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.
If you really read the comments above from the braindead who are still bashing Palin for God knows what for, i don't? If they just stopped and saw what was going on they'd know that they are through America is through with their man's
change of America. They saw and no one liked what they saw except the retarded. YOU GO SARAH YOUr ONLY HITTING THe TIP OF THE ICEBERG IN IOWA WAIT UNTIL YOU SEE YOUR SUPPORTERS OUT HERE ACROSS THE NATION WHO ARE WAITING FOR YOU TO COME ON OUT. PAL;IN 2012.
It's amazing how YOU CNN states
Former Alaska Govenor, why not state the truth Alaska Govenor who quit.
Cnn states WORLDWIDE CELEBRITY, Yes Celebrity is correct and all, not a serious politician, and most people in other countries totally do not get what people see in her, just like MOST people in America don't also.
And please CNN stop promoting her by stating in everyone of your stories how 1000's were swarming all over her, if you look at the photos and the videos of her traveling circus show there really are very few people, sure lots of cameras, news crews about 2 rows deep but after that there are no normal Americans in the crowd to see her, maybe 30-40 people, that is not a swarm and that really shows how unimportant this loser is. It also shows and falls right into her money grubbing hands, that the only things Sarah has going for her are the mini swarms of news crews, other than that 99% of America does not care and the other one percent only like tea
Swarmed in a barn, huh? Funny stuff, but Sarah is well deserving of attention in a barn.
Go palin,2012 patiently waiting fan.
Just goes to show how friggin' DESPARATE these teabaggers are. Flocking to a worm brain like failin' palin.
When Rick Perry gets in she wont have a chance. Her 15 minutes are over!
How very sad that your hatred and derangement precedes you.
She was perfectly clear in what she said. Corporations are not entities unto themselves. They require PEOPLE to run them, people to invest in them, etc.When a corporation makes profits, the building doesn't receive the money, the shareholders do. When a corporation owes taxes, PEOPLE pay those taxes.
If you are angry about GE, call Barry. He is the one giving them special treatment. If you are made at profits of oil companies, they paid 48 billion in taxes last year. Get over it
People would "swarm" Snooki too, if she were there. It's just celebrity-worship. This creature has as juch chance of being president as I have of growing five noses.
Hey, theres the chick from "Who's nailin Palin?" Lets get her autograph. Wait till they release, "Who's rocking Bachman?" Starring Christy Canyon in the lead roll.
IOWA = Idiots Out Wandering Around ....................led by Palin.
..."worldwide celebrity"??? R U kidding me?? It's more like media whore. Dear CNN, why don't you just rename your Political Ticker to the Palin 3 Ring Circus. What a joke.
appeared in the “Hall of Champions” livestock barn on a different side of the park – Did she get the ribbon for top ass? I sure hope she gets the hint when she loses this time around. I think her new strategy will be, "Don't announce you're running until almost all the debates are over to avoid looking like an idiot and having to speak on your own and unscripted."
Yes, they are right. Corporations are ran by people. People own stock in them, they are an entity and can be sued. I am concerned that many liberals are going to be lost come next November. Heck, I might run for President. Obama is the worst President in my adult life. Even I could run against him and win. Only a liberal sycophant would vote for him...
please no more of this fool.
What was she swarmed by? Flies? It would be very helpful to America if Ms. Palin, Ms. Bachmann and all of the ad naseum male GOTPers would go away. Haven't you done enough. No use pretending that the debt ceiling was caused by President Obama. The smart half of the electorate in America is watching.
Hanging with livestock at the fair! I must say I am happy to see Palin in this context; it suits her so much better than being behind a lectern in Washington.
I guess Iowa still has plenty of bible thumping conservatives who still don't understand that Republicans offer nothing for the remnants of the middle class. When will they finally see through the cloud of bulls..t these candidates throw out? Maybe- just maybe, they are all million/billionaires which makes this comment moot. I don't think so....
"Sarah Palin – former Alaska governor, worldwide celebrity and potential White House hopeful – appeared in the “Hall of Champions” livestock barn"
Was this where she was swarmed? Was it by the livestock? I didin't think that they considered mama grizzlies as livestock. It must have been quite a happening. Love among the corndogs.
Palin gets mobbed while a guy like Pawlenty gets ignored. Its sad what has happened to that party.
How shrewd, though, that she stays out of the race, at least "officially", because that means no one asks her "gotcha" questions (like ANY question that exposes her as an idiot unqualified to run a nation, which means... any question, really) but she can still draw all this attention away from other candidates just by showing up. What a special person Sarah Palin is.
Dear Ms. Palin,
You did try to steal "the thunder" from the other Republicans. Why else would you go to Iowa during caucus time.
When I read what you say, I am at a loss to understand what it is you are trying to accomplish. I wonder if that would be an asset or liability in Washington and with leaders throughout the world.
"After she resigned they said that she was washed up and done right?,” her husband,Todd ,said with a grin. “And you guys are still here.”
Todd, don't get too excited . The press was all over TIiny Tim, Madonna and Lady Gaga, and they could at least sing a little bit. Maybe you should start getting your resume together for the eventuality of the end of the free lunch.
Do you see it? The Republican Party is like a cult of "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" groupies.
The media loves to give this lady FREE publicity – worth millions – and those millions are now in her personal bank account and growing! She doesn't know much about history, doesn't know much about any ...ologies. But she does know one thing, that's clear. She knows how to manipulate the press, year after year....
So she was "swarmed" by a bunch of idiot reporters. Regular people don't care about this moron. Her bomb of a movie proved it.