Sarah Palin goes behind enemy lines

Starting Sunday, Sarah Palin enters enemy territory.

The bus tour that stands to return her to the 2012 spotlight is taking her to the part of the country that’s the least friendly to her — the northeastern U.S.

It’s a part of the country she’s mostly avoided since 2008, conspicuously not setting foot in early presidential state New Hampshire at all during her two book tours and her 2010 tea party campaign swings. Now, however, with her luster dimmed and her national relevance in question, she has chosen to venture into the belly of the beast.

“There’s no doubt in my mind the northeast is the least favorable area of the country to Sarah Palin,” said Terry Madonna, a longtime Pennsylvania pollster and analyst who directs the Center for Politics and Public Affairs at Franklin & Marshall College. “But she has to show she can broaden her appeal. She can’t just go to where she’s already won voters.”

Nevertheless, it’s clear Palin is picking her spots carefully.

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