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Palin's "America by Heart" has 2012 Watchers Guessing

Sarah Palin's new book, "America By Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith and Flag," is officially released in bookstores today, spurring a fresh round of speculation about whether the book hints at a presidential bid from Palin.

The former Alaska governor's book tour schedule seems to suggest as much, Kathy Kiely of the National Journal writes.

The 16-stop book tour spans 11 days and 13 states and kicks off today in Phoenix, Ariz. -- the hometown of her former running mate, Sen. John McCain. Kiely points out the tour includes two stops in Iowa, home of the opening presidential caucuses, as well as one in early primary state South Carolina.

"There are no stops in New Hampshire, but hey, Mitt Romney, the former governor of neighboring Massachusetts, is practically a favorite son," Kiely writes. "Ohio and Arkansas, two more presidential battleground states, will also get a Palin visit, and she'll sign books in Dallas and Houston, the two biggest cities in the 'ATM state' of Texas, a must-stop for any candidate seeking to tap its base of deep-pocketed donors."

Whether or not the tour is an indicator of Palin's political ambitions, it is certainly proving that she is still a popular national figure. Palin is slated to sign books at the Desert Ridge Mall in Phoenix today at 6 p.m., but fans were lining up with blankets, chairs and coffee as early as 1 a.m. to ensure a chance to meet her, local station 3TV News reports.

Palin's tour will take her to Tulsa, Oklahoma on "Black Friday," the notorious day-after-Thanksgiving shopping day, but the Mardel Christian & Education bookstore is anticipating that Palin's visit will be more popular than the sales, USA Today reports.

Whether the book itself suggests Palin will run in 2012 is also up for interpretation. According to its publisher HarperCollins, the book covers a broad range of topics -- including American history, culture, family values and faith -- and will read "like a bible of American virtues for anyone hoping to understand the truths that lie at the heart of the nation."

The book includes some political commentary that could be a preview of her 2012 campaign, including criticisms of President and Mrs. Obama, and a critique of the federal income tax.

Susan Page of USA Today writes, "Whether she ultimately runs for president or not, the new volume is a classic of the wannabe-presidential genre. Since Jimmy Carter's Why Not the Best? in 1975, politicians interested in the White House have used books to introduce themselves, cultivate supporters, outline political philosophies and defuse potential problems."

However, Kathryn Jean Lopez of the National Review contends, "This isn't your traditional campaign book, by any stretch. This is more Book of Virtues meets biography, with long blockquotes and candid reflections. It stands on its own as a nice little contribution to our culture, campaign or no campaign."

Stephanie Condon is a political reporter for You can read more of her posts here. Follow Hotsheet on Facebook and Twitter.
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