Via Scott Conroy at Real Clear Politics:
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will travel to Iowa next month as part of her nationwide bus tour, two sources with direct knowledge of the plan told RealClearPolitics.
Palin’s trip to the nation’s first voting state — where she has not yet set foot this year –will further escalate the already feverish speculation that she is leaning toward a White House run.
Though Palin has insisted that her “One Nation” bus tour — being kicked off from Washington over the holiday weekend — is intended merely to “highlight America’s foundation,” RCP has learned that the road trip was designed as a test run to find out whether she can execute a decidedly unconventional campaign game plan.
Palin — and especially her husband, Todd — is said to be leaning toward running. But multiple sources said that their foremost remaining concern was whether it would be logistically feasible for their large family to hit the road together for the next several months in a prospective campaign that would rely heavily on bus travel.
The answer to that question will play a critical role in how the 2012 race develops.
For months, the prospective candidates for the Republican nomination for president have methodically lined up donors, hired operatives, and laid the groundwork in early-voting states to set the gears in motion for their painstakingly planned campaigns.
Update: Read this story with Shushanah Walshe’s story and you can come to the conclusion that 2 +2 = 4.
According to a source with knowledge of Palin’s operation and thinking, keep a careful eye on how long the tour lasts, because it is intended as a way to test the presidential waters. If the road trip ends abruptly, it’s a sign she didn’t get the enthusiastic responses she believes she needs to launch a campaign. If the tour heads to regions outside of the Northeast like Iowa and South Carolina that, the source says, is a “big indicator” that Palin will pull the trigger.