Rolling Thunder is a non-profit organization which is dedicated to advocating on behalf of Prisoners of War and larger veteran issues and is best known for its annual motorcycle rides in Washington, D.C. on Memorial Day. Turns out that potential GOP candidate Sarah Palin has announced plans to attend the Rolling Thunder event at the Washington Mall this weekend, which according to Rolling Thunder spokesperson Ted Shpak, is a big distraction.
During an interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, Shpak seemed particularly miffed that Palin was planning on attending the rally and made the point that she wasn’t invited. Rolling Thunder does not endorse candidates and seemed annoyed that his cell phone would not stop ringing since this news broke.
However, not everyone associated with Rolling Thunder seems annoyed by Palin. ABC News blog The Note reports that some chapters are very excited to be joined by the GOP presidential hopeful:
“I think that’s wonderful,” said Gerri Tramel, president of one of Rolling Thunder’s Tennessee chapters. “Anybody that’s involved — Republican, Democrat, independent, whatever — if you’re involved with our veterans, I think that’s wonderful. Not just Sarah Palin — anyone that’s a politician.”
For more than 20 years, as many as half a million motorcycle riders from across the country have descended on Washington, D.C., during Memorial Day weekend to raise awareness about prisoners of war and those missing in action. Rolling Thunder announced Thursday that Palin accepted an invitation to participate in its May 29 rally. She’ll kick off her One Nation Tour the same day, a bus trip along the northeast coast that aims “to educate and energize Americans about our nation’s founding principles.”
Asked how Palin came to be involved with the rally, Rolling Thunder spokeswoman Nancy Regg said, “I honestly don’t know.”
Watch the interview with Shpak below, courtesy of MSNBC: