The New York Times reports
WASHINGTON — For sheer mastery of celebrity theater, Sarah Palin cannot be beat.
Ms. Palin, the former governor of Alaska, let the anticipation build for hours on Sunday in the Pentagon’s North Parking Lot, where thousands of bikers (and their rumbling Harleys) had gathered for the annual Rolling Thunder rally ahead of Memorial Day.
And then, suddenly, there she was: Ms. Palin, with her husband, Todd, and the rest of the family. Wearing matching black Harley-Davidson helmets, they rode motorcycles toward the front of the procession through a crush of cameramen, photographers, reporters and leather-clad bikers, all jostling for just a peek at the woman who might be president.
A traditional political appearance it was not. She did not make any public remarks or shake hands with dignitaries. There was no news release accompanying her visit. And after the short ride to the National Mall — she rode on the back of a volunteer’s bike — she sped off in a black sport utility vehicle to points unknown to anyone outside her small circle, even to the reporters covering her.
Ms. Palin’s visit here — to start her still-mysterious One Nation bus tour along the East Coast — provided no clarity about whether she will run for the Republican presidential nomination. But it did reinforce the idea that if she does, her campaign will not be conducted in the usual way.
Indeed, the appearance offered a study in contrasts between Ms. Palin and her would-be Republican rivals, who, as she rumbled through Washington clad in black leather, did the things that candidates for president usually do.