Palin tours Boston, says Romney timing coincidence

By Scott Malone

BOSTON (Reuters) – Sarah Palin took her tour of the United States, seen by some as a possible warm-up to a run at the Republican presidential nomination, to the Democratic stronghold of Massachusetts on Thursday.

On a tour through the city’s Revolutionary War-era historic sites, Palin said her trip was not timed to distract attention from Massachusetts ex-governor Mitt Romney’s formal announcement in neighboring New Hampshire of the start of his presidential campaign .

Palin, a former governor of Alaska, told reporters in the morning that the timing of the trip was “coincidental.”

She herself was expected to travel next to New Hampshire, traditionally the state with the nation’s first nominating primary, making it a key destination for all potential candidates.

After visiting sites including the Old North Church and the house of Revolutionary War hero Paul Revere, Palin stopped to talk with onlookers on the cobblestoned streets of the city’s North End.

Surrounded by reporters, Palin spoke to Tara Rendon, a 56-year-old neighborhood resident who formerly worked for the late Senator Edward Kennedy, a Democrat. Rendon called for Palin to observe a moderate tone in her campaign.

“I will help with that and I absolutely agree with you,” replied Palin, who was her party’s vice presidential nominee in 2008. “We are one nation and we need to face these heady days together. There have got to be solutions that we can all work on together.”

Rendon said she was unimpressed.

“I don’t think that she has the temperament,” to be president, Rendon said. “(U.S. President Barack) Obama’s not doing everything right but at least he has the right tone, he’s not inciting people. That’s what we don’t need, people who are inciting other people.”

Palin came under fire earlier this year after using the weighted term “blood libel” against critics she said were rushing to tie the January shooting of U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona to vitriolic political speech and those they considered guilty of it.

Earlier stops in Palin’s “One Nation” tour took her to historic sites in Washington, Philadelphia and New York.

She has not yet declared her intention to run for president but earlier in the week told reporters that any campaign “would definitely be unconventional and nontraditional.”

(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Jerry Norton)