Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) – On Friday afternoon, the day after a nationally-televised Republican presidential debate, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty went largely unnoticed as he strolled around the Iowa state fairgrounds with a couple of aides.
It was an entirely different scene just minutes later, when Sarah Palin - former Alaska governor, worldwide celebrity and potential White House hopeful - appeared in the “Hall of Champions” livestock barn on a different side of the park.
Palin had been expected to attend the state fair, which is ground zero for presidential politics ahead of the Ames Straw Poll on Saturday, but her aides remained tight-lipped all week and revealed nothing about her whereabouts.
Her Iowa visit marked the opening of the Midwestern leg of her “One Nation” bus tour, which launched this spring with a tour of historical sites along the East Coast.
When she did show up at the fair, dressed in a white t-shirt and a pair of black jeans from her favorite Alaska designer, Palin was immediately swarmed by dozens of reporters and television cameras as news of her sudden appearance ricocheted around the fairground.
The press pack tiptoed around prize-winning cattle and errant pitchforks while thrusting microphones toward her face and bombarding her with questions about her national ambitions, the emergence of Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Thursday’s GOP debate.
She welcomed Perry, a friend and political ally, to the presidential field but said she still sees “room in the field” and said it would not impact her decision-making process about the race.
“He is a great guy, I look forward to seeing him in the debates,” she said. “He was adamant that he wasn’t gone to run, so it’s surprising. I am surprised that he changed his position on that. But I am glad that he is going to be in there.”
Palin was escorted through the fairgrounds by a team of advance staffers and an Iowa GOP operative, Becky Beach, who has assisted Palin during past visits to the Hawkeye State. She had more staff on hand Friday than she did during the first leg of her bus tour.
Her husband Todd, who expressed enthusiasm about a potential campaign, was also at her side. He seemed to be enjoying the spotlight.
“After she resigned they said that she was washed up and done right?,” he said with a grin. “And you guys are still here.”
As for her own thinking about the race, both she and Todd said there is plenty of time to make a decision. Palin said she would not be a candidate by the time she returns to the state over Labor Day weekend, when she is slated to address a tea party rally in Waukee.
“There is a still a lot of contemplation that needs to go into such an Earth shattering, life-changing decision,” Palin said.
She engaged with the media for more than an hour, all while signing autographs and posing for pictures with star struck fair-goers.
Palin had nothing but kind words for the candidates who could become her rivals for the GOP nomination.
She praised former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s combative performance in Thursday’s debate, said she would happily support former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney if he becomes the nominee and dismissed any idea of a rivalry between herself and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann.
“Just because there may happen to be two women in the race, that they would, you know, as Michele had put it once, get in the mud and be cat-fighting,” she said. “It’s ridiculous. It’s kind of even a sexist notion to consider that two women would be kind of be duking it out. If I’m going to duke it out, I’m going to duke it out with a guy or a girl, whoever the opponent is.”
Palin also defended Romney after the GOP frontrunner told an Iowa crowd a day earlier that “corporations are people.” He was accusing President Barack Obama of creating a greater tax burden on businesses.
"The people pay the taxes. It’s not an entity, the corporation itself, that pays the taxes. It’s the people who pay the taxes. So Mitt Romney was right,” Palin said.
After her lengthy walk and talk with the press and supporters, she walked into a private, roped-off function to meet with local Republican activists and munch on corn dogs.
Palin's bus tour is expected to take her into Illinois and Missouri in the coming days.
Run Sarah Run! Sincerely, Democrats everywhere.
As usual, i look at the quotes she provides and scratch my head in confusion.
...Iowa can have here.
She loves the spot light and will try and steal it from anyone at anytime. I do not trust her, but that is me.
What is wrong with the people in Iowa, they seem obsessed with these crazy Republican women. Very Strange.
yes, GE and other companies that pay almost no tax and earn billions are people too.
let's have lots of sympathy for them.
The money comes from the company profits. If you go in agreeing to work for $25k per year and they pay tax or don't pay tax – that company is not going to give you a penny more in your paycheck. Good luck if you hoped otherwise.
Companies do not make money in a vacuum – they need the fire departments and police departments and basic infrastructure we have in this country. Why do they think they deserve that without paying for any of it?
The GOP needs to find a new song.
That trashy librarian look still draws them to her just like flies to..........well you know.
Oh yeah...there's plenty of time to decide whether or not if she's going to run. You know, right after all the debates are over so no one sees how utterly stupid and incompetent she is.
Come on Sara...you have such confidence in yourself, stand up the stage with the rest of your "allies" and confederates and show us all your knowledge and know-how.
Swarmed.............in a livestock barn................really?!?!?!?!
Appropriate, dontcha think?!?!?!?!
"The people pay the taxes. It’s not an entity, the corporation itself, that pays the taxes. It’s the people who pay the taxes. So Mitt Romney was right,” Palin said."
Sigh. I'm sorry, but that has to be int he top ten stupidest things Jaberwocky Barbie has ever said in an attempt to rationalize conservative nonsense. it shows an complete and utter lack of any undertanding whatsoever of what she is attempting to talk about and constitutes more proof that she is dangerously unqualified, undereducated, misinformed and intelelctually challenged for not only holding office but also influencing the elections process in general. People who listen to her and nod their heads sagely as if she's some political oracle or font of economic wisdom need to be slapped in the face unti they wake up.
she is just the smoke screen because there is no one substance in those bunch of repblicans
Can't wait to vote for Palin 2012!
Anonymous – If you can't even create a fake name for yourself, why even comment?
Andrew – She made perfect sense. Corporations are run by ONE person. That's the person that both her and Romney were referring. I'm not sure why that would confuse anyone.
The dog sneaked in again ..... didn't participate in the GOP "debate" and then stole the show ..... can't say that she is not an opportunist can you?
She looks like she lost a lot of weight. Is she sick?
It looks like a horse in a white t-shirt escaped from the livestock barn!
Does that t-shirt belong to her daughter?
When she did show up at the fair, dressed in a white t-shirt and a pair of black jeans from her favorite Alaska designer, Palin was immediately swarmed by dozens of reporters and television cameras
Phewww!!! I thought she ha been swarmed by regular people, but it was just the news media acting like a bunch of groupies.
I guess in the lovesick media's case the old adage is true that the worse a woman treats you the more you chase after her.
Oh well, better you than us.
If she think the way she looks in this picture it's understandable !
Bassman Posts Secondly, Pres. Obama was not critcized for stealing the spotlight when he showed up in Iowa on the same day as Palin's movie.
There is a huge difference in being the President of The United States of America and having a really, really bad movie. You are more delusional then ever if you think any President would care if there was a Sarah Palin movie playing in the neighborhood.When you have the most important job in the world, you dont worry about a propaganda movie. Good greif !!
Just goes to show you that some people are easily pleased, not to mention fooled.
By the way, she looks like she's been ridden hard and put away wet.
God awful, what happenned to the Botox shots, and she's emaciated.
Not a good look Sarah- dahling.
if this media whore gets anywhere near the white house, america will officially become the dumbest, most blissfully ignorant population on the face of the earth.
What an attention-whore. This woman can't stand to be out of the limelight. When are Republicans going to wake up and smell the coffee and realize this woman is just yanking their chain? She keeps saying she's "considering" a run for the White House, but what is there to consider, either for her or her family? This wouldn't be her first time at the rodeo; she's already been a candidate for the second highest elected office in the country; she knows what's involved, and so does her family. She doesn't want to be President. Why? Because that's a real job. She'd have to get up early...every day...and go to an office....and, like, actually work. She doesn't want to do that, not when she can give a speech or write a book (or rather, put her name on a bood that someone else wrote) and make more money at one time that she can make in a year as President. When are people going to stop taking her seriously? I, for one, am sick and tired of hearing about her. CNN, please stop writing news stories about her; leave that to FOX News (oh, excuse me – FOX Entertainment TV).
“It’s ridiculous. It’s kind of even a sexist notion to consider that two women would be kind of be duking it out. If I’m going to duke it out, I’m going to duke it out with a guy.” Isn't that just as sexist?!
Good 'ole Iowa. They all flock to see the Dipstick in Lipstick. Makes one wonder what's in the water there. Sheeesh!!!!