Sarah Palin's much ballyhooed "One Nation" bus tour has gripped the media, as the tea party favorite cruises the eastern seaboard, takes in the sights, and plays cat-and-mouse with reporters trailing her every step of the way. In the past week she's visited Washington, DC; Gettysburg, Pennnsylvania; Philadelphia; and New York, where she dined on pizza with none other than Donald Trump. But ABC News reports that Palin's jaunt is quickly evolving into a national event.

After an upcoming trip to Boston, Palin described her summer plans like this:

"Go back to Alaska—in fact today, Willow [Palin's daughter] already had to get back to work so she had to leave—go back to Alaska, come back on the trail again, and take the tour west as the summer progresses."

Palin went on to say that "our tentative plan" is to take "One Nation" to Americans all over the country in the months to come. And while she's downplayed her own presidential aspirations, and insisted that the "One Nation" tour isn't a campaign-like trip, taking the tour national is sure to further stoke rumors that she's testing the waters and considering a 2012 presidential bid. That and the news that she's bulking up her staff, possibly moving to Arizona, and had commissioned a movie by conservative filmmaker Stephen Bannon to celebrate her record as Alaska governor.

Of course, if she is indeed thinking of getting in, she'll have to do it soon. The current roster of candidates, from Pawlenty to Romney to Cain, is already fighting over staffers and courting prospective donors. Time is short, and the big donors are already picking sides.

[UPDATE: That was quick. Hours after the media published stories suggesting Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) might run for president, the senator's office quashed those rumors, saying that DeMint really, truly, sincerely wasn't going to run.]

Conservatives are apparently so turned off by the current crop of GOP presidential candidates that they're urging Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), the right-wing king of the Senate, to launch a presidential bid, the Hill reports. Here's the kicker: DeMint says he's considering it.

Here's the Hill today:

The Tea Party favorite, who had indicated he was not going to run in 2012, would significantly shake up the race if he were to jump in.


The second-term senator would have the inside track to win South Carolina, a key early state in the nomination process. Since 1980, every Republican who has triumphed in the Palmetto State has gone on to capture the GOP presidential nomination.

Some conservative activists compare DeMint to former Sen. Barry Goldwater (R-Ariz.) and former President Reagan, predicting he could quickly unify social and fiscal conservatives.

Now, DeMint—like Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and all the other GOPers who are being urged to run—insisted that right now he has no intentions of declaring his candidacy. But it's clear the growing push to draft him into the race, coming from a top GOP operative and a DeMint grassroots network, Conservatives4DeMint, has DeMint at least considering his options.

A DeMint 2012 campaign would be a huge hit with tea partiers and social conservatives—the South Carolina lawmaker's most feverish supporters. And, looking at his legislative record, it's little wonder why. A hard-line Christian conservative, he's said that schools should fire gay teachers and unmarried female teachers with live-in boyfriends. DeMint's own health care reform plan was little more than a simple federal voucher plan, in which the government would give $2,000 to individuals and $5,000 to families to buy their own health care. That's it. And DeMint's plan would be funded by returned TARP bailout money, so that, he said, the plan wouldn't add to the deficit. (Except that TARP had already been added into the deficit months before.) How exactly DeMint's plan would lower costs or improve the quality of care or even work at all, no one knows.

For what's it worth, DeMint has also compared America under President Obama to "about where Germany was before World War II" and called the stimulus package—which added (PDF) 2.7 million jobs to payrolls and boosted the national GDP by 3.4 percent—a "mugging" and a "fraud." At the least, a DeMint candidacy would liven up the GOP field, which, with long-shot Herman Cain rising in the polls, needs all the help it can get.

Televangelist Pat Robertson isn't the powerful political force he once was, but as the founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network, he's still an influential voice on the Christian Right. Yesterday, on his television show, The 700 Club, Robertson delivered a warning to a weary nation: Muslims are the new Nazis:

Robertson: I was thinking, you know, if you oppose Muslims, what is said? Well, you're a bigot, right? Terrible bigotry. I wonder what were people who opposed the Nazis. Were they bigots?  

Co-host: Well, in that day I think they were looked down upon and frowned upon.

Robertson: Why can't we speak out against an institution that is intent on dominating us and imposing Sharia law and making us all part of a universal caliphate? That's the goal of some of these people. Why is that bigoted? Why is it bigoted to resist Adolf Hitler and the Nazis and to say we don't want to live under Nazi Germany?

Not to nitpick here, but people who opposed the Nazis were not "looked down upon and frowned upon" as bigots. This was a few decades ago, so it's understandably a little obscure, but the United States actually went to war with Nazi Germany. There was a movie about it and everything. 

As you'd probably guess, this is hardly the first time Robertson has compared a large and diverse group of people to Nazis:

Sgt. Shane Warren, escorted by Papa Dog, checks on his soldiers as members of Provincial Reconstruction Team Zabul, Arghandab detachment, make their way back to Forward Operating Base Lane, May 27. Sergeant Warren is assigned to the PRT's security force. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Brian Ferguson