Sarah Palin's India trip: Proof she's not running?

The former Alaska governor has opted to speak at a New Delhi conference next month. What does this say about her presidential aspirations?

An upcoming trip to India has sparked further debate on whether Sarah Palin is saying hello or goodbye to a 2012 presidential run.
(Image credit: Corbis)

A new burst of speculation about Sarah Palin's future erupted this week, following reports that the former Republican vice presidential candidate is making a trip to India in March. Some see Palin's trip, to speak at a New Delhi conference, as a sign that she's trying to brush up on world affairs before a presidential run. Others say that if Palin were running, she would have attended the recent Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), or scheduled a visit to an early primary state, such as New Hampshire, instead of India. What do Palin's travel plans say about her future?

This is a sign Palin will not run: Primary season is less than a year away, says Andrew Cline at the New Hampshire Union Leader. At this stage, no "serious presidential candidate" would make a foreign jaunt a "higher priority" than a trip to touch base with voters in New Hampshire, which holds the nation's first 2012 primary. "Chalk this up as one more bit of evidence that she's probably not running."

"Palin goes for outsourced labor vote?"

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

Palin needs the foreign experience: This proves Palin has her eyes on the White House, says Jordan Fabian at The Hill. India "boasts one of the world's fastest-growing economies," and this "high-profile policy conference" will be attended by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Egyptian opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei. This is a golden opportunity for Palin to "burnish her foreign-policy credentials," which were the subject of ridicule when she ran in 2008.

"Palin will travel to India next month"

If Palin is running, this won't help: Maybe this bid for "foreign policy cred" is a sign Palin will run, says William Browning at Yahoo! News. But it won't improve her chances. Giving a paid speech in India just doesn't add enough to her resume to offset the damage of her recent "slap in the face" to conservatives. Squeezing in CPAC, a gathering of "11,000 of her closest political friends," would have been a better use of her time.

"Sarah Palin seeks foreign policy credibility through India visit"

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.