The maverick has a knack for kicking up dust. There. Nine words. More than enough. By now you know, beyond any shadow of a doubt, exactly where I stand.

The maverick has a knack for kicking up dust.


There. Nine words. More than enough. By now you know, beyond any shadow of a doubt, exactly where I stand.


A. I'm a raving loon who believes Sarah Palin walks on water and is exactly what this country needs right now.


B. I'm a raving loon who will say or do anything to attack Palin because I'm a liberal elitist who just don't get it.


I can count on one reader to interpret the nine words as proof-positive of B. She calls to give me a venom-filled earful any time I defile the former Alaska governor's good name by merely writing it. The likes of me shouldn't dare speak the name, much less put it in print.


I can also expect an e-mail or two demanding to know how I could praise John McCain's ex-running-mate. Don't I understand how crazy she is? How dangerous? What part of nutjob don't I get?


Truth be told, it doesn't really matter what I say from here on in. If the subject of the sentence is Sarah Palin, there is no neutral zone.


"There's not a lot of gray area when it comes to Sarah Palin," said Christen Varley, president of the Greater Boston Tea Party, which is hosting a national Tea Party Express tour appearance in Boston.


"Personally, I'm thrilled that she's here," said Varley, but even within the party, "there are people in our group who aren't big fans.


"I think her star power is great," in that it brings attention to the rally, Varley said.


Reporters from Al Jazeera, the British Broadcasting Corp. and France's Le Figaro are among the media members slated to cover the Boston Common rally, Varley said.


No offense to Michael Graham, but the international press probably isn't turning out because Boston's WTKK radio talk show host will be broadcasting live.


Still, "this event is not about Sarah Palin," said Varley. "I think she illustrates the work the Tea Party does," but "we haven't ordained her. She isn't our leader.


The headline may be Palin, said Varley, but "the headline should be about the ordinary people" working for change.


"It's not about her. It's a grass-roots movement," said the Holliston, Mass., resident who was a co-organizer of last year's Tax Day Tea Party on Boston Common. "It's boots on the ground.


"I don't look at the Tea Party as an issue movement. It's not a political party movement. It's a principles movement." Those principles are free market, free speech, personal responsibility and individual liberty, she said, and "it all starts with limited government. ... We need to find candidates that we believe in and support them."


The rally is for sparking a sense of solidarity, she said.


As for rumblings about protesters, that has Varley a little puzzled.


"It would never cross my mind to protest a pep rally. I don't know why anyone would protest the U.S. Constitution."


It's pretty unlikely throngs will show up specifically to protest the Constitution.


It is pretty likely some will show up to protest something, particularly with Palin in the mix.


Maybe it will be because the Tea Party movement is seen as too radical. Maybe it will be because the movement is seen as not radical enough.


Maybe the source of protest will be the Bay State's newest senator for "snubbing Palin," as some accuse Scott Brown of doing when he said he wasn't going to attend the rally.


Even the man hailed as a conquering hero three months ago isn't immune to the current political climate that has people going out of their way to look for ways to take offense.


Particularly when Palin's in the mix.


There may be a lot more to the Tea Party movement than the new Fox commentator. There just aren't many people as adept at setting off a firestorm merely by showing up.


Details on her stop in "enemy" territory may be fuzzy, but two things are written in stone.


The maverick with the knack for kicking up dust isn't coming to Boston to be seen on TV addressing a crowd of a few thousand.


And fans and foes will tune in to hear what she had to say.


MetroWest Daily News writer Julia Spitz can be reached at 508-626-3968 or jspitz@cnc.com. Check metrowestdailynews.com or milforddailynews.com for the Spitz Bits blog.