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.
Breaking News: FOX will now only report on FOX contibutors....
Palin is like a symphony orchestra imposter. She knows how to play one selection, but cannot read music. There is no way she can make a serious run for president. She cannot handle sitting down for an open-ended interview with mainstream media. The you betchas will run out; then what would she have to say?
Those people were that bored at the fair! They should have went to see the bearded lady.
Kinda like flies around a pile of fresh warm manure?
The only reason she hasn't declared her plans is so she can avoid these debates – she isn't smart enough to answer any of the questions that were asked last night. She must know that she can't compare with the rest of them. They were all very involved and didn't struggle with an answer, whatever the question was. When she is asked a question, she goes off in a different direction and changes the topic. She talks about how wonderful America and the wonderful people, etc. instead of directly answering the question. In these debates, you can't change the subject, you HAVE to answer the question and she is not capable of doing that. She really should take some time off and get an education. It is laughable that she says she is considering a run and has to think about her family first – when did she ever think of her family, certainly not during the previous election? Dragging her children around the country, carrying the new baby like a sack of potatoes, and exposing Bristol in her condition – that was awful watching it! I feel for those children.
Great place for cows of all kinds.
If I understood this "logic" I would be afraid, very afraid.
Yo' missy, we want to see the corporations "long form of live birth"!
You freakin' moron.
ANGELA asked if Wasilla Barbie is sick because she looks it. Well, she definitely is sick IN THE HEAD, but we all know that don't we?? LOL. And like they say on Sunday's Extreme Home Edition, MOVE THAT BUS! Well, move that bus, Barbie, all the way back to ALASKA, and stay there with your family. They need you MUCH more than we do.
She won't run because she knows she can't win.
I still wanna know why she is getting away with breaking Campaign Finance and PAC laws... Look them up, she is using a PAC paid for and maintained bus for personal use... That is against the law, FEDERAL LAW at that...
Was her daughter, Snowflake's t-shirt the only thing she had to wear?
Am I the only one that thinks the grizzly grifter is starting to look a little long in the tooth?
Here makeup and hair team must have been busy getting another heifer prepped for the fair showing
Did anyone check to see if they had bats in their hands? If they weren't there to pummel her, just remember Justin Beiber gets mobbed too. Do you want him making decisions about our future? He would be better than her!
Palin swarmed in iowa and i read that charles manson gets the most fan mail at corcoran state prision in california.
Strong Woman! Women are jealous of her strength to stand up against men, and she is Beautiful!
Love her – Best American & Most Patriotic person.
She looks anorexic. There's no doubt she's a very sick person.
That she showed up in the livestock barn............that seems appropriate. Do they give blue ribbons for asses?
Darn! When I saw the headline about Palin getting swarmed at the fair my first thought was that angry hornets detest her as much as I do, but alas, she has no bee stings and is still running that gaping maw in the middle of her face. Someone, please take it back to Alaska where it can roam free to kill innocent animals instead of making the lower 48 sick to our stomachs!
CNN bloggers and commentators are really hateful of true american Like Sarah Palin. No wonder CNN should be called COMMUNIST NEWS NETWORK. All ultra leftists like CNN so much, and I am wodnering why most americans love CNN and CNN employs a lot of arabs and migrants from africa and Middle East and not true born americans. Hey guys, if you want socialism and communism , it is better for your live in china or Iran!!
Someone needs to tell Sarah that the term of office for the President of the United States is four years not two. Then she won't run for sure.
She's still a moron.
hopefully she was swarmed with killer bees.
WCinWI: you said that corporations are run by one person. What do you mean? Have you not heard of a Board of Directors, or Stockholder votes? Do you think that one guy named Ronald runs all McDonalds? Your comment is actually more bizarre than Palin's comment.
the greatest fear of every liberal is to admit they're wrong....which will never happen. Palin running and defeating the community organizer who's not as smart as advertised and clearly in over his head would make liberal heads explode everywhere. There's no possible way she could be as bad as the clown in the whitehouse, who's sole correct move was only based on a continuation of Bush's policy.
Oh come on!!
This is so typical of this piece of work...of course we all knew she would roll in with that bus to Iowa. And...of course they would 'swarm her'....she has marketed herself as a TV star now, she done reality TV, 'wrote' books, and shoved her face into any available camera.
Let's not forget that even Pauly D can get a crowd gathered, so, just becuase people wanted to get a load of her, by no means makes me think she is in the running for ANY office.
Oh Sarah, I will give ya this, you are stubborn chick, ya know you mostly makes people want to spit, but ya keep comin' back, you betcha, why? Becasuse she wants to stick it up her fellow Repugs arse by getting to be president, she wants it so badly she can taste it!
So, my friends on the web in conclusion, do we want a president with THAT as her agenda? I didn't think so....
guess they all wanted to see the pig with the lipstick..
You know... Livestock at the state fair, right?
I can see it know "Palin's Web"