Palin swarmed at Iowa State Fair
August 12th, 2011
04:48 PM ET
7 years ago

Palin swarmed at Iowa State Fair

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.

Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Sarah Palin
soundoff (346 Responses)
  1. stanchman

    I wouldn't say Iowa is a fair demographic representation of the US, primarily convervative and rural (short the minority field workers). As birds of a feather flock together, it doesn't say much for the locals, swarming Sarah just locks the thought this political dance is a waste of time. But please Sarah run..

    August 13, 2011 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  2. voter1

    Nice to see the liberals going crazy about Sarah Palin. If you think that America is happy with what's going on with our country and will re-elect Obama, think again. ABO. The Palin Derangement Syndrom is alive and well. She will beat the worst president in modern US history.

    August 13, 2011 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  3. Mark

    Like flies to manure...literally

    August 13, 2011 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  4. OpenMind1st

    First Kim Kardashian, now the super genius Palin. Who's next? Pauly Shore?

    August 13, 2011 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  5. That Guy

    And you guys are still here: Todd Palin

    That about sums it up. For some reason all the "she's a moron", "she's a quitter", "she'll never be president" bull doesn't seem to be sticking. You libs might want to try yelling louder. Maybe then we'll believe you. LOL.

    August 13, 2011 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  6. mike_t

    She'll run. She just doesn't want to give up that Fox News "consultant" paycheck and free air time to run any sooner than she has to, especially with a brand new mortgage on that houe she just bought in Arizona, or New Mexico, or where ever it was.

    Granted, she might not know anything about Russia, or economics, foreign relations, or how to pronounce Vice President Biden's name, or balancing a budget without free oil money, civil rights, or how deregulation will effect overseas banks, the EPA, or corporate malfeasence, but she's not stupid.

    August 13, 2011 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  7. JezebelJean

    Swarmed? One can only hope by bees. Also, she needs "a lot of contemplation?" before making a decision? Well then, I guess we're safe, since contemplation is beyond her capacities.

    August 13, 2011 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  8. Dave

    Why would crowds get crazy and swarm around her? Everyone knows she is just a bitch Tea bagger. Very simple. If I meet her somewhere in a meeting room or bathroom, I would not bother her but just leave her alone like the US citizen.

    August 13, 2011 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  9. blf83

    Let's hope she was swarmed by killer bees. C'mon Iowans, we're smarter than to follow anyone so dumb, so fake.

    August 13, 2011 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  10. The Lunatic

    Is Sarah Palin still around? I would have thought that some poor widowed Alaskan moose would have taken her revenge by now ...

    August 13, 2011 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  11. Hilarious

    @WC 1 person?....There is a CEO, CFO, Chairpersons, stockholders an many other executives that own an run a corporation. Not "one" person runs them....Oh well. Even stupid people get to vote in America.

    August 13, 2011 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  12. Canadian Jim

    No matter how coached she is, and after 3 years in the limelight she still comes off as a simpleton. But I'd still do her.

    August 13, 2011 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  13. marty

    Ok, so stupid people swarm the mother ship of stupidity. How is this news ? The fact that Pawlenty went largly un-noticed, now THAT is news (and not too good for him).

    August 13, 2011 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  14. HKA

    When will this white trash hag go away?

    August 13, 2011 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  15. Meep

    lol awesome... palin.

    August 13, 2011 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  16. Tad Pole

    I think regardless of if you agree or disagree with her political stance, it is surprising that she is unable to make up her mind on a simple decision that is entirely hers alone. Does she want to run for president? I find her indecisiveness a K.O. flaw for anyone that wants to be POTUS.

    August 13, 2011 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  17. Anonymous

    When we are out of Afghanistan and Iraq then I will start taking shots at people NOT YET IN OFFICE. Time to get out of the middle east and everywhere else and take care of our own borders and own problems. When will a democrat or a republican figure out that fighting wars continually will eventually bankrupt this country.

    August 13, 2011 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  18. Eardley Ham Woodbury, MN

    The continued media infatuation with this fishmonger's wife will divert attention from the Repugnican'ts who are jostling about the nomination. Said nomination will go to Rick Perry thus pitting yet another bible thumping mush-brain against Obama in 2012. The real danger is that Perry will win if Obama doesn't begin to act like a leader instead of a sideshow pitchman.

    August 13, 2011 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  19. DetroitFrank

    ""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."

    Correct statement. Corporations pass on all paid taxes to their customers. What is not mentioned, corporations generate taxes in the goods and services they provide, personal property taxes on their equipment, property taxes, their employees pay income taxes, sales taxes on their purchases, property taxes on their own property.

    US corporations pay the second highest corporate taxes in the world, 35% next to Japan at 39%. Lower the corporate tax rate, and deregulate, watch the job growth.

    August 13, 2011 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  20. Marie MD

    interesting that the swarm came from the media idiots who still think she is relevant as a candidate and not necessarily from those in attendance. The rest of us finally understand that this woman is a traitor cancer for this country. It started as a small spot and has grown to such a size that only chemo and radiation can eradicate it. That cancer fighting agent is now most of the the US and the rest of the world who think that those who follow her every shrieks are as big idiots as she is.
    Of course, she is not stealing the spotlight, she is whoring for the spotlight.
    BTW – what's up with the weight loss and her real hair, without those weaves, looks horrible!

    August 13, 2011 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  21. NoTags

    So Sarah appeared in the livestock barn. That's where she belongs with the rest of the pigs in there, of course none of the pigs in the barn have lipstick.

    August 13, 2011 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  22. Madtown

    Sarah Palin...appeared in the “Hall of Champions” livestock barn
    Well, at least she found her way to the place she belongs.

    August 13, 2011 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  23. Dar

    Well, Well, Well, it sure is funny when Mrs Palin shows up that people run to her side to see her and they even get to talk to her unlike most popular people who are so into their selfs that they stick their noses up in the air and act like you are trash.
    Kind of like how most of the bloggers on here act. Very self centered and think that their s..t dont stink either.
    Think you know more than Mrs. palin does? Then you go run for president. You go get off your butts and make the kind of money she does.
    It is called work (something most of you on here dont know about yet) and this is what Mrs. Palin does. WORK, Try it, you might like it......................Errr sorry, I almost forgot, most of you on this blog dont have a job or dont want to try any harder to better your self's. That is why you voted for the joke of the world, only thing is that Odumbo does work ( well sometimes) so why is he any different the Mrs Palin. She is fooling people just like Odumbo did and most of us fell for it.
    Get over your sorry self's and get out and YOU make something of your life too. Odumbo and Palin are.

    August 13, 2011 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  24. Madtown

    Her husband Todd, who expressed enthusiasm about a potential campaign, was also at her side. He seemed to be enjoying the spotlight.
    Well, no kidding he's enjoying himself. They're getting rich by playing this game, I'm sure he's having a grand old time. The Palins: America's First Family of Trash

    August 13, 2011 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  25. Frank

    When are her 15 minutes gonna be up??? There is no way she is running. its easy to drive around on your tour bus when you got Fox paying you six figures and all you need to do is provide a few sound bites. If there are any tough questions you just get on the bus and drive away. Sarah Palin has no ideas, no substance and no solutions. I wish she would run because it will quickly become apparent how irrelevant she really is.

    August 13, 2011 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
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