Palin swarmed at Iowa State Fair
August 12th, 2011
04:48 PM ET
12 years ago

Palin swarmed at Iowa State Fair

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.

Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Sarah Palin
soundoff (346 Responses)
  1. Sam

    Palin would be the worst leader for America, plain and simple. How so? Let me count the ways:

    1) After being unable to account for a dead parrot, Palin intimated a desire to drop his then current post to become a lumberjack – only to reveal shortly thereafter that he is also a transvestite.

    2) Palin was unable to prevent a marriage counselor from making love to his wife on the day the couple first made use of said counselor's services.

    3) Palin was unable to tell us what his favorite color is, and was consequently tossed into the Gorge of Eternal Peril.

    4) Palin's stint with the Spanish Inquisition raises serious questions about the separation between church and state.

    The list could go on and on, but suffice it to say, Michael Palin is unfit to lead our nation.

    August 13, 2011 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  2. Chumlee

    Crazy Nag Horse TROLLOPING around the fair. Has America gone mad !

    August 13, 2011 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  3. Michael

    It's perfect and fitting that she is at tha fair (any fair) she makes a good sideshow but not much else.

    August 13, 2011 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  4. AGuest9

    Hanging out with the livestock. I hope all those folks swarmed her and carried her somewhere far, far away. Somewhere that she can no longer damage the psyche of this country.

    August 13, 2011 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  5. Moby49

    Please let the swarm be angry africanized bees!

    August 13, 2011 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  6. california girl

    There goes Palin again....of course, she is being herself again...pretending to be supportive of those Republican candidates. Right after the debate ,there she is stealing the show. You cannot trust this woman. Oh yeah, there is plent of time to decide...well, she's testing the water before she jumps in. She could see her short-term popularity is fast diminishing. Stay in Alaska and take care of your special-need child.

    August 13, 2011 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  7. Too proud to be Joe Sixpack

    SOUTHERN HOTTIE posts: ...Iowa can have here.
    We don't want her

    Shannon posts: What is wrong with the people in Iowa, they seem obsessed with these crazy Republican women. Very Strange.
    Nothing really-there are stupid people in every state of the union.

    AB posts: Good 'ole Iowa. They all flock to see the Dipstick in Lipstick. Makes one wonder what's in the water there. Sheeesh!!!!
    See above response...

    "Her husband Todd, who expressed enthusiasm about a potential campaign, was also at her side. He seemed to be enjoying the spotlight."
    I wonder why she is still around...oh yeah, that's right-she is trying to keep her salary after being a quitter in Alaska. She is irrelevant and needs to just stay away from politics as well as the media. It would be nice if she would just fade away....

    August 13, 2011 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  8. Andrew

    at some point, this political battle to find out what party is better at 'creating jobs' will end with people realizing that the government isn't what create jobs; it's the ideas and innovations by american citizens. We need to start taking some of the blame for not being as innovate as we once were. Jobs just don't come out of no where. Hopefully in the near future a major technological breakthrough happens in a field that can support a largely American workforce. We have so many of our smartest citizens working on Wall St producing nothing, it really is a shame.

    August 13, 2011 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  9. Gene Buday

    Palin's manical mutterings once again prove that even a moron's utterings can be entertaining. Of course, much the same could be said of the rest of the GOP gang of gangsters.

    August 13, 2011 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  10. Sick of Politics

    It seems that the only intellectual posts on this thread are from those who support Sarah Palin. All other posts – from Palin haters – sound like they are coming from shallow teenagers who have nothing better or more useful to do than to make fun of the smart girl in class. This is pathetic!

    August 13, 2011 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  11. marty

    Look at her photo ... she is so skinny. Is she on uppers or is she sick ? maybe she is the first meth addict with oval office aspirations ?

    August 13, 2011 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  12. Native

    I tend to have rather conservative views, but why does America flock to to a deserter? I was trained that you NEVER leave your post. What is this lady campaigning for? That's all we need, a president that walks away half way through the term (OK, I can think of one that I would like to leave early...)... But seriously, why is this lady campaigning? It's hard to take her seriously after leaving Alaska in the lurch.

    August 13, 2011 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  13. Sonnie2

    Sara could wipe the floor with our current potus
    Why do you all think the media runs to see her???
    Why are the left wing socalist net work person so afraid of her?
    I hope she runns
    I would vote for Her
    She has common sense and that is a rare comodity in DC today
    Independant from Iowa

    August 13, 2011 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  14. Sonnie2

    Sara is a leader. She can shoot from the hip. She don't need a teleprompter..

    August 13, 2011 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  15. Ron

    Poor Sarah..... she can't deal with the idea of the spotlight not being one her or people no swooning at her every word..... If Perry is choosen I really hope he tells her to slink back to alaska...... Of course she won't as long as there is a spotlight somewhere she can steal.....

    August 13, 2011 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  16. trashcup

    Amazing how Palin thinks she has the answers for all the ills of America AND how she professes to be a right wing big time Christian... perfect examples of how she runs things and how Christian she is are her kids. Bristol gets pregnant as a teenager and has a kid without getting married while he mother was governor. Then Track just got married 3 months ago and this week had his first kid! HMMMM. Guess Bristol's idea of birth control – abstinence – didn't work for Track either. It certainly didn't work for Bristol now did it? So a FINE, well educated CHRISTIAN family, trained by the expert Palin now has TWO KIDS that have had problems with getting the order of marriage and kids right – yea, FIRST – get married THEN have kids....Why is that so difficult for Palin kids to figure out when their mother is such a perfect Christian and so damn smart she thinks she can run this country? I guess 2 out of 4 ain't bad when you're raising kids – but the others are just getting old enough and their mother hasn't been home enough to teach them anything. WHat a complete idiot.

    August 13, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  17. Sup

    I imagine Snookie or Paris Hilton would have been equally as "swarmed."

    August 13, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  18. palebluedot

    Sara......Is doing what she does best.suck up to the media and pretend to be a leader to the masses.The sooner we realize she as nothing to offer the better we are going to be.....except when its a slow news all need comic relief and she is damn good at that,to bad she always draws people away from the topic.

    August 13, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  19. Jeffrey

    I was thinking along the lines of a swarm of flies ... on whatever it is flies swarm to.

    August 13, 2011 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  20. Robert Cloosdoosch

    "hotness" does not quality anyone to become the leader of the most powerful country on the planet.
    What is truly scary is that so many people like yourself are willing to set the bar so low.

    August 13, 2011 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  21. bornokfirst

    Here's a newsflash: she's not running! She's going to ride the gravy train, attention seeking as long as she can, all the while foolish peole contribute to her SARAHPAC!!! She's too afraid to run, cause she might actually have to debate! That would be hysterical! But I really do wish she would run...the jokes would be never ending, and Obama would be a shoe in. RUN SARAH RUN!!!!!

    August 13, 2011 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
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