December 2nd, 2010
03:19 PM ET
11 years ago

An Unscripted Moment on Palin's book tour

Spirit Lake, Iowa (CNN) - It was an unscripted moment on Sarah Palin's tour to promote her new book, "America by Heart." As hundreds of Palin's fans filed inside a cordoned off area of a northern Iowa Walmart today, this CNN crew popped the question asked of countless potential White House contenders: "Are you any closer to an announcement on running for President?"

The country music that Palin's handlers had blaring at the signing station presumably to drown out such questions suddenly stopped. We asked the question again.

"Am I doing interviews?" the former Alaska governor asked. "I thought I got to talk to the nice people. And where's our music and where's our good enthusiasm?" she persisted.

We repeated the question. "Not any closer. No," she responded.

With the music still off, we squeezed in another question about former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney's comments on Wednesday night's "Tonight Show with Jay Leno." On the program, Romney seemed to take a jab at Palin's decision to step down as Alaska's governor. "It's hard to imagine a circumstance where I would quit," Romney said.

As of today's book signing, Palin indicated she hadn't heard Romney's remarks. "What did Governor Romney say on the 'Tonight Show'?" she asked us.

Upon hearing his comment, her response was brief. "Oh, he probably had some different conditions," she said. It was an apparent reference to the controversies that swirled around her final days as Governor including ethics complaints and a legal dispute over a state trooper who was once married to her sister. Palin's actions were cleared by a state board investigating the matter. In her resignation speech last year, Palin suggested that costly legal battles had forced her to step down.

There was no opportunity to follow up on Palin's comments at the book signing. This CNN crew was informed our allotted time to cover the event was up. The event itself was tightly controlled. Customers were told no cell phones or cameras. Representatives of the media were escorted in to Palin's book signing station, three at a time. As for that music, Palin asked us if we had turned it off. "Because that wouldn't be cool if you did. These Iowa people, they got my back. And I got their back," Palin said after one of her handlers put her hand in front of our camera.

For the record, we didn't turn the music off. But it did help."

The turnout at this stop on Palin's book tour was a sign of her continued political strength. As Spirit Lake's Mayor Blain Andera noted, more than 500 people stood in line for Palin's autograph in a town of roughly 5000 people. Andera said he was leaning toward supporting a Palin presidential bid.

Palin urged many of the people in line to also watch her reality TV show, "Sarah Palin's Alaska" on cable's TLC. "I think that she's very funny. I watch her show every Sunday," said Palin fan Emma Dau.

Another Palin fan, Shannon Dunham started camping outside of the Walmart at 3am for an autograph. "She's just a generational, iconic figure and a great example for our girls," Dunham said.

Filed under: Mitt Romney • Sarah Palin
soundoff (137 Responses)
  1. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    No wonder Republicans are distancing themselves from Palin, she's a nut case. Palin doesn't represent the "dumbing down of America", this woman is mentally challenged.

    December 2, 2010 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  2. Frankie

    I must say; she does have it down. If someone asks a tough question about what someone elses says about her, she says she doesn't know anything about it. Kind of sad considering she's so quick to make statements about anybody who has a bad comment to make about her. By the time the election season gears up next year, she will have made disparraging remarks about everybody to the point that she'll have no supporters who would have otherwise been a great help to her. I'm counting on this.

    December 2, 2010 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  3. Marko

    What a WING NUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 2, 2010 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  4. LVH

    The fact that people actually think this TWIT is qualified to be POTUS makes me think that there should be educational/intelligence requirements for voting!

    December 2, 2010 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  5. Grog in Ohio

    I wonder if she were president if she'd control the press access so tightly then. Her minions probably think that is a good thing, for some reason.

    December 2, 2010 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  6. PutaPalin

    Stop covering her, maybe she'll go away into the Arctic winter and freeze.

    December 2, 2010 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  7. george from alaska

    anyone that even remotely thinks palin is anything but an egotistical political opportunist with limited skills, qualifications & intelligence is quite frankly a fool.

    December 2, 2010 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  8. informed voter

    What we are witnessing is a preview of how Palin would control our free press if she were to (heaven forbid) hold any public office with any power. She is nothing more than a media whore, who continues to disgrace our great nation around the world with her ignorant, inflammatory, and bigoted comments. She has raised a brood of off spring who have learned from their mother how to be mean spirited, sore losers. She is a disgrace to all women, and an embarrassment to our political system.

    December 2, 2010 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  9. jerseylou

    OH BOY.....Here's a State i have to keep my pedal too the medal as i drive through.I Don't what the hell these people are eating and drinking,but i know i won't stop to find out.

    December 2, 2010 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  10. griff

    "Because that wouldn't be cool if you did. These Iowa people, they got my back. And I got their back," Palin said after one of her handlers put her hand in front of our camera. Hahahahaha.....God help us all.

    December 2, 2010 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  11. Rickster

    If Palin were siting in The White House instead of President Incompetent we'd be out of the recession, the unemployment rate would be cut in half, the debt would be decreasing and the war on terror would be much further along and we would not be the laughing stock of the world that we are now.

    December 2, 2010 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  12. Papasan in AZ

    Palin is Americas ScumBag!

    December 2, 2010 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  13. johnRJ08

    A vindictive, narcissistic idiot who is scared to death of any question which she or her handlers haven't pre-screened.

    December 2, 2010 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  14. DemoPundit

    Recall that in January 2008, Governor Huckabee beat Governor Romney by more than 10 percent after being dramatically outspent in the Iowa caucuses. Most Democrats I know believe the nomination will go to Huckabee in 2012 whether or not Palin enters or even wins Iowa. Romney will stupidly alienate the brain dead fans of "Dancing With the Alaskans" by criticizing Palin. Huckabee will play kissy face with Palin and eventually leave her in the dust when Romney voters switch over to him in the winner take all primaries. Do the math.

    As much as I'd love to see Palin get the nomination - I think we (Democrats) should get ready for Huckabee, a much more dangerous candidate with a much more winning style.

    December 2, 2010 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  15. Dave

    I hope you don't wonder why you hit dirt bottom so fast.

    Such bias and opinionated reporting-such as this story.

    look at the rest of your site. Don't you think you have gone off the cliff with Palin. You are just making her more popular. Is that your goal?

    December 2, 2010 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  16. suzibee

    God help us.....

    December 2, 2010 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  17. Laurie

    So sick of commenting about this woman-NO COMMENT! Give it a rest please.

    December 2, 2010 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  18. Sam

    I guess a sheep herd follows a sheep and all end up in the ditch! Way to go Andera and Emma Dau and Shannon Duham...That shows how bright you are!

    December 2, 2010 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  19. Northdakotax

    Way to go CNN. She's doing a book signing, and you're "popping" questions about a supposed presidential run.... nice. She was a lot nicer than I would have been... she was right... it wasn't an interview or a press conference... try and CONTROL yourselves... you're embarassing yourselves

    December 2, 2010 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  20. ~~ JULY ~~ ( Palin is the new Paris Hilton )

    Never in my life have I felt more sorry for Shannon Dunham then I do now. Shannon Dunham , hon really?? "She's just a generational, iconic figure and a great example for our girls," .... Shannon Dunham again ... really??

    December 2, 2010 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  21. Insane in the membrane

    Wow, she is just one big walking contradiction...

    December 2, 2010 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  22. Lynne

    Gee. That was a real tough decision for her to make to leave her job as Governor. She could stay there and make $125,000 a year or leave and make $12 million a year. I really don't think what she did had anything at all to do with what was best for Alaska. It was what was best for the Palin family.

    December 2, 2010 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  23. David

    Nothing like control and manipulation to prove validity, or lack there of, in your potential candidacy Governo.. err.. Quitter Palin.

    December 2, 2010 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  24. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    As someone from the unimportant state of CT, where by our insistence, states like Alaska have an equal say in the Senate to states like Virginia, Texas, New York, Florida and California, we know we will never see Sarah here on her book tour. We only have factories that have shut down and are rusting, with fairly high unemployment because the corporations who run them were able to get the Republicans to give them tax breaks for moving the labor to China, Malaysia, India, etc! We only have family farms that can no longer afford to operate, resulting in the selling off of the land so new McMansions and Big Box stores can be built! We have city schools that are failing because our tax bases have collapsed because of the closure of the factories stated above! We have neighborhoods you can drive through and remark at the For Sale – Reduced, and Foreclosure Sale signs all over the place! We have "Food Pantries" that folks who used to contribute to must now try to collect from!
    No, we could never be the Real Americans the way that Sarah Palin looks at us. Guess what? We are glad that she won't be anywhere near us, too! She has probably avoided the Party and Caucus regulars of Iowa because she considers them to be "Blue Bloods", just like the Bushes are supposed to be, which means that they are not "Real Americans" either!
    While I am not a believer in censorship, I have asked my local library not to waste their precious resources in buying a copy of any of Sarah Palin's books. It can use the money it would cost to fund more childrens' books that will help our kids learn to read!

    December 2, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  25. aatami

    Hahahahhahaaa! She and her handlers are soooooo afraid of any unscripted moments they will do anything to avoid a REAL interaction. I doubt she's even capable of putting together a shopping list on her own. Third rate at everything she has ever done in her life at best and she has a veritable rotting cornucopia of american dimwits hanging on her every word. I hate to say it but I almost think America deserves this idiot. Let's all vote Palin for president and see how quickly the country fails!

    December 2, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
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