Sarah Palin is planning a trip abroad in 2011, with an itinerary likely to include England and Israel. It wouldn't be Palin's first trip overseas — she gave a speech in Hong Kong in 2009, visited U.S. troops in Kuwait and Germany as Alaska governor, and is going to Haiti this weekend — but the prospect has inspired commentary. A big tour of key U.S. allies would "boost her foreign policy credentials" leading up to "a potential 2012 presidential run," says Shushannah Walshe in The Daily Beast. Is that the point?
This is a clear sign she's running: Over the past three months, Palin has moved closer and closer to throwing her hat in the 2012 ring, says Jay Newton-Small in Time. A trip to visit overseas allies "is a must for presidential wannabes, crucial if she wants to emerge as the "front-runner." Besides, with her TLC series and book tour ending, she'll be "awfully bored" if she doesn't do something big.
The itinerary is a clear tell: It's not just the trip itself, says Allahpundit in Hot Air. "If you were an aspiring Republican nominee, which foreign hotspots would you be sure to hit"? Israel and England, or course. Rival Mike Huckabee has been to the Holy Land 14 times, and GOP voters are livid that Obama has "deteriorated" ties with top ally Britain. Where else? Germany? Iraq? Japan? As a bonus, this will cripple the "Saturday Night Live" writers' attacks on her "alleged parochialism."
"Palin planning first extended overseas trip"
Not all allies are Palin lovers: "Israel makes sense," says Jim Newell in Gawker. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would happily see "the much more accommodating" Palin beat Obama in 2012. But Britain's Tory prime minister, David Cameron, essentially called Palin "stupid" to Vanity Fair, and how much will a "photo op" with her dementia-suffering "political heroine" Margaret Thatcher really help?
"Sarah Palin to annoy people overseas now"
The allies aren't the point: The dates and itinerary may not be finalized, but the strategy seems pretty clear, says Peter Hamby at CNN. Palin's biggest remaining hurdle to the GOP nomination might be "the perception among Republican insiders that she lacks foreign policy gravitas," and this trip could "fix" that.
"Palin planning overseas trip in 2011"