Is Sarah Palin's Bus Tour Hurting the GOP?

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

As has been reported on this website and other media outlets in the country, Sarah Palin is in the midst of her mysterious, anti-media "One Nation" bus tour along the East coast. She said it is not a precursor to a 2012 presidential run and that she still undecided about entering the fray.

But is Palin's attention-grabbing tour hurting the GOP and its real, announced candidates?

Love her or hate her, Palin is an electrifying figure, much more so than the rest of the Republican field, which still lacks a true superstar. The media cover everything Palin does, overshadowing the rest of the GOP field.

Thursday will be a good test of that. According to a report in the New York Daily News, Palin's bus will rumble into Boston to visit historic places there.

Just one state over in New Hampshire, GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney will make his highly anticipated formal announcement that he is running for president.

Whom do you think will get more coverage? But at what cost? Palin's decision to steal her fellow candidates' spotlight will undoubtedly anger Romney and could alienate the Republican base. While she may not care, winning a general election without the base's full support could be near impossible.

"He's going to have a hard time grabbing the spotlight," NBC News' Chuck Todd said on "The Today Show." "It's a bit of a slap in Mitt Romney's face."

To make matters worse for Romney, Palin has plans for a clambake later on Thursday in, you guessed it, New Hampshire.

"She will certainly be in New Hampshire to rain on Mitt's parade," Massachusetts GOP spokesman Tim Buckley wrote in an email obtained by the Boston Herald.

Palin said the scheduling was not intentional.

"It's coincidental that we are in the same territory at the same time. But more power to Mitt as he mounts his campaign," Palin told CNN.

At least one show on Palin's own network, Fox News, is ignoring her tour: