Washington (CNN) – As Sarah Palin continues to ponder a possible bid for the Republican presidential nomination, she is embarking this weekend on a major overseas trip visiting two key U.S. allies.
Her first stop is New Delhi, India where she is the keynote speaker at a dinner of a major conference, the India Today Conclave. Her paid speech to the forum, sponsored by an Indian communications company, comes Saturday night.
Palin is quoted in Friday's India Today newspaper as saying she is "very excited to visit India. Americans have a great respect for the world's largest democracy."
"India and the United States are partners in trade and business affairs, and working together our two nations can build a more peaceful and prosperous world," she is quoted in the publication telling the organizers of the event.
After India she heads to Israel where she will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday. Her brief visit, scheduled just to last two days, is also expected to include meetings with other Israeli politicians as well as stops at some landmarks, according to the Jerusalem Post.
In a message posted on her political action committee's website, she said "As the world confronts sweeping changes and new realities, I look forward to meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu to discuss the key issues facing his country, our ally Israel."
Several other prospective GOP candidates - Mitt Romney, Haley Barbour and Mike Huckabee - recently visited Israel.
"She has to be able to say in case she hops in she went through the motions like the other guys," GOP consultant Ford O'Connell, who worked on the McCain-Palin campaign in 2008, told CNN.
Palin's foreign trip is expected to help her bolster her foreign policy credentials. O'Connell said that issue is probably Palin's weakest. He pointed out with the recent events in Japan, Libya and Egypt international are back in the forefront.
"Foreign policy is moving up the ladder. If you want to be president you have to have a good understanding of the global economy in the 21st century" as well as these issues, he said.
Such a trip, as the one she is undertaking, is a must for someone considering a run, he said. "If she doesn't do it, it will hurt her," he said.
As she has for the past months, Palin continues to say she is "contemplating" a presidential run last week telling Fox News, where she is employed as a political analyst, "It's obviously, a huge life-changing decision to be made. But there are some extremely, extremely difficult situations that our country is facing today.
"And unless I have the confidence that we have a GOP candidate who is out there willing to tackle these issues, regardless of what perhaps some special interests or ties they may have had in the past to these special interests...unless I'm confident there is a GOP candidate who can tackle these things and provide solutions, then, yes, seriously, I will continue to think about it."
Asked if she could wait longer than some other prospective candidates to see who her competitors might be, she said in the interview "I've never waited for anybody else to line-up and then I jump in at the end. In fact, in my races over the last 20 years, I've usually been the first to jump in. But in this case, because it is so monumental and so affecting on a family, I probably would wait to see who is willing to put their name forward in the hat in terms of serving this country."
The former Alaska governor enjoys large support among Republican voters and her speeches draw large crowds, but her disapproval numbers among GOP voters continue to rise. There is mixed opinion among many unaligned Republican consultants on whether she will end up actually launching a bid for the nomination.
She visited the key early voting states of Iowa and South Carolina last year during her book tour and recently hired a political veteran as chief of staff for her political action committee. She is not known however to have taken any other concrete steps that might indicate a possible campaign, such as trying to recruit key activists and consultants in those crucial states as others are actively doing. She has also declined invitations to address some political gatherings.
anybody can dream, so dream on
Please run Todd and Sister Palin – maybe the beating you would take would shut you up forevermore.
I'm glad she's going overseas to get some foreign experience. I hope she stays there permanently and "enlightens" the local populations on everything they're doing wrong.
Oh My – she a legend in her own mind. Is this dingbat actually saying that if she sees a highly qualified person step up to run as a Republican then she will not have to, but because she is so brilliant, knowledgeable and qualified she would be duty bound to save America if no other Republican ran. talk about delusion -
Somebody better tell her that India, is not a city in Indiana.
Her trip will cost $200 million a day. She is taking 2,000 people with her. She'll be renting out over 870 rooms, and these are 5-star hotel rooms. In addition, the GOP House is sending 1/3 of the naval fleet to protect her.
See? I can make stuff up just as easily as Fox News.
It would be interesting to see if she uses American Exceptionalism in this speech, founding fathers, the Constitution, Health Care Reform, Mama Grizzle, lame media, question President Obama love for America or any WTF moments.
The PINHEAD travels the world now that she;s rich. But guess what, moron, it still doesn't count as diplomacy. What a MORON.
I hate to see her going overseas to speak to anyone in public. It'll give people the impression all Americans are that misguided and out of touch.
This is the best news of 2011 ! You are doing great ,Palin .
I don't care if she travels to every country on earth; she is still not smart enough to grasp the nuances of foreign policy. Just landing on some country's soil doesn't automatically make you an expert on that country, like she seems to think. Sure it will make her resume look important, but there's still nothing between her ears. I really shudder to think what the rest of the world thinks of us as a country, based on Sarah Palin's inane comments on things she doesn't understand.
Does she think two days here, two days there, will lift up her very thin knowledge of foreign matters!!!!
Does she really believe spending two days in Israel will bolster her non-existent foreign policy credentials?
Why would any thinking person, of either party, vote for an individual who has a past of quitting when the going gets tough? Winners never quit, and quitters never win!
Run Palin Run. I hope she wins the nomination, it is the best thing she could do for the Democrats.
Sarah Palin is now going overseas. She can now have trip to India on her resume.
Please tell us why this is big news. She is going as a private citizen and not a representative of the government.
Foreign policy is indeed her weakest issue. Then again, what strong areas does she have? Fashion, hunting, reality TV, fence building – what a presendiatial candidate.
I hope it is very clear to them that she does NOT speak for the United States. Let's see if she can refrain from criticising our government and its foreign policy while on foreign soil. Wanna take bets?
"India and the United States are partners in trade and business affairs, and working together our two nations can build a more peaceful and prosperous world,"
How about she go overseas and stay they there. This idiot fails to realize that all of OUR jobs are in India. Everytime I call United Healthcare, I have to speak to an Indian who I can barely understand. Cheap labor doesn't compensate for good customer service.
Letter to the people of India and Israel: We thank you for your indulgence of Sarah Palin, we know she is ignorant and very uneducated and doesn't offer the best American women have to offer as in Hillary Clinton. Also, please bear with her interpreter because we here in the U.S. have no idea what she's talking about, jusy jibber, jabber. Thank you.
We're already watching the transformation from semi-hot to Feinstein, imagine in a year?
She will NOT run! She's too stupid to be president and she knows it!
She's starting to spend an awful lot of time away from her kids.
Plain and simple-Palin is NOT presidential material.. Enough said
I hope she lets her handlers make all of the arrangements as her tenous grasp of the world might find her wondering the Kalahari vainly looking for a signal so she could send out another tweet.