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.
""This woman is an embarassment to the political process and denigrates the people who have seriously pursued the highest office in the land. She is usurping the GOP candidates on this straw poll weekend and frankly, wasting the time of the American public."" Geez, so what the heck do you think of Obama? He's in office and doing the same thing while bringing this great country to her knees!
Crap usually attracts flies.
It's actually scary to know that there are that many people in one state that can't get enough of Sara Palin. Her short record in politics is brief and ends with quiting, yet she is flocked by all these folks as if she had done something. I guess birth control left the wrong ones in the toilet.
I am offended by her seeming to agree that women should be submissive to their husbands. This was one of the last things said in the video. So bizarre! A successful marriage is where each person treats and respects the other person equally. She is not the image of a courageous American modern woman.
People swarm to see Sara, the first talking pig at the Iowa State Fair....
Very fitting she campaigns in a barn. And how curious there are no approval rating polls on her favorability. Just because she got swarmed does not mean she is in the top 5. Flies swarm pigs in a barn....that does not mean the flies are going to vote for the pig.....The very un-american traitorous pig...we all know what the law says about treason....
Dear GOP & Teaparty members,
If you want to see Obamma get another 4 years, go ahead, pick Palin. As for your secessionist turned presidential candidate Perry, please tell his job creating state to start paying state income tax and stop sucking off the FEMA teet of the federal government that Perry allegedly despises so much. Too many states foot the bill for Texas' hurricanes, fires and horrible tornados. I do not wish that on any American, but shooting your mouth off about your superiority over other states and then walking the walk is a bit too much to tolerate.
Anytime there's more than 3 cameras and reporters around, Palin starts another bus tour. If she's going to run, announce it already. If not, then just go away. Right now she's nothing but a distraction.
Palin won't run for Pres. She's going after McCain's Senate seat in Arizona where she now has a home. He's not gonna run again. She'll win and effectively herd Senate Republicans toward her views, and reach across the aisle to Dems, as she did so well in Alaska.
Swarmed you say? By birds, bees, or rats? I can see how any of them could be confused by that nest on her head!!
Yes, I imagine she was swarmed. People love to get a close up look at a train wreck. Sarah, Silly Sarah, you are no longer a viable contender. That ship sailed in 2008. Make friends with Michelle Bachmann. Maybe she'll let you be her VP when she wins. Bwahhahaaa.
– Palin will wait until all of the primary debates are over before declaring her bid for Presidency. Although this is illegal, she'll say the system is being sexist for not letting her run, and therefore she'll be allowed to run.
– Having not seen Palin debate (and thus having not seen her make a fool of herself) conservatives will assume Palin's the best choice.
– After winning the GOP election, Palin will find a way to only have one debate with President Obama instead of the standard three (like she did in the 2008 VP debate with Biden).
– She will also create a new set of guidelines for the debate as follows:
1. The debate will be moderated by Sean Hannity.
2. All debate questions will be pre-determined and given only to Palin weeks before the debate.
3. If at any time Palin feels a question is too difficult to answer, she can declare it a "gotcha" question and decline to answer.
4. Obama will be given 7 seconds to answer each question. If he fails to finish his answer in time, a loud buzzer will go off with a red X, like on Family Fued.
5. No fact-checking will bw allowed for this debate.
Notice how they said she was swarmed by dozens of photographers and TV cameras.....................but not people.
Why is this half term governor still getting so much coverage? Most of us don't care what she thinks about anything.
Considering that it's been shown time and again how little she knows about world affairs or US politics, why does it matter what she has to say about any of it?
Hey, Todd.....Sarah IS washed up, the media just won't leave her alone because she draws attention with her rediculous antics and provides weeks on end of entertainment. They are just waiting for her to give another history lesson so they can report on it and we can all roll around on the floor laughing for some time. Laughter is such good medicine.
By the way CNN, 'Palin swarmed at Iowa State Fair' is a deceiving heading and incomplete. It should say 'Palin swarmed at Iowa State Fair by Reporters and Camera Crews.' The article doesn't make a single reference to fair goers eager to see her. It does make reference to her staffers around her and the media. The close up photo of 10 people around her is misleading and I doubt she is that popular anymore. Her movie was a bomb, her second book was a bomb, Bristol is a bomb, and her son & wife conceived their child out of wedlock, obiviously not practicing the "abstinence" that Palin is so proud of touting. Trak himself was conceived out of wedlock. And while I don't give a care about that, it does go to show what a hypocrite Palin is. She herself, and her family, don't practice what she preachers. She will never be the president of this country, so stop reporting on this train wreck of a woman and family!
And later, she was seeing images of paul revere warnng the British in her head. What a silly woman.
Study that photo people, that is the largest crowd of slobbering idiots you will find in any one spot at the same time.
Did anyone pay Palin to be there? Normally she won't appear without a fee.
If there's a camera around you'll find $arah, trolling for money.
Sarah has very bad arms. They look like a big cassava! Oh! wherever there is beauty, there is always something big missing!
Will the media PLEASE stop following this publicity hound around!!! PLEASE!! I'm tired of constantly seeing her in the news for no reason other than to appease her own ego. She has done nothing...NOTHING... to help anything.
What there's nothing here interesting to see, it's silly Sarah playing us again!
I dunno Chris...I wouldn't kik'r outta bed. (as long as the lights were low!) And–as long as I didn't hafta hear her talk, I think I could get'r dun! lmao
All you Palin haters so ridiculously jealous!!!!!!!!Love it. Obviously, they chose the worst pic of Palin. I was watching CNN, NOT FOX News and I observed all three male CNN reporters. They were talking to Palin for about an hour they said. All 3 of em looked like boys with a crush. OMG, they sure were gushing. I'm jealous of Sarah too. I'm the same age as Sarah and only wish I looked half as good. Get over it you jealous Sarah haters
people are just idiots. Sarah Palin is human garbage.