September 17th, 2010
07:59 AM ET
12 years ago

Palin returns to Iowa riding high

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption =" Political watchers will closely watch Palin's address in Iowa."]Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) – Over a 1,000 Republicans have purchased tickets to witness Sarah Palin address the Iowa GOP's Reagan Dinner on Friday - an event rife with 2012 implications that comes at a heady moment for the former Alaska governor.

"We anticipate this will be the largest and best-attended Reagan Dinner in recent memory," Iowa GOP spokeswoman Danielle Plogmann told CNN.

Palin, undeniably the most prominent voice in her party and a commanding figure in the Tea Party movement, is riding high after two of her favored GOP candidates won their Senate primaries on Tuesday, including the longshot insurgent candidate Christine O'Donnell in Delaware.

Of the 36 Republican primaries she waded into this election cycle, 25 of her chosen candidates have won - including Iowa gubernatorial hopeful Terry Branstad, an endorsement that irked some social conservatives who backed Branstad's rival. Eleven of her candidates have come up short.

Now that Palin is rounding out the week with an appearance in the first-in-the-nation caucus state, the political world will be scrutinizing how her larger-than-life persona is received among the voters who will play a crucial role in selecting the party's next presidential nominee.

Though she may drop some hints about her barely-concealed national ambitions and test drive a potential campaign message, the speech will almost certainly focus on the importance of electing Republicans to Congress, state legislatures and governor's mansions in November.

The event, officially billed as "A Salute To Freedom," is a fundraiser for the Iowa Republican Party, which is gunning to re-capture the governor's mansion along with majorities in the state Senate and House. Tickets to the Reagan Dinner cost $100 per person, or $1,000 for a table seating ten.

Iowa GOP officials were eyeing Palin for the dinner as early as this spring, and landing the former Alaska governor is something of a coup, in part because Palin has until now largely resisted invitations to appear at state party events.

Like other big fundraising banquets in key nominating states, the Reagan Dinner's featured speaker is often the subject of presidential buzz. Past headliners at the dinner include Mitt Romney, who spoke in 2004, and Mike Huckabee and Fred Thompson, who attended in 2007 as their White House campaigns were underway.

But the event has also hosted several leading Republicans who flirted with presidential bids but decided against running, such as former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee and former New York Governor George Pataki.

Palin last visited Iowa in December of 2009, for a book signing as part of her national book tour for "Going Rogue: An American Life."

Filed under: 2010 • Iowa • Sarah Palin
soundoff (152 Responses)
  1. Jen

    Run, Sarah, Run! Obama could use another landslide victory!

    September 17, 2010 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  2. robert collins

    Run Palin run

    September 17, 2010 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  3. AEK

    Does she know that if she actually does run for public office that she will have to communicate directly with the press? No more Facebook/Twitter. We're talking real people asking real questions that she'll have to answer in front of cameras and microphones. No more softball questions from her buddies at Faux News, no more ghost written Facebook/Twitter observations. This will be very interesting considering how well she did last time she ran. All the prepping by her handlers can't overcome a lack of aptitude and education.

    September 17, 2010 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  4. Marie MD

    The new age Ms. hitler gathering her gestapo and SS followers.
    Christian my foot. She is a hateful, vengeful woman.
    What a world we live in!!! She is a disgusting piece of blob.

    Once again thanks mcnasty – the world owes you nothing at this point.

    September 17, 2010 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  5. Strong Independent

    I am voting Republican; however, if Palin is their candidate, I'm staying home. Heaven Help Us!

    Most definitely she would be a better president than the idiot now occupying the "space." BUT two wrongs don't make a right!

    September 17, 2010 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  6. JonDie

    The Tea Party agenda is to create so much anarchy and suffering that desperate people will beg for fascist and their corporate allies to replace our democratically-elected government. We're in 1932 Germany all over again.

    September 17, 2010 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  7. gop hate america

    great i hope they nominate her so I can enjoy for sure Obama another 4 years.

    September 17, 2010 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  8. Bassman

    There were those in Alaska that thought if they brought enough luducrous ethics complaints againt her, it would bankrupt her family. That seems to have backfired.

    If she had remained as governor, she would not have the freedom to help others get elected. She has always had pitch perfect judgement.

    September 17, 2010 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  9. jim

    if she does run for office, I predict she'll go down in flames. she is unelectable to any office.

    September 17, 2010 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  10. Patriot48

    Go Sarah go! Can't wait for that announcement. Sarah is kind of person we need in this government! Not a bunch of old cronies just trying to get rich and powerful. God Bless the tea party! What a movement it has been. It's really woken up this country, with Sarah being the captain of this ship! She might not be as articulate or educated as our President Obama, but she has that inner instinct that knows what's best for this country! God Bless her and these United States!

    September 17, 2010 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  11. MK, Miramar FL

    If Sarah Palin wins the Republican presidential nomination in 2012 based solely on her Tea Party activism, it would only make Obama happy.

    GOP, Mitt Romney is your guy

    September 17, 2010 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  12. Steve, New York City

    That's it, Palin – keep bludgeoning people with your "folksy" talk – Bush 43 did LOTS of that folksy talking, and his folksy talking led us into an unnecessary war, out-of-control de-regulation and a near-bankrupt federal government (hey – didn't Bush 43 also own the Texas Rangers)? . . .of course, in all fairness to Bush 43, HE ACTUALLY FINISHED his terms, while also GRADUATING from some extremely reputable institutions (though that Harvard MBA didn't seem to do much, in advancing his understanding of finance).

    The USA doesn't need more folksy talk, and people don't need any further encouragement to be "automatically hostile" to anyone who is not a fellow conservative caucasian.
    We don't need more folksy-talking IDIOTS like Palin – but the powers that be (big oil, AIPAC, the NRA and other "criminal cartels") probably love Palin, as under her, the US Government would become an even bigger puppet.

    September 17, 2010 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  13. Amazed

    Please, please, please let this vain idiot run for President.........


    September 17, 2010 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  14. John

    NO ONE SARAN PALIN TOO run for PRESIDENT or even dog catcher. She isn't nothing but a loud mouth Alaska HILLBILLY and as dumb as a box of rocks. I sure the REPUBLICAN PARTY are not dumb enough too let this idiot too run because the DEMOCRATS will win for sure,and by the biggest land side in history.

    September 17, 2010 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  15. Kay

    Of course she's going to run for the nomination. She's been running for two years now! Every move she makes is calculated to that end, including geting Bristol on Dancing with the Stars so her family name stays in the media spotlight.

    Depending on how things go, she might even win the nomination and the Presidency.

    September 17, 2010 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  16. Josh in Sacramento

    Run you stupid idiot, you will get crushed.

    For those morons that think anyone is afraid of this woman... the only people that have anything to fear are those on the right. She is a democrat's dream.

    September 17, 2010 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  17. Jim

    Let's hope this digbat does try to run in 2012. Palin is the gift that keeps giving. Americans are not that stupid to elect a person who quits her office. There are some stupid Americans though who support her but the minority is small and the media loves to play it up like she is a major game changer. The GOP is in shambles and I for one am enjoying the fiasco that's unfolding before our eyes. Palin has put money and power before her family. This country is already in the toliet and the Tea Party if any of those bozo's get elected will pull the lever and flush our nation down the drain.

    The Tea Party is the new women's lib. History does repeat itself. Pretty soon there will be No men allowed signs at there rallies!

    September 17, 2010 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  18. garey

    I hope the idiot from Alaska does run for presodent because that will create a sure win for someone else..I cant believe anyone listens to her or that other idiot Beck..

    September 17, 2010 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  19. mayr

    God help us and save us if this woman is elected for ANY political office!

    September 17, 2010 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  20. Mary

    "Barely concealed ambition"

    What do crazy people think she resigned the governorship for? Wrote the book? All this travel with five children? Certainly not to meet her family's needs! Certainly to take care of her children! This is the most ambitious, empty-headed person to hit politics in my lifetime.

    September 17, 2010 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  21. Monrob

    McCain, what have you done?

    September 17, 2010 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  22. RBTL

    I can't imagine Sarah Palin seriously wanting to be President, the pay is too low, She probably just hasn't thought of that yet, with this woman the cart is always so far ahead of the horse it's practically in the next county. Even if by some cosmic twist of fate where right becomes wrong and wrong becomes right and she was elected, she'd realize that the job of President is so hard that she'd probably quit after a year or two to take whatever job pays more, requires less work and get her more attention. At that point even Fox News couldn't afford to hire her. But who knows, provide some bendy straws for her bottled water (specified n her contracts for speaking think I'm kiding don't you) and she could last longer than you think.

    September 17, 2010 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  23. Steve

    We can ALL see November from our house!

    September 17, 2010 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  24. Desmond in Canada

    Palin's popularity is a symptom of the brain-dead and dirty politics that is now chronic in the Repub. Party

    September 17, 2010 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  25. The Other Dale

    25 out of 36? So basically you're saying that she did about average for guesswork on who would win ... especially in light of her endorsements usually coming mere days before the primaries (when voters have already decided on who they want anyway). Yet, she still got nearly a third of them wrong. My, my, my. Doesn't sound like a very good record when you put it to the reality test, does it?

    September 17, 2010 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
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