Palin Touts Tea Party "Vision"

(AP)
Updated 11 a.m. ET

Sarah Palin is trumpeting her appearance at this week's Tea Party convention saying she shares the group's "vision," in an op-ed written for USA Today Tuesday.

Saying she thought long and hard about the decision to speak at the convention, the former Republican Vice Presidential candidate and ex-Alaska Governor decided that "It's important to keep faith with people who put a little bit of their faith in you."

Over the past year, Tea Partiers have made their mark with boisterous anti-government protests triggered by the stimulus package, though they remain a highly-fractured group.

"We must not get caught up in the politics or the controversies that some hope will distract from the heart of the movement," Palin writes. "The focus must remain on our ideas and beliefs, and on supporting those ideas and beliefs however we can."

Calling it a grass roots "uprising," Palin says people who fail to view the Tea Party in this manner "don't understand the frustration everyday Americans feel when they see their government mortgaging their children's future with reckless spending."

Palin also announced in the op-ed that she'll be headlining events on the "Tea Party Express" in the coming months. In March, she said she'll be at the kickoff of the 42-city bus tour in Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's hometown of Searchlight, Nev., and in April she'll appear at a rally in Boston.

As CBS News correspondent Jeff Greenfield tartly explains: "There's no doubt that the grass roots tea party energy is stirring Republican hopes and dreams for big gains in Congress this November. But like any powerful force — nitroglycerin, for example — it has to be handled with great care."

@katiecouric: Tea Party Leaders

Palin's appearance at the convention is likely to add to her reputation as a voice outside the political mainstream. In a recent poll of Republican leaders and pundits, Palin placed fifth on a list of possible candidates for the 2012 presidential nomination.

Click here to read Palin's entire op-ed in USA Today: