Sarah Palin: The Call at Gettysburg
Unlike most carefully choreographed presidential campaigns that routinely release detailed candidate schedules, Palin's staff is keeping most of the national news media in the dark about her political action committee's bus tour this week.
Sarah Palin pulled a clever bait and switch on reporters in Gettysburg on Tuesday, as her "One Nation" bus tour rolls into its third day.
The Palin family and a few members of her staff snuck out of their hotel early, leaving their flashy bus behind in the hotel parking lot to give reporters chasing her the impression that she was still readying for the day.
But CNN was soon tipped off that Palin was long gone, off to visit the Civil War battlefields and onward toward Philadelphia.
Todd Palin told a handful of reporters Tuesday that his wife will decide on her own whether or not to seek the presidency. He is not pushing her one way or the other, he said.
But he emphasized that if the former Alaska governor does choose to embark on another national campaign, he and their children will be ready.
"This family has been tested," Palin said. "When people talk about how she was just plucked up out of Wasilla, you have to look at her career. Every step in her career is another step for the family, and we were prepared.
The normally-reserved Palin opened up about his family for a few moments after he and Sarah pulled over their "One Nation" bus at Coffee Express, a charming café in the central Pennsylvania town of Dillsburg.
Palin said there is a list of "pros and cons" that the family is weighing. "But this country, we have to get back on the right track," he said.
Echoing his wife's earlier declarations that the presidential field will take time to settle, Todd Palin said she has time to make up her mind.
"It's up to her what she decides to do," Palin said. "I am not pushing her either way. It's her decision."
He said Palin has no plans to invite reporters onto their tour bus for gab sessions, in the style of John McCain's 'Straight Talk Express' bus from the 2000 and 2008 presidential campaigns.
"It's a different scenario," he said. "She's employed by Fox."
On Memorial day Sarah Palin delivered the following speech:
The Call at Gettysburg
Posted on May 31, 2011
When I first visited Gettysburg years ago, I was overwhelmed with the sense of sacrifice made to secure our union, but my most recent visit this morning was even more significant as subsequent visits allow reflection on the state of our union today. Striking to me is how ready and willing troops and civilians were in 1863 to lay their lives on the line. Are we as ready and willing to accept the call for sacrifice today in order to keep our union secure?
Hopefully the kids on school field trips whom we met this morning grasped the poignant irony at the site we toured together: that such a beautiful stretch of the Pennsylvania countryside should have been the site of the bloodiest battle in the Civil War. But perhaps it’s fitting that such a sacred place should be so beautiful now in order to commemorate the terrible sacrifices made to bring about, in the words of Lincoln’s famous address, "a new birth of freedom."
But this "new birth of freedom" wasn’t fully realized by the generation that paid the price for it. Over 100 years after the battle, Martin Luther King, Jr. stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and declared, "Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children." It took the struggle for Civil Rights to truly complete what Lincoln called "the unfinished work" for which the heroes of Gettysburg "gave the last full measure of devotion."
Today, when we speak of "fundamentally restoring all that is good in America," we remember the debt of gratitude we owe to those who sacrificed to create and preserve our union. From the Civil War to the struggle for Civil Rights, generations of Americans have made great sacrifices necessary to pass on to us this great gift of freedom. It’s our duty to them to preserve it, cherish it, and pass it on to our children, so "that these dead shall not have died in vain…and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
When duty calls, are we willing to answer today? Please remember that freedom isn't free - the price paid for our liberty has been great.
The reminders of the past costs are seen at Gettysburg. The way forward in protecting our unified body is encapsulated in Lincoln's 2nd inaugural address: "...with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds."
- Sarah Palin