(CNN) – Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will celebrate Labor Day in the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire.
The 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee will attend a Tea Party Express rally in Manchester on Monday, the same day former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was due to attend the event.
Romney cancelled his scheduled appearance Tuesday, opting instead to join the Tea Party Express national tour Sunday evening before Labor Day. The move made room in his schedule to attend a forum in South Carolina Monday at the invitation of Sen. Jim DeMint – -an invitation he initially declined.
But the tea party group isn’t losing sleep over his schedule shuffle.
“We are always thrilled to have Sarah Palin join one of our rallies,” Tea Party Express chairman Amy Kremer said in a statement released late Tuesday.
“She is an electrifying figure in conservative politics and a hero to the tea party movement.”
Palin has remained mum on whether she’ll jump into the 2012 race for the GOP presidential nomination, but steered her national bus tour to New Hampshire in early June. She attended a clambake in the influential state on the same day Romney formally announced his presidential bid there.
At the time, she called their joint presence in New Hampshire “coincidental.”
And two days before she speaks in New Hampshire, Palin is scheduled to visit Iowa, home of the first-in-the-nation caucus.
The tea party favorite has indicated the end of September is a “drop dead” timeline to make a final decision on whether she will seek the 2012 GOP nomination for president. But her appearances in both Iowa and New Hampshire are sure to stoke speculation about which way that decision will go.
CNN's Kevin Bohn, Peter Hamby, and Shannon Travis contributed to this report.