Spirit Lake, Iowa (CNN) – It was an unscripted moment on Sarah Palin's tour to promote her new book, "America by Heart." As hundreds of Palin's fans filed inside a cordoned off area of a northern Iowa Walmart today, this CNN crew popped the question asked of countless potential White House contenders: "Are you any closer to an announcement on running for President?"
The country music that Palin's handlers had blaring at the signing station presumably to drown out such questions suddenly stopped. We asked the question again.
"Am I doing interviews?" the former Alaska governor asked. "I thought I got to talk to the nice people. And where's our music and where's our good enthusiasm?" she persisted.
We repeated the question. "Not any closer. No," she responded.
With the music still off, we squeezed in another question about former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney's comments on Wednesday night's "Tonight Show with Jay Leno." On the program, Romney seemed to take a jab at Palin's decision to step down as Alaska's governor. "It's hard to imagine a circumstance where I would quit," Romney said.
As of today's book signing, Palin indicated she hadn't heard Romney's remarks. "What did Governor Romney say on the 'Tonight Show'?" she asked us.
Upon hearing his comment, her response was brief. "Oh, he probably had some different conditions," she said. It was an apparent reference to the controversies that swirled around her final days as Governor including ethics complaints and a legal dispute over a state trooper who was once married to her sister. Palin's actions were cleared by a state board investigating the matter. In her resignation speech last year, Palin suggested that costly legal battles had forced her to step down.
There was no opportunity to follow up on Palin's comments at the book signing. This CNN crew was informed our allotted time to cover the event was up. The event itself was tightly controlled. Customers were told no cell phones or cameras. Representatives of the media were escorted in to Palin's book signing station, three at a time. As for that music, Palin asked us if we had turned it off. "Because that wouldn't be cool if you did. These Iowa people, they got my back. And I got their back," Palin said after one of her handlers put her hand in front of our camera.
For the record, we didn't turn the music off. But it did help."
The turnout at this stop on Palin's book tour was a sign of her continued political strength. As Spirit Lake's Mayor Blain Andera noted, more than 500 people stood in line for Palin's autograph in a town of roughly 5000 people. Andera said he was leaning toward supporting a Palin presidential bid.
Palin urged many of the people in line to also watch her reality TV show, "Sarah Palin's Alaska" on cable's TLC. "I think that she's very funny. I watch her show every Sunday," said Palin fan Emma Dau.
Another Palin fan, Shannon Dunham started camping outside of the Walmart at 3am for an autograph. "She's just a generational, iconic figure and a great example for our girls," Dunham said.
This women is handled like a dog on a leash. It amazes me how many simple minds are attracted to her. But then, look at the fascination and attraction of Hitler during the 1930's !
Trisha Z, check the date of the Sarah and Todd Palin's rushed elopement, then check the date of their first son Track's birth, THEN tell me what a great example she is with those "core" American values.
Like mother, like daughter, so far. Only difference is, Bristol didn't elope.
I don't want MY daughters following that example.
Killing helpless anmials by shooting them from a helicopter? This qualifies her for Commander in Chief as there are still plenty of small countries that we have'nt invaded yet.
She's got thier backs huh? More like she's got thier wallets and purses. This women is the biggest of the biggest grifters of all. What a know nothing phony.
CNN ... there are so many other more worthy people who need to be covered in the news ... why do you continue to subject the world to this harpy?
Whats the difference between a pit bull and Sarah Palin?
A pit bull has frontal lobes.
I like to know why CNN doesn't report on all the controversial characters in Obama's white house but they have a daily report on Palin? To me this is hiding facts and misleading the public.
Or for example why not write about a Russian company that is taking over uranium mines in Wyoming?
This does not help disspell the old joke re: IOWA standing for Idiots Out Walking Around. 10% of the town's population stood in line at her book signing? Pathetic.
Really revealing how much time she spends on the signing of a book and attention to the people coming by.
She reminds me of those 'mean girls' in high school. Can't go anywhere, say anything, do anything without someone there that's 'got your back'. Ms. Palin hasn't grown up. She's still running for prom queen, or for being voted 'most popular' in the senior class. Given the choice let me vote for the woman chosen 'most likely to succeed' or the one who earned the title of class valedictorian .........not one nicknamed 'Sarah Barracuda'
500 people came out to see her out of a population of 5000 so that is 10% – yep that will get the dingbat elected! And confirms what I have always thought – that 10% of the population is retarded – oops Sarah are you gonna track me down because I used the R word! There is a line in The Wizard of Oz where the good witch says to the WW of the East – something about another house falling on her – I wish Glenda would come and see the Wicked Witch of Alaska off to wherever old hags go!
Wow, a whole 10% of the people living in this small Iowa town support Palin.... I guess maybe she can win an election