Palin's intentions questioned as she heads back to Iowa
December 1st, 2010
07:14 PM ET
10 years ago

Palin's intentions questioned as she heads back to Iowa

Washington (CNN) - As Sarah Palin heads back to Iowa on Thursday for her second book signing in the key political state within a week, her decision not to engage with political activists and veterans of past caucuses is drawing mixed reviews.

She will autograph copies of her new book "America by Heart" at a Walmart Super Center in Spirit Lake, in the western part of the state and an area known as a stronghold for conservatives. Last Saturday several hundred attended a book signing in West Des Moines.

While in the Hawkeye state, Palin has not reached out to those political operatives who are being courted by others who are considering running for the Republican nomination, even as she mulls whether she will enter the fray.

"It is certainly surprising if someone is planning to run for president that they wouldn't be engaging with traditional caucus activists," one prominent Iowa Republican told CNN. He requested anonymity in order to be able to speak freely about Palin.

Other experts said that Palin, because of her unique draw and name recognition, does not yet need to engage in such activity.

"She is able through social media to communicate with core supporters," Drake University political science professor Dennis Goldford told CNN.

Palin has told interviewers she is considering running but has not said when she will make a decision.

The former Republican vice presidential candidate has said her book stops are not politically-related, but they do bring her to several key early states in the Republican primary battle - specifically Iowa and South Carolina - and a lot of media coverage while she's there.

While many of those considering tossing their hats into the ring have someone already on the ground in Iowa or have made inquiries about the caucus process with the state party, an Iowa Republican party official told CNN there have been no direct contacts between the party and Palin's representatives regarding the caucuses and their set-up. The party official refused to speak on the record because contacts with the campaigns are private matters.

Right now Palin's emphasis is on selling books, and she has some time before she would need to engage in political activity in the state, a veteran of several Iowa campaigns told CNN.

"She is going to continue this thing as long as she can," Eric Woolson said. Woolson was involved in George W. Bush's 2004 and Mike Huckabee's 2008 efforts.

"You have to talk about issues at some point" in the state, Woolson said. While her core supporters in the state are happy when she comes for such events as book signings, "you are not building your base, not expanding your political base."

Palin's political action committee just reported raising more than $460,000 between October 13 and November 22, bringing its total to over $3 million. The PAC bought 5,000 of her new books and will send autographed copies to donors as gifts, according to one PAC official.

To be successful in the Iowa caucuses, campaigns have required a lot of organization and for the candidates to have quality time meeting with the voters one-on-one.

Could Palin, who has successfully delivered her message through social media, be a different type of candidate?

"Part of her attractiveness to her core supporters is that she is totally unconventional," political expert Goldford told CNN. He is a co-author of the book "The Iowa Precinct Caucuses: The Making of a Media Event."

"She is keeping her field watered and weeded and fertilized, but she hasn't decided whether to plant anything," Goldford said in an interview, using an old Iowa metaphor.

"Are we on the cusp of a whole new day of doing this?" asked Goldford. While he thinks she would have to employ at least some of the time-tested techniques previously used in the state, the prominent Republican activist who requested anonymity said if Palin tries to run in a different way that "would be a very risky strategy" and probably one that would not be successful.

While the process for the next presidential cycle is starting later than the 2008 cycle, political activists in the state have a warning.

"All of the potential candidates need to get on with the program," Woolson said. "They need to be making those calls."

Filed under: Iowa • Sarah Palin
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Run, Sarah, Run

    You have plenty of fans who don't think you're a lightweight, con-artist mean girl.

    December 1, 2010 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  2. dina

    Sell books, self ,her brand, self herself, sell her reality show, Whatever makes her some money is up for grabs. This woman has the biggest ego in the world. Imagine the gall she has to think she could run this country. How stupid is that.?

    December 1, 2010 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  3. Stacey, Connecticut

    What a laugh! Palin is a greedy fraud. She's not qualified to run a dog kennel. She'll never sit in the Oval Office.

    December 1, 2010 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  4. Adalbert

    Sarah barracuda, the republican’s darling bimbo is obviously wants to be something that she will never be.

    December 1, 2010 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  5. Clwyd

    If she runs she will only quit like she has done with every other office she has held! Bimbo morons do that and their followers are nothing, but the same!

    December 1, 2010 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  6. Jacob

    so her book tour is only stopping in the real parts of America?

    December 1, 2010 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  7. jerseylou

    The Puppet Masters will not let her run for POTUS, because she's their Cheer Leader an can get the vote out.BTW the only way i get that book of hers it will be given to me for free . And the only eye that will be looking at it,will be the one in the crack of my Glueteus Maximus.

    December 1, 2010 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  8. nomorecnn

    That's it!! I'm done with CNN Who cares what that thing does, She thrives off the media.. give us all a break and forget about this woman, I use the name woman loosely

    December 1, 2010 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  9. ED FL

    Why wouldn't anyone go back to where they can continually take advantage of the population to once again sell her books to a population that has an ego bigger than Palin's mouth. The only people that think Iowa is important enough to have big leverage in an election outside of Iowa is a looney tune.Most Americans would not even know Iowa was a state if there wasn't an election.

    December 1, 2010 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  10. Ric

    I have farts that are more imprtant than this nutcase that you continue to showcase.

    December 1, 2010 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  11. they call me "tater salad"

    This just in............Sarah Palin wiped her butt this morning using her right hand to keep from smudging the crib-notes written on her left! We will provide more details as they become available.........Right here on PNN the Palin Nonsense Network, where it's all Palin all the time!!!

    December 1, 2010 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  12. Brainwashed by GOP

    Oh, my and if the country needs her she says. If my family wants me to run. Give me a break. She certainly does not need her family's acceptance. Palin wants it all no matter who she runs over. She is one selfish person amongst many other things.

    December 1, 2010 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  13. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Palin can forget it, the GOP will never nominate a 1/2 term governor with no other credentials. They know her only purpose is to get rich and they will send her and her money packing, if she has any left when they get done with her.

    December 1, 2010 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! Please go back to Alaska!!!!!!!!

    December 1, 2010 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  15. T'sah from Virginia

    CNN, stop QUESTIONING her INTENTIONS??? Sarah, the PA'IN, enjoys "agitating" the media and others who do not follow her, with her so-called "INTENTIONS"!! She will carry this on and on because she has created her own Reality Show and she is the ONLY star. She will always be in the NEWS.

    The day CNN stops covering her – and other networks – she will commit suicide as her "grand finale" and her series will go on for a while and then DIE!! That's how much Palin uses the media – it's her adrenalin; it’s her food; it’s her water; it’s her vitamins and it’s her SEX!!

    The facebook/twitter fanatic will not rest. There are many things out there that she did not respond to yet, for example Scarsborough, and it's BUGGING her – by tomorrow or Friday, I betcha she will respond!!

    I will stick with our current leader, President Obama, as he continues to move America Forward!!

    December 1, 2010 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  16. M. Lemmings

    When the reality hits that real Americans have lost their unemployment benefits, medicare, education funds, social security
    benefits, and general dignity, they will realize that voting the Republicans back in was a huge mistake, and that the media playing up Sarah Palin and her un-American agenda is no longer cute or funny.
    Maybe they won't realize it until they wake up in a FEMA "camp" for the homeless.

    December 1, 2010 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  17. printzapper

    She's been to Houston a couple of times too, and visited another non-commited presidential runner, Rick Perry. His strategy for running for governor was debate no-one, there were enough people here who decided they didn't have to hear what he had to say in regard to debate points for him to win. The logic they have may or may not apply to those who look on Palin with approval.

    December 1, 2010 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |