AOL News has a new home! The Huffington Post.Click here to visit the new home of Politics Daily!
A cholera outbreak has killed more than 2,000 people in Haiti and voting in a recent presidential election is still disputed.
Palin, who is considering a run for president in 2012, has little foreign experience on her resume, and any visit abroad would generate intense interest. Earlier this week she had been rumored to be planning a visit to England or Israel.
But some suggest the trip could help her win support among the Republican Party's critical evangelical base. As Sarah Pulliam Bailey wrote at Christianity Today, Palin -- despite her reputation as a conservative Christian -- has not cultivated ties to evangelical leaders, with the exception of Franklin Graham and, to a lesser extent, his father.
Franklin Graham has been a frequent critic of President Obama, and last summer declared that the president, who is a devout Christian, was "born a Muslim," which played into myths about Obama's religious identity. Earlier this year, Palin defended Graham over his statements about Islam.
In early 2009, as Bailey noted, Palin traveled with Franklin Graham to distribute food in Alaska. She also visited Billy Graham, who recently turned 92, right after the 2008 election.
Writing in Politico, Andy Barr said that the Haiti visit would allow Palin "to better establish her claim to evangelical voters if she chooses to seek the Republican presidential nomination," and he noted that former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, one of Palin's potential 2012 rivals, was the choice of most evangelicals in the early 2008 GOP primaries and caucuses.
Billy Graham is in declining health and no longer the political player he once was. But Palin may have won his heart even before they ever met.
"He's a typical man. I don't care if he's 90 years old, he thought that she is so pretty," the elder Graham's daughter, Gigi, told Christianity Today in 2008. "He loves a pretty woman."
News From Our Partners
More on Aol
Sites and Services