Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) is downplaying the importance of New Hampshire just days before she is scheduled to visit the first-in-the-nation primary state. 

Palin's bus tour will visit the Granite State later this week, but she said that voters there should not be held in higher regard than other Americans just because of the important timing of their primary contest.


“I honestly don’t look at states according to when their primaries are. To me, an American is an American no matter what their primary election dates,” Palin said during an interview aired Wednesday by CNN.

Palin's visit to New Hampshire is expected to be one of the most closely watched portions of her tour because of its importance in the presidential nominating process.

The 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee plans to visit all three of the first primary and caucus states: Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

But the ex-governor's words aren't typical of a presidential candidate: New Hampshire voters value retail politics and one-on-one attention. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R), the presumed front-runner, has centered his campaign strategy around New Hampshire and has made frequent visits to the state to woo activists and potential supporters. 

Palin, who has has said her trip is not for campaign purposes, indicated that she could appeal to New Hampshire voters despite her views about the nominating process.

"They’re special because they are Americans and obviously they want jobs, they want safety in their communities, they want strong national defense, they want the same things that everybody else wants," she said. "So I don’t know, I guess that’s that non-politician in me not looking at a New Hampshire voter any differently just because they have, you know, an earlier primary than somebody else."

She also said she has an ability to appeal to common people in a one-on-one setting.

"I would never lose that ability or that desire to get to be with that one on one relationship with people," said Palin. "I think it’s the most valuable thing a person, a professional politician, anybody can have is that desire to have that one on one relationship with people."