Palin launches tour of tea party rallies

Ex-governor hints at White House bid

RENO, Nev. – Sarah Palin launched a two-week run of tea party rallies Monday leading up to the election and teased supporters about a possible presidential run for herself, saying “we can see 2012 from our house.”

The remark came as the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee kicked off the 15-day Tea Party Express coast-to-coast campaign tour, hoping to capitalize on government discontent and unify conservatives before the Nov. 2 election.

Headlining a rally outside county GOP headquarters, Palin told more than 500 people that common sense is an “endangered species” in Washington, D.C., and they should “keep the faith” as they go to the polls Nov. 2.

The former Alaska governor earlier endorsed Republican Sharron Angle, a tea party-backed candidate locked in a tight race in Nevada against Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

“Tea party Americans, you are winning, you are turning this country’s political landscape upside down … and the left just doesn’t know what to do with you,” Palin said to cheers.

Angle couldn’t attend because the national tea party committee based in California has made independent expenditures on her behalf, and federal laws prohibit coordination between campaigns and independent groups.

In a moment of self-deprecation, Palin told the crowd, “I can see November from my house,” a reference to a comedy skit over her qualifications for vice president when she said she could see Russia from Alaska.

Then, looking to the presidential election two years from now, Palin said, “Mr. Obama and your czars, you’re next because we can see 2012 from our house.”

The Tea Party Express tour has scheduled stops in 15 states before it ends Nov. 1 in New Hampshire.

Tea Party Express spokesman Levi Russell said Palin was welcome to join other stops on the tour but she had committed only to the Reno rally.

Angle, a former state assemblywoman, won the endorsement of the Tea Party Express in the weeks running up to the June 3 primary and emerged the victor in a 12-candidate GOP field.

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