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Palin book lays out possible GOP battle plan; will she be the general?

By Tom Cohen, CNN
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Sarah Palin's media blitz
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Sarah Palin's new book, "America by Heart," is released
  • A promotional book tour will take her through key states in 2012 race
  • Palin's book takes aim at Obama and liberal Democrats' policies
  • Book offers personal perspective, but no detailed policies or proposals

(CNN) -- Sarah Palin has yet to formally declare she will run for president, but the book released Tuesday titled "America By Heart" is as clear a statement of intention as there could be.

Palin's 11-day, 13-state tour to promote the book begins Tuesday, and will take her through states that have early presidential caucuses and primaries, including Iowa and South Carolina.

A personal screed that lays out the former Alaska governor's values, faith and political views, the roughly 300-page book is a blueprint for the conservative battle plan against President Barack Obama's re-election in 2012.

Chapters with titles such as "America the Exceptional" and "Raising (small-r) Republicans" argues that Obama and liberal Democrats are threatening the freedom of individuals at home while harming America's standing in the world.

"If Democrats are driving the country toward socialism at a hundred miles per hour, while the Republicans are driving at only fifty, commonsense constitutional conservatives want to turn the car around," Palin wrote in the book's conclusion, titled "Commonsense Constitutional Conservatism."

"We want to get back to the basics that have made this country great -- the fundamental values of family, faith, and flag that I have talked about in this book," she continued.

Palin's presence saturates media
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The book attacks policies and legislation championed by Obama and congressional Democrats, such as the health care reform bill, energy reform proposals and the economic stimulus bill, while lamenting all things labeled liberal or progressive.

It offers no detailed policies or proposals and instead provides the personal perspective of the GOP vice presidential candidate in 2008 on religion, patriotism, family and what ails America.

Palin's main target is Obama, her likely adversary in 2012 if she runs for president and wins the Republican nomination.

Since her emergence on the national scene as the GOP vice presidential nominee in 2008, Palin has been arguably the country's most polarizing political figure. A recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation found 49 percent of Americans have an unfavorable view of her. But that poll also found that nearly three-quarters of Republican voters view her favorably.

The book tour also comes on the heels of another Palin foray into the public consciousness: "Sarah Palin's Alaska," a reality TV show that follows the adventures of the former governor and her family in their home state, debuted November 14 on TLC.

The program, which showcases her as a rugged outdoorswoman, is not aimed at political junkies, but the scheduling is timely. It wraps up in mid-January when some potential GOP candidates will be deciding whether to run for president.

In her book, Palin levels blame at both major parties for what she calls "overspending and government growth that is robbing our children of their future," as well as a "Washington culture of entitlement" that has brought a "corrupt mind-set" to Congress.

In the end, though, she argues that the blame rests with Obama and his liberal allies.

"No wonder millions of Americans are up in arms (figuratively, of course), demanding relief from the 'change' Barack Obama and the left have thrust upon them against their will," Palin wrote.

"We have a president, perhaps for the first time since the founding of our republic, who expresses his belief that America is not the greatest earthly force for good the world has ever known," her book said. "Now I know that sounds a little overblown to many educated liberals, a little jingoistic. But so many of us do believe America is an exceptional force for good."

Palin criticizes Obama on both foreign and domestic policy, accusing the president of making an "apology tour" to foreign capitals for America's success in the world.

At home, she wrote, "this president's rejection of American exceptionalism has translated into a stark lack of faith in the American people."

"There's no other way to describe a governing philosophy that won't trust individual Americans to control their own health care, plan for their own retirement, or even spend their own money," Palin wrote.

On personal issues, Palin touches on the pregnancy of her unmarried, teenage daughter, Bristol, and subsequent birth of Bristol's son by boyfriend Levi Johnston. Her account never mentions Johnston by name, referring instead to the "new father" or "Tripp's father," but shows the continuing strain of a public rift with him.

"It was disgusting to watch as his fifteen minutes of fame were exploited by supposed adults taking advantage of a lost kid," Palin wrote, later adding: "Along with our sorrow, of course, was some justifiable anger as well. The lies told about our family on national television were outrageous."

CNN's Jillian Harding, Adam Aigner-Treworgy and Jim Acosta contributed to this report.

 
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