Sarah Palin to tout "Going Rogue" anywhere but New York

Piper, Sarah and Willow Palin pose with Oprah Winfrey for the former vice presidential candidate's appearance on Winfrey's show. (Photo: AP)

Sarah Palin is “Going Rogue” on the road to promote her book, but the closest she's coming to New York City is Rochester on Saturday.

“She doesn’t need the headache of coming to big cities or blue states that hate her — passionately hate her, not just regular-old hate her,” said Karol Markowicz, a Republican blogger at alarmingnews.com. “Why would she risk coming to Barnes & Noble at Columbus Circle and having a thousand people protesting outside?”

Palin's book, which chronicles her 2008 quest for the vice presidency, is already a best seller. During her book tour, which kicks off Wednesday in Grand Rapids, Mich., the former Alaska governor and ex-Republican vice presidential candidate will be visiting areas she once described as the “real America.”

“These are her folks,” said Doug Muzzio, a public policy professor at Baruch College. “She’s not a metropolitan candidate. She’s conservative, heartland, deep red. That’s her base.”

Whether Palin moves beyond her comfort zone and into the spotlight as a presidential candidate remains to be seen. Palin, who dodged discussion of a possible 2012 bid yesterday on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” may not even be certain of her agenda, experts said.

The self-described pitbull in lipstick reportedly will spend some of her book tour traveling in a bus, campaign-style.

“She has a level of name recognition and a base of support that the average candidate would give their right arm for,” said Keli Goff, author of “Party Crashing.” Goff agreed with other experts Palin came across as geniune and comfortable in her interview with Winfrey.

Palin’s poll numbers have suffered though. About 60 percent of people surveyed by the Washington Post/ABC News said she wasn’t qualified to be president and 52 percent viewed her unfavorably.

“She’s going to see if her book helps that, and if her numbers start moving up, then it’ll be a different ball game,” said pundit Goff. “She has to strengthen her brand, which got a little battered.”

While the 45-year-old mother of five will not tout her 413-page tome in the Big Apple, it will be hard to miss her on the airwaves. Among others, a five-part interview with ABC’s Barbara Walters is set to air this week on “Good Morning America,” “World News,” “Nightline” and “20/20.”

emily.ngo@am-ny.com

*****

A few stops on the “Going Rogue” book tour:
The Villages, Fla.
Columbus, Ohio
Rochester, N.Y.
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
Norman, Okla.
Fort Hood, Texas

Where you won’t see Palin:
New York City
San Francisco
Philadelphia
Los Angeles
Seattle
Anywhere in Vermont

*****

Sarah Palin kicked off her media blitz with a coveted spot on Oprah Winfrey’s couch yesterday. She appeared confident and relaxed during the wide-ranging interview with Winfrey, who strongly supported Barack Obama’s presidential candidacy. Here are a few highlights from yesterday’s sitdown:

On Levi Johnston’s decision to pose nude in Playgirl magazine:
“I call that porn, yes. So it’s a bit heartbreaking to see the road that he’s on right now.”

On teen daughter Bristol’s pregnancy and framing of the news by the McCain campaign:
“I didn’t want the message sent up that I was giddy-happy to become a grandparent.”

On her inability to answer CBS’s Katie Couric’s question about what newspaper she reads:
“I took it in the context as ‘Do you read?’ … It was like she was discovering a nomadic Neanderthal tribe in a cave in Alaska.”

On not receiving an invitation to appear on Oprah during the campaign:
“It didn’t register. No offense to you, but it wasn’t the center of my universe.”

On a 2012 run for president:
“It’s not on my radar screen right now.”

(Emily Ngo)

Tags: Sarah Palin , politics , Oprah Winfrey

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