Fox News hosts and analysts helped portray Sarah Palin's bus tour, organized by her Political Action Committee, as an effort to revitalize Palin's “brand.” Palin then sat for an interview on the bus tour with Greta Van Susteren, who devoted the first half of her Fox News show to what Fox itself is describing as an effort to renew interest in Palin's brand.
Hume: Bus Tour Helps “Renew Interest” In Palin's “Brand.” Fox News analyst Brit Hume discussed the SarahPAC bus tour on the O'Reilly Factor:
HUME: Well, I think, as you suggested in your Talking Points Memo, we're in kind of the doldrums of the political year before the big year. Nothing much is happening. Nothing much is really happening this weekend. Michele Bachmann had begun to occupy the space in the Republican constellation that Sarah Palin has occupied. So -- and Sarah Palin has benefited, Bill, from speculation about her prospective candidacy.
It makes her a more interesting figure if she's a possible candidate. So she does this thing which was sort of candidate-like, which - to renew interest, I think, in her brand, and she definitely has a brand. You know, and her ability to capture center stage is a real gift.
I mean, she showed up here in Washington over the weekend, you know, where we have this annual Rolling Thunder motorcycle procession where cyclists come -- motorcyclists come from all over the country and participate in it on behalf of veterans still missing. And there she is. See the picture of her. She shows up at the Pentagon, big Pentagon parking lot, which is the staging area for this thing. There were no plans for her to be a part of it at all in the planning for this thing which happens every year and is fairly carefully planned. Next thing you know the procession begins out of the parking lot, and there she on on a motorcycle, head up and banner flying at the front of the parade. That's Sarah Palin. So, you know, this bus tour accomplishes much of the same thing. It puts her center stage and that's good for her.
O'REILLY: You say she wants to refresh her brand. Why? Is it a money-making thing? Does she - is she trying to jack up her lecture fees? I mean, why refresh the brand if you don't want to run for president?
HUME: Because I think, Bill, there is a couple of things she wants out of this. The exposure that she has gotten since the 2008 campaign has been good for her. It has enabled her to build some wealth. And I don't think she had much, and nobody begrudges her of that. And if she makes some more money, I don't think many people would begrudge her of that except the Palin haters.
The second thing it does is it gives her influence within the Republican Party. I think she has more power to influence the party as someone who's not running, perhaps, than she would if she did. I think if she did run, I think that everybody recognizes those numbers you cited. She's toxic to independents and a great many centrist conservatives are wary of her. I think she'd have a hard time being nominated, but she can certainly be a factor, as even George Will, who's a critic of hers, was suggesting in the sound bite that you played.
So I think she has two roles here. One of them affects her life outside of politics, and one of them affects year life inside politics. And her being a prospective, undeclared, potential candidate helps all of that. [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 5/31/11]
Fox's Tantaros: “Whether She's Trying To Better The Brand Or Better The Balance Sheet Back At Sarah Palin Inc., The Woman Knows That This Is Helping Her.” Fox News contributor Andrea Tantaros discussed the bus tour on Hannity's Fox News show:
TANTAROS: She really does need one of those Ronald Reagan, I paid for those microphone moments. But you look at it, what's the downside of her doing this? Whether she's trying to better the brand, or better the balance sheet back at Sarah Palin Inc., the woman knows that this is helping her.
HANNITY: Could it be as simple as what she's saying it is?
HANNITY: Yhat she wants to raise awareness about founding principles, and, “I'm going to these founding sites?” [Fox News, Hannity, 5/31/11]
On The Record Dedicates Half An Hour To Palin-Friendly Interview. After Fox News hosts and guests touted Palin's efforts to renew her “brand,” Fox's Greta Van Susteren devoted the first half of her hour-long Fox News show to an interview with Palin, conducted on her bus tour. [Fox News, On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, 5/31/11]