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Palin to news media: Catch me if you can

By Jim Acosta and Kevin Bohn, CNN
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Palin's bus tour rolling along
  • Sarah Palin's "One Nation" bus tour keeps reporters guessing about her next move
  • Palin denies she's playing "cat and mouse" game with what she often calls "lame-stream media"
  • Bus tour expected to arrive in New Hampshire this week; stop in Iowa may also be in the works
  • Palin says she's "contemplating" 2012 run but says to expect the unexpected if she makes one

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania (CNN) -- Sarah Palin is going rogue again. Want to cover the potential Republican presidential candidate? Better bring your running shoes.

Unlike most carefully choreographed presidential campaigns that routinely release detailed candidate schedules, Palin's staff is keeping most of the national news media in the dark about her political action committee's bus tour this week.

The result is a chaotic game of cat and mouse, with the media frantically chasing the 2008 vice presidential candidate from one stop to the next.

Is Palin your pick for the 2012 GOP presidential nominee? Tell us why!

When Palin made her final stop Monday in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, she told a pack of scrambling reporters to expect the unexpected if she runs for the White House.

"Oh, it would definitely be unconventional and untraditional. Yes. Knowing us, yeah, it would have to be," Palin said.

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  • Sarah Palin
  • Politics
  • Republican Party
  • Gettysburg
  • Alaska

It's another maverick move for the former Alaska governor who has often had a tense relationship with what she often calls the "lame-stream media."

Palin, a paid contributor for Fox News, told the network Monday that she is challenging reporters to keep up the pace.

"I don't think I owe anything to the mainstream media. I want them to have to do a little bit of work on a tour like this," she said.

With few details about Palin's movements Monday, reporters raced to follow her up Interstate 95 from George Washington's home at Mount Vernon, Virginia, to Fort McHenry in Baltimore.

With her husband, Todd, and daughter Piper by her side at several stops, Palin paused to answer questions from reporters and her supporters.

That hasn't always gone over well with Piper. "Mom. Let's go," the younger Palin said in Gettysburg.

Palin, who insists she isn't riding a "campaign bus," conceded Monday she is "contemplating" a run for the White House.

It may be more than contemplating. Palin's bus tour is expected to arrive this week in New Hampshire, which holds the first presidential primary next year. She said a trip to Iowa, which has presidential caucuses preceding the New Hampshire primary, is also in the works.

Her tour of historic sites along the East Coast has most of the stagecraft that comes with a presidential campaign -- except for the careful coordination with the media.

The former Alaska governor gave reporters the slip Tuesday morning. Leaving her political action committee's "One Nation" bus parked outside her Gettysburg hotel room, she hopped in an unmarked SUV to check out the nearby national park.

Palin pulls a fast one on reporters

In a brief interview Tuesday with CNN, Palin denied she is playing "cat and mouse."

"I'm having a great time with my family, my Alaskan friends and my Pennsylvanian friends," she said.

Whatever she's up to, the chase is generating global media attention and perhaps irking some of her potential rivals.

"We need to quit worrying about polls and bus tours and get on to the issue of how we're going to fix the country," former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty said in an interview with MSNBC.

Palin's supporters don't seem to mind one bit.

More than 100 fans waited for hours in sweltering 90-degree heat Monday to catch a glimpse of the politician-turned-reality TV star at the Gettysburg National Military Park.

Crowds wait and wait and wait for Palin

Once word spread that she was postponing the trip until Tuesday, many of those same followers flocked to her hotel in Gettysburg.

In a long-sleeve T-shirt and running shorts, Palin posed for pictures with her fans.

Later that night, a few supporters taped messages to the door of her "One Nation" bus.

"I really hope you run in 2012," one read.