Palin’s Set of Improbable Coincidences

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Dima Gavrysh for TIME

The former Alaska governor speaks to reporters at a hotel parking lot during a stop in the historic Pennsylvania town of Gettysburg on May 30. Asked about her presidential ambitions, Palin said, "Right now we’re just having fun.”

Sarah Palin says she’s not (yet) running for President. But her week long “learning” bus tour of historical sites just happens to end in the politically important first primary state of New Hampshire where she just happens to be holding her only “event” of the trip – a clambake. And, by the way, she has two more bus tours coming up: Iowa and South Carolina. Just coincidentally, there are the other two most important early primary states.

PHOTOS: Palin’s Road Trip

Palin also just happens to be making her first, much anticipated stop in the Granite State in three years on the same day that GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney is officially announcing his candidacy in New Hampshire. “I think that’s exciting for him, that’s great for him,” Palin told reporters at her Boston hotel Thursday morning before touring historical sites along Boston’s Freedom Trail. “It’s coincidental that we are in the same territory at the same time, but more power to Mitt as he mounts his campaign and best of luck to him.”At the next stop at Bunker Hill, Palin went after the universal health care plan Romney put in place as governor of Massachusetts as “tough for a lot of us independent Americans to accept” because the mandate to buy health insurance constituted “government telling us what to do.” Palin went on to say that winning Tea Party support would be “a big challenge for [Romney.” Coincidentally, her family friend and the candidate she backed for Senate in Alaska, Joe Miller, just happened to announce Thursday that a large Tea Party group he’s leading will work to ensure Romney’s not the nominee.

Palin says she is not inviting media attention on her family vacation. But she’s driving around a giant bus painted with “One Nation; Sarah Palin” on the side and a banner at the back reading: Join the “Fundamental Restoration of America”. And while the rest of her family is in flip-flops and shorts, she’s dressing in candidate- style clothing: skirts and heels and jackets with tiny American and Israeli flags on her lapel. Not to mention the ready-for-TV makeup. On most of the stops, Palin hasn’t lingered: she didn’t see the slave quarters or take the cruise at Mount Vernon; she spent only 20 minutes at Fort McHenry, 30 minutes at the National Archives; under an hour at Gettysburg and Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Really, just long enough for a photo op, to answer a couple of questions from reporters and to sign some paraphernalia for supporters. And her staff is leaking to select reporters where and when she’s going next in case they lose the bus. But, really, it’s all coincidence.

Palin announced this tour and began it a week before the June 1 Federal Election Commission reporting deadline. She heavily hyped her SarahPAC website on Facebook and Twitter and on the side of the bus. Every blog post came with a plea for donations. Because showing strong fundraising ability is really important… for a private citizen and Fox News contributor. Coincidence.

She just happened to stumble upon Donald Trump along the way. And they just happened to have dinner in the most visible fishbowl restaurant on the busiest corner of New York’s Times Square – because that couldn’t possibly be designed to draw attention.

And talk about timing, she just happened to beef up her staff and buy a house in the city her staff has long mulled basing a campaign out of right before the trip. Yes, there are no coincidences in life and Sarah Palin’s really not running for President.

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