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.
Haha, "worldwide celebrity". Yeah...no. Leave the rest of us out of this. She barely has any relevance in the US, nevermind outside of it.
Are there no criminals in Iowa ? Come on people do Amereica a favor.
Sarah's got my vote-you go Girl!
Once they have been told what to think, Libs seem to fall all over themsevles repeating the same old party line. How very clever they are! Anyone who throws a scare into into the Donkey Party, and threatens its socialist agenda as Palin did with her speech at the Republican Convention, will be grist for the Liberal Media slime machine. And, the little Donkeys, for the most part being dumb as dirt, and knowing no better, will run with whatever they are told..
Now where is that damn cattle prod when we need it? That is no prize heifer, there. Run, Sarah, run...no seriously, I mean it! Run the other way, you know, NORTH! To Alaska! I can't believe the manner in which she speaks...she sounds worse than an idiot 7th grade drop out and we are supposed to take her seriously? She is what the Alaska gold miners call a "flash in the pan", in other words, FOOLS GOLD! What a freak show she is, and there is ole' Todd, right beside the Re-Todd. Get a REAL job, Palins!
I see Snowbilly Snookie is at it again...trying to be relevant....it's a shame when SHE makes the rest of the Rethug clowns look half-way smart...
She's starting to show her age. Be careful palin, I know you like the cameras but some of them are not flattering to you.
So basically what we have is the press reporting on the stupid antics of the press
I wouldn't say I hate her, but her aptly chosen shirt, I believe, accurately portrays her intellectual age.
R. Fowler if you are so sick about hearing about her than why in the world did you read the article and post a commet.She probably has more brain than all you dem knuckleheads put together
@Angela...Oh, she is sick alright. Incredibly sick.
Would someone just shoot her and put her out of this country's misery!!! Aren't things bad enough without this bubble brained twit offering nothing positive and only the same old garbage about Obama?
Who does she think she is?
You People commenting on Sara Palin are sounding more and more like Liberal Inbred's. Now wonder Planet of the Ape's is doing so good.
Meh. Who cares? She's not going to run, and we all know it. The only people who don't are the people who are deluded enough to vote for her. Both of them.
Palin keeps going back to Iowa because folks in Iowa have very short memories. If Sarah is really on a "bus tour" she is missing all of the State Fair Crowds in other Midwest States. Maybe she is just screwing with the GOP Candidates, which is her M.O.
you the media are making a mountain out of a molehill. why? does your hate of conservatives know no bounds?
I just love reading the drug fueld hatred spewed by the libertards at every Ticker item (and since CNN caters to that crowd there are so many) about Palin. They show the true anti-feminsist, hateful, stupidity of the left and inspire the TEA Party even more. Can't wait until the 2012 elections to knock off a bunch more of these morons.
"Gone to run"?
Then again corn dogs get swarmed.
Snooki Palin on the hunt for Bachmann's money and media attention. Too bad Rick Perry will step on her pig in lipstick act
Never before in recorded history, has an entire world been able to focus its disgust onto a single human being. And never before, has someone so deserved it. (hucks a tomato)
This once again proves that Sarah FAILin is nothing more then a egotistical, narcissistic, bombastic moron who wants nothing more than to draw attention away from everyone else and back to her. She does it as if she knows when the media attention is being to fade away from her to the other "candidates" a term I use lightly, to say "Hey guys I'm still here". Her quest for fame and attention is very nauseating and doesn't let us down I'm proving she is a MEDIA WHORE!!!
CNN please stop to give airtime to this.........., she is making me sick!!!!!!!!!!
Immedidately swarmed by reporters & television cameras? Not by everyday people? The press "is" really getting lame. Please report on significant stories. Stop giving this twit attention!
The headline is misleading. I was expecting a story about Palin's demise as the hands of bees.