Palin Visits Ellis Island, Praises Legal Immigrants, Opposes DREAM Act

In a dizzying week that started at the Rolling Thunder rally in Washington, D.C. during Memorial Day weekend that has kept reporters, pundits, and everyone else enthralled and captivated, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and her bus tour through America came to New York yesterday.

Palin visited the National Archives and Mount Vernon, home of her favorite President, George Washington, with whom many of Palin’s supporters think she shares many similarities, the Liberty Bell, and Trump Towers. After she dined with Donald Trump at a New York pizza joint, Palin arrived at Ellis Island.

In a running travelogue/diary Palin keeps on her SarahPac website, Palin wrote that she was “reminded of a Ronald Reagan speech from Liberty State Park in September 1980” when “he spoke of the Americans who passed through Ellis Island and whose first glimpse of their adopted country was the grand statue in New York’s harbor” and “talked about our shared values and the common thread of the American dream across an endless mix of backgrounds.”

Palin also wrote that she was “struck by the many visitors from overseas who were drawn to this place, not merely for its aesthetic beauty but also as a symbol for freedom and liberty” and hoped “Ellis Island and Liberty Island truly endure as lasting beacons of hope and the opportunity to live an American dream.”

Yet, when asked by reporters if she favored the controversial DREAM Act, Palin, in footage picked up by MyFoxNy, said that “immigrants of the past” had to “literally and figuratively stand in line to become U.S. citizens;” … “unfortunately, the DREAM Act kind of usurps” the system that makes sure that “immigrants who want to be here legally, working hard, producing and supplying revenue and resources for their families, that they’re able to do that right and legally.” 

Palin’s comments on the DREAM Act were consistent with her past stances against illegal immigration. She supported Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer on S.B. 1070, and all indications are that should Palin enter the presidential nominating contest, she will base her campaign in Arizona, which is on the front lines of the battle against illegal immigration. Palin recently confirmed that she indeed has bought a home near the Scottsdale area.

Palin’s bus tour continues today in New Hampshire at a reported Clam bake, according to the Union Leader, on the same day former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney formally enters the presidential race. The political implications of this are clear. 

Though billed as a “family vacation” across America, the optics of the trip certainly reveal political calculations, or, in the least, will allow such implications to be more than strongly inferred.

In recent days, it has been reported and confirmed by Team Palin that she would visit Iowa and New Hampshire, the sites of the nation’s first primary and caucus. RealClearPolitics reported that Palin’s bus tour would also be taking her to the first-in-the-South primary state of South Carolina. No Republican has won the nomination without winning the Palmetto State’s primary. 

Her detractors and critics assume that Palin is an attention craving celebrity who is merely seeking to keep her name in the spotlight to eventually cash in and make tons of profit.

Some in the chattering class have recently commented that if Palin’s bus tour is designed for her to make money, she is succeeding.

Yet, if Palin is indeed just touring the country, giving off all the trappings of a serious presidential candidate, in order to just keep her name in the spotlight and make her money, would it be a sound business decision to lead her enthusiastic supporters (and core customers) on and play them like a cheap fiddle? 

That would ruin the Palin brand, and so to make inferences that this may be the prologue to an eventual presidential campaign would not be too far off base.