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Palin launching campaign-style bus tour

JUNEAU, Alaska -- Sarah Palin will embark this weekend on a campaign-style bus tour along the East Coast, sending a jolt through the now-sleepy Republican presidential contest and thrusting a telegenic but divisive politician back into the nation's spotlight.

Palin's tour announcement is the strongest signal yet that she is considering a presidential bid, despite her failure to take traditional steps such as organizing a campaign team in early primary states.

The former Alaska governor's approval ratings have fallen across the board -- including among Republicans -- in recent months. But many conservatives adore her, and she has enough name recognition and charisma to shake up a GOP contest that at this point seems to be focusing on three male former governors.

Beginning Sunday, Palin plans to meet with veterans and visit historic sites that her political action committee calls key to the country's formation, survival and growth.

Limited details of Palin's "One Nation" tour, released on the website of SarahPAC, show its start in Washington, then up the East Coast into New England, perhaps to the first-in-the-nation primary state, New Hampshire. -- AP

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