June 1, 2011 2:17 PM EDT

TIME correspondent Jay Newton-Small and photographer Dima Gavrysh followed Sarah Palin’s bus tour of historic sites up the eastern seaboard nearly 400 miles from Washington DC to New York City via Gettysburg and Philadelphia. Along the way, the former Alaska governor (in leather!) and her family met fans at Rolling Thunder, the annual motorcycle parade to draw awareness to the plight of prisoners of war and missing in action, toured Mount Vernon and Revolutionary and Civil War battle sites and visited the Liberty Bell. All along the way the No. 1 question people asked: will she run for President? Though she was careful not to bill the trip as part of any kind of exploratory campaign, she did say she’s got a “fire in my belly” and is weighing getting in the race. Her daughter Piper, however, didn’t appreciate all the media attention. “Thanks for ruining our vacation,” she said to our photographer.

"Russian forces expanded their control of Ukraine’s Crimea region Monday,as the Ukrainian prime minister acknowledged that his country lack’s military options in dealing with the takeover." [WashPost] "The escalating Ukraine crisis rocked global financial markets Monday, driving up oil prices significantly and sending investors rushing into perceived safe-haven assets such as the yen, while they cut their exposure to stocks." [WSJ] "Two days after Vladimir Putin defied President Obama’s warning not to intervene in Ukraine‘s Crimea region, administration officials said they are already taking punitive economic and diplomatic action against Russia and warned, in the words of one, that 'the Russians have badly miscalculated here.' But the same officials steered clear of suggestions that they are considering a U.S. military role to protect Ukraine from Russian encroachment." [TIME] "I’d be happy if we could interrupt Russia’s mistakes, but so far Putin insists on doing the wrong thing." [David Ignatius] TIME Interview with John McCain: On Ukraine, Syria, Barack Obama, Chris Christie Insurance Companies as We Know Them Are About to Die [Ezekiel Emanuel] Senate Battleground Expands in GOP's Favor [USA Today] Democrats Try Wooing Ones Who Got Away: White Men [NYT] How John Boehner Is Playing Washington [National Journal] Congressional Black Caucus: A Bastion of Seniority [Politico] "The 2016 presidential election is Jeb Bush’s now-or-never-moment." [Hill] Oscars 2014: See All the Winners [TIME] The Corporate-Pizza Oscars [New Yorker]
In the news: Russian forces expand control into Ukraine's Crimea region; the end of health insurance companies as we know them; Senate battleground expands in GOP's favor; Oscars 2014

Jay Newton-Small has been following Sarah Palin since the 2008 election:

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