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. MarkG

    Let her run.
    The huge "Surge" we see in right-wing-nuttery is just that, Right-Wing-Nuttery.
    The measure of a movement is the i\ influence it has outside itself and, so far, all I see is internal in-fighting, mix-and-match messages but no real cohesion.
    The press is building this groundswell of publicity but not really doing much about the true numbers.
    Sure, the right-wing has gone nuts for "Back to Jesus" conservatism but it is still just the Right Wing.
    Right now we are seeing a microscopic view of the whole picture that is really ignoring everything outside the Tea-Party movement.
    The "Independents" that are being polled were never "Liberals" and would never have voted that way to begin with. The only thiing these so-called independents represent is just how fractured the GOP has become.

    September 17, 2010 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  2. Tina in PA

    A White House full of people sarah palin choose. What's that going to be like?

    "I want someone who like me in the white house"

    Yeh right. Someone who's never home to take care of their kids, someone who can barely string a sentence together without changing the topic in that sentence at least three times. Go ahead putem in charge.

    September 17, 2010 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  3. socal frank

    the poster girl for stupidity just keep rolling along. Soon she will jump off the cliff and her adoring fans will follow her.

    September 17, 2010 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  4. john

    are you serious?? sarah who??

    September 17, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  5. Eric

    The fact that Sarah Palin has the spotlight she does and Republicans are so excited about her potentially running for President tells me that their concerns are all around gaining power, but not at all around what they're going to do when they get that power. Out of all the qualified people in the Republican fold, surely there's someone better suited to be Commander-In-Chief than this grifter. GWB all over again...except worse.

    September 17, 2010 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  6. Sgt. Joe

    Somehow I'll never forget that video of Palin at the alter of some church getting what appeared to be "exorcised" by some cultish looking dude. Very scary, indeed. Why does this not get more media attention, yet lies about Obama get plastered all over the place? Fearing for our great country here. How does anyone take this person seriously? Our politics have become entertainment for the rest of the world.

    September 17, 2010 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  7. ST

    If this woman Sarah has an ambition to become the president, she could not have left her job as a governor and run like grasshopper from one place to the other. Nothing comes without sweating for it. If she does show that is her interest, I am ready to come back home and walk block to block, and make sure people don't buy an empty basket!

    September 17, 2010 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  8. dave

    Run sarah Run, would love to see you and your hick crowd fall like your lies.

    September 17, 2010 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  9. Jeff

    This woman is a danger to the country. When are people going to wake up and realize the long-term harm they're perpetuating by supporting her?

    September 17, 2010 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  10. Carol

    Palin: restoring horror to government.

    September 17, 2010 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  11. Lola Jordan

    God help us all if this woman gets in a position of influence. Reagan had Ed Meese, Cap Weinberger and William French Smith to tell him what to do and Baby Bush had Karl Rove and Cheney. This idiot has no one, an untethered loose cannon if there ever was one. It's like giving a hand grenade to a monkey and see how long it take the monkey to figure out how to pull the pin. Can you imagine Palin trying to negotiate with Bebe? I can just hear her now, "oh yea, sure honey, I know all about Jews, don't you worry. Take Hannukah for instance, that's how the Jews celebrate Christmas!

    September 17, 2010 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  12. Jay

    That's right Palin, please run for 2012.

    You're going to help fracture the Republican party in your ever quest for fame and transparent money making attempts. Because you will, as always, be exposed as an intellectual lightweight you will not receive the Republican nomination. Then you will run as the Tea Party candidate and fracture the conservative vote.

    This will help the real intellectual heavyweight sail to an easy (and absolutely deserved) 2nd term.

    I can't stand you but I thank you for running from the bottom of my intelligent and educated heart.

    September 17, 2010 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  13. dave

    What kind of people really listens to a retard, are they really out there, only the dumb can understand the dumb

    September 17, 2010 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  14. Chuck

    How in the world is she still relevant. Are there this many stupid people in the world? Maybe I am naive, but this lady and her party are the problem with politics today. Non-committal and the inability to understand reality is the basis for their political party. I think I will run for office. Hey I am a common moron from Illinois and barely know the Constitution but am willing to quote it and tell the world I am committed to following it... I guess that get you on the Tea Party list of possible candidates? I would bet I would have to also deny fossil proof of anything that existed before biblical times and that Sarah P. really can see Russia...


    September 17, 2010 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  15. j

    Bless her heart, she loves the limelight. ------ It`s like being in an "endless" beauty contest. -----– I`ll bet her wallet

    September 17, 2010 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  16. txmom

    why anyone listens to this fool and her word salads is beyond me!!!

    September 17, 2010 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  17. Obozo VooDoo Economics 101: Spend your way to prosperity, tax your way out of recession.

    Oh yes! Watch the liberal loons on this board go insane(r) over Sarah now. It is a sight to behold. Keep drivin' them nuts Sarah!! It is a short drive but enjoyable none the less.

    September 17, 2010 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  18. Buster Bloodvessel

    You gotta wonder if she ever stops and asks herself "What am I doing to my country?" But then you remember that she also wants Alaska to secede from the Union and join Canada, and it all becomes clear . . .

    September 17, 2010 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  19. brian in denver

    The fact that Palin is "undeniably the most prominent voice in her party" speaks volumes. How did such a bimbo attain such high status? These are strange & frightening times.

    September 17, 2010 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  20. Lucy

    I really think most tickets are bought from curiousity about the woman...they can't be seriously considering her for the president of the United States of America!?

    September 17, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  21. Nama

    Someone please make this airhead go away.

    September 17, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  22. Ben Ben

    The dumbing down of America continues

    September 17, 2010 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  23. Lucas Breen

    This is not the Republican party. They have no vision for the future, no plans for solving the nation's problems, and no leadership except self-promoters like Palin, Beck, and Limbaugh.

    They are winning because people are scared and FAUX NEWS is giving them millions of dollars in free advertising.

    September 17, 2010 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  24. silvertrueone

    I find this unbeliveable that all these people are supporting the party of no why didn't they come out like this when Bush and the man who couldn't shoot straight started two wars,drove this country into such a mess outsourced jobs and gave everything to the good old boy's,what about the family's that lost their loved ones based on lies,lies weapons of mass destruction these people are an embarrassment to this country.

    September 17, 2010 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  25. Bill NY

    Palin in 2012 lends credence to the theory that in 2012 the world will come to an end. The fact that someone who in my opinion is a certifiable loon has this much clout proves that this country may very well be doomed.

    September 17, 2010 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
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