Sarah Palin was seen rolling into Washington, D.C. for the annual Rolling Thunder veteran’s tribute on the back of Harley. However, some of the veteran’s group bikers were confounded who actually invited Sarah Palin to the event, because some felt that her presence was a political publicity stunt that seriously detracted from their annual honor for fallen soldiers. And her black leather biker jacket’s slogan read that, “I LOVE THE SMELL OF EMISSIONS”, was seen as being absurd, if not overly rude and insensitive to air quality issues by some. If the appearance as a biker mama on a Harley was supposed to gain Palin some political points, then it actually had mixed reactions by many attending the rally.
Palin’s appearance at the biker rally also marks the start of her “One Nation” bus tour as well, which is viewed as the likely start of her 2012 run for president. However, her appearance at the veteran’s biker rally just didn’t seem like an appropriate place to kick off the start of a political campaign by many, and will remain controversial.
Politically, many bikers tilt right of center. However, respect for veterans is very important amongst them, as even organizations such as the Hells Angels have roots with WWII military veterans, where a large majority of members of many motorcycle clubs are military veterans. Sarah Palin might have seriously misjudged when it’s appropriate to campaign or not. To many, active campaigning during an event to honor veterans is a real taboo. Sarah Palin may have actually hurt some of her support among bikers with this pandering political stunt during this veteran’s event. Then again, good political judgment has never been a real strong suit of Sarah Palin, unlike other more seasoned professional politicians who more carefully manage their actions.