December 2nd, 2010
03:19 PM ET
4 years ago

An Unscripted Moment on Palin's book tour

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.


Filed under: Mitt Romney • Sarah Palin
soundoff (137 Responses)
  1. nolabear

    A good example for our girls? For SOMEONE to be in the position of a woman who has been elected governor and run as a potential vice president is a good example for our girls. For someone to quit that elected office, lose the election and then go on to completely confuse the idea of governance and celebrity is just an embarrassment to women everywhere.

    December 2, 2010 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  2. GL

    Andera said he was leaning toward supporting a Palin presidential bid. Go right ahead and make us Dems day you stupid Tea Bagger.

    December 2, 2010 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  3. Bubba

    Wow, you think this dim quitter is a good example for your girls? Of what, exactly?

    December 2, 2010 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  4. katy Heys

    Thanks for that story, CNN. I live to follow Sarah throughout every minute of her day and know that I can count on you for that coverage.

    December 2, 2010 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  5. patrick

    looks like her handler dropped the ball at the walmart...she'll probably get an ear-full, if not fired altogether...

    December 2, 2010 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  6. Jim

    I am more shocked to learn that CNN has paid reporters going to book signings of non-candidates and non-officer holders in order to write more boring "political" posts about non-issues. Can someone at CNN pick up my laundry next Wednesday and arrange their time for some random grocery shopping and dinner prep for me too?

    December 2, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  7. enviroguy

    Starting to act like Sharon Angle. Hiding behind loud music and tightly controlled access. Paranoia.

    December 2, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  8. CTYank

    Shades of George W.- totally controlled & contrived display sessions labeled "appearances."

    The sort of stuff that worked so well for Angle and O'Donnell. Face it, Sarah, few people outside your bubble want your sort of Goebbels "journalism." I thought you studied that stuff, or was it "I have naturally curly hair."

    December 2, 2010 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  9. AO

    Of course she responds. She responds to every fart about her like a 6th grader. She's a POS.

    December 2, 2010 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  10. xyz10

    Frank Zappa wrote a song about Palin many years ago: "Only In It For The Money".

    December 2, 2010 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  11. Jaywing

    Ah, yes, CNN's lovefest with Sarah the Quiter Palin continues. Gee, how about those unemployed folks who are having their unemployment stripped by the GOP? How about those people dying in Arizona because the GOP govenor decides to cut the funding for organ transplants? How about the GOP continuing to get cosier and cosier with the rich, Wall Street and the insurance industry? Oh, right, that's real news and CNN feels obligated to send a film crew to cover a moron to boost its ratings with the bigoted 5% of the US population.

    December 2, 2010 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    Societal diarrhea.

    December 2, 2010 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  13. Rennee' Hernandez

    "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," Your poor girls.

    December 2, 2010 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  14. geecee

    God help these people. They are so deluded!! Whoever could possibly think of Sarah Paliln as anything but a total fraud and charlatan is mentally challenged.

    December 2, 2010 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  15. bwshihtzu

    "a great example for our girls"...yes absolutely if you want your girls to grow up to be uneducated, unforgiving, power-hungry, backstabbing, greedy little quitters

    December 2, 2010 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  16. Don Lee

    "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."

    Doesn't that sound a little creepy? Like vaguely threatening?

    December 2, 2010 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  17. Expat American

    “Palin said after one of her handlers put her hand in front of our camera….”

    Palin is a bigot…Palin is a racist……but more importantly Palin is a coward…how laughable and fitting that the Leader of the Tea Party and the soon-to-be Republican candidate for President is such a coward.

    December 2, 2010 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  18. Brijhy

    CNN has the battered woman syndrome. Palin keeps taking jabs at them referencing "lame media", but they keep following her around. Dudes, take my advice, ignore her a couple of days, print nothing Palin and see if she doesn't come running back to the "lame street media"

    December 2, 2010 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  19. george from alaska

    all i got to say is up here in alaska...where we know her for real (not just some lower 48 fantasy) she wouldn't win in her own state. we stomped her whacko senate candidate wiith write in votes.

    December 2, 2010 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  20. Jerry

    Go Sara, go! Show all your haters and envious women and men that you can take it as well as dish it out!

    I am a life-long Democrat but I admire your spunk and patriotism. All those woman (ugly Behar, Walters, Swoopy, etc., etc.) that talk bad about you are just dying of jealousy.

    Go Sara, GO!

    December 2, 2010 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  21. WhoDat?

    "She's just a generational, iconic figure and a great example for our girls," Dunham said.

    Welp, that says it all!

    December 2, 2010 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  22. katiec

    CNN,, your love affair with Palin is getting past ridiculous.
    I do wish the powers to be would actuallly pay attention to ticker, how on the left of articles you are very heavy
    with pictures etc of the republicans, how your headlines promote the republicans and how you are constantly
    pushing her and other undesitable people down our throats.
    Where are the articles about the republicans blocking unemployment extensions, hold up Start treaty, sacrificing middle class America for their dedication to the wealthy, Walll St, big business??
    You are getting more like Fox everyday.

    December 2, 2010 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  23. Jim S.

    ""She's just a generational, iconic figure and a great example for our girls," Dunham said. "

    What's the example? To not bother finishing things you start, if they get "too hard"? I'm glad my mom instilled better internal values in me than that. Your kids are doomed.

    December 2, 2010 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  24. Jay

    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.

    I'm getting rich – thank you idiot #1, I'm getting rich – thank you idiot #2,.............. I'm getting rich idiot #500.

    Guess the other 90% of the town had an education and was intelligent enough to save their money and find better use of their time. Kind of like the rest of America.

    To any imbecile that thinks that she'll run, you're out of your mind. Palin knows she can't handle the "lamestream" media with all the tough questions like what newspapers she reads or what her foreign policy experience is, etc.

    I'm getting rich – thank you idiot #........

    December 2, 2010 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  25. george from alaska

    palin wants to move our state capital near her home in wasilla at the economic destruction of thousands of juneau families. sarah lied about her position on this to the voters. her non-elected husband even called the top state republican to ask for this. does this sound like someone who is anti-goverment and pro-family to you?

    December 2, 2010 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
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