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Palin Kicks Off Bus Tour on Motorcycle, But Is She Running?

PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Sarah Palin launched her bus tour this Memorial Day weekend, not on a bus, but on the back of a Harley, with expected stops in Philadelphia, Gettysburg, and all the way through early primary state, New Hampshire.

Palin began her trip riding across the Potomac River from Virginia into the nation's capitol.  During the first leg of her tour, she joined Rolling Thunder, an organization that aims to raise awareness about American military personnel who are missing in action, or prisoners of war.

Earlier this week, the former vice presidential candidate released a video to announce her tour after weeks of being noticeably absent from the political stage.  Palin's tour might appear to be more than just a public spectacle, as many other potential Republican presidential candidates gear up for the 2012 election.

When asked by ABC News what the motivation behind the tour was, Palin said, "It indicates a desire of ours to get across America and remind ourselves about our foundation; how important it is to respect and protect our Constitution."

Political professionals are left wondering if Palin's latest step onto the public stage is a political move at all, since she does not have the required campaign structure to run a formidable race.

"This is a bit of a re-roll out," said Ken Vogel of Politico.  "This is a chance for her to re-introduce herself in a more retail politics grass roots way than she has been conducting herself over the last several months where she has been really detached from it all."

Vogel added that building a strong campaign staff is an important step towards candidacy, but her hard-core base of supporters seem willing to follow her no matter where she goes.

"All she has to do is throw up a website, occasionally refer to it in a Facebook post and she can raise a lot of money," he said.

This weekend also hinted that other Republicans, including former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former New York Gov. George Pataki and current Texas Gov. Rick Perry may consider dipping a toe in the nomination waters.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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