder rally in DC is all about freedom. And it's about duty and loyalty and service. The message heard loud and clear through the roar of tens of thousands of bike engines declared, We will never forget our heroes left behind! Truly, our POWs and MIAs honored today are America's real heroes.
This is our first stop; we're very thankful to be here, Palin said when asked about the tour, according to Politico.
When asked about a possible run for U.S. President, she ignored the questions, according to Reuters.
When asked if she was politicizing the rally, she said:
Heck no, I'm an American. I'm out here supporting veterans, she told CNN.
She was overheard discussing the missing, which refers to soldiers still missing in action, according to the New York Times.
The Rolling Thunder event began at a parking lot at the Pentagon.
As the motorcycles revved to cross the Potomac River, she shouted Whoo! and gave thumbs up.
Prior to departing Palin signed autographs and spoke with supporters.
She was joined by her husband, Todd, as well as daughters Bristol and Piper.
When Palin announced the tour last week Palin said she is looking ahead at a critical moment.
The tour, she said, will take her across various American historical sites and patriotic events.
The tour has fueled further speculation about a possible presidential run as the Republican field starts to take shape in the party's bid to oust President Barack Obama from the White House.
While still early, 2012 hopefuls that could rival Palin for the presidency, should she decide to run, have already formally launched their bids including top contender Mitt Romney, who came out slightly ahead of Palin in the latest Gallup poll.
Palin made no mention of the 2012 campaign in announcing the tour on Thursday, although she mentioned that the country was at a critical turning point.
In a recent interview she said she had fire in the belly to mount a 2012 presidential campaign although any formal announcement could come as late as the end of 2012 ahead of the state presidential primaries.
On Tuesday, potential rivals Romney and Newt Gingrich were in Midwest states speaking to locals to bolster their prospects for the primary season.
In the latest Gallup poll Romney garnered 17 percent of the support, Palin had 15 percent, Rep. Ron Paul was at 10 percent, Newt Gingrich at 9 percent, Herman Cain at 8 percent, and Tim Pawlenty was at 6 percent. The poll was conducted from May 20 to May 24.
Our nation is at a critical turning point, Palin wrote in a post on Thursday announcing the tour. As we look to the future, we are propelled by America's past.
Palin showed off an ornate campaign-style bus on her website and in a video promoting the tour, which will eventually end in New England. Palin has not announced specific dates or stops on the tour.
She is advocating a restoration of all that is good and strong and free in America by taking visiting historical sites and participating in patriotic events.
Topics she'll touch upon include our founders, our patriots, our challenges and victories to clearly see our way forward.
Let's prepare ourselves for the days ahead by reminding ourselves for the days ahead by remind ourselves who we are and what Americans stand for, she said.
She'll also discuss her appreciation of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution which are the threads the weave our past into the fabric necessary for the survival of American exceptionalism.
SarahPAC, which is Palin's political action committee, is also taking the opportunity to collect donations.