Sarah Palin to launch bus tour to "energize Americans"

Sarah Palin, bus tour

Updated at 4:25 p.m. ET

In one more sign Sarah Palin is preparing to enter the 2012 presidential race, the former Alaska governor announced today that she's embarking on a nationwide bus tour.

The bus tour was announced today on the website for Palin's political action committee, SarahPAC. It's "part of our new campaign to educate and energize Americans about our nation's founding principles, in order to promote the Fundamental Restoration of America," according to the site.

The tour will begin in Washington on Sunday and stop at "historical sites that were key to the formation, survival, and growth of the United States of America."

The bus tour is the latest indicator that Palin, who consistently ranks near the top of GOP presidential polls, will enter the race. Her recent build-up of staff, the upcoming release in Iowa of a pro-Palin documentary, and her reported purchase of a house in Arizona have suggested she is laying the groundwork for a campaign.

Palin will launch her tour by participating in Rolling Thunder, an annual Memorial Day weekend motorcycle rally, according to RealClearPolitics, and it will lead her through key early-voting states.

The trip will take Palin to New Hampshire for the first time since she ran as the 2008 GOP vice presidential candidate, Politico reports, and will include stops at Civil War battlefields and the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia.

Update: Palin posted a message about the bus tour on her PAC website this afternoon, writing that the nation is at a "turning point." The trip, she said, will serve as a reminder of America's past that will help guide the nation through the future.

"We'll celebrate the good things that bring Americans together; those things that will give us the needed strength to meet the heady challenges ahead," she wrote. "I've said many times that America doesn't need a 'fundamental transformation,' instead we need a restoration of all that is good and strong and free in America!"

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