Palin fuels presidential bid speculation in Iowa

PELLA, Iowa Tue Jun 28, 2011 7:37pm EDT

1 of 2. Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin delivers a keynote speech at the Reagan 100 opening banquet at Reagan Ranch Center in Santa Barbara, California February 4, 2011. The event celebrates the 100th anniversary of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan's birthday.

Credit: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni

PELLA, Iowa (Reuters) - Republican Sarah Palin said on Tuesday she is still studying a potential 2012 presidential run, though her daughter said she has already made up her mind.

Palin, the Republican vice presidential nominee in 2008, attended the premiere of a flattering documentary about her, "The Undefeated," at the opera house in this small Iowa town.

Palin has carefully left the door open to a campaign. Her appearance in Iowa was likely to encourage those who think the former Alaska governor still might jump into a wide-open race.

Her visit came a day after Michele Bachmann, a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives who is often compared to Palin, launched her own presidential campaign in Iowa, and at a time when many candidates, even President Barack Obama, are touring the early voting state to seek support.

The Midwestern state holds the first contest on the road to the Republican 2012 presidential nomination.

Palin's daughter Bristol, a mini-celebrity in her own right, added to the political buzz by saying on Fox News that her mother had made up her mind already about whether to seek the nomination and that she would like to see Sarah Palin run.

"She definitely knows," Bristol Palin said when asked whether Sarah Palin had made up her mind. She said the decision would remain within the family for now.

Palin brushed aside her daughter's comments as she arrived for the premiere, saying: "I'm still contemplating."

Palin launched a "One Nation" bus tour in late May of the eastern United States and plans are said to be in the works for another tour at some point. But Palin has almost no campaign infrastructure, while the race to be the Republican candidate to challenge Obama is now well under way.

If Palin were to run, she and Bachmann would likely be competing for the same social conservative voters who are powerful in Iowa, whose caucuses next February are the first voting contest of the 2012 nomination battle.

The biopic premiered in Pella is likely to keep Palin in the spotlight, much as her reality TV show, "Sarah Palin's Alaska," did earlier this year.

The documentary traces Palin's rise from mayor of tiny Wasilla, Alaska, the battle she waged to win election as the state governor and then charted her time as John McCain's 2008 running mate. Palin is a key narrator in the movie, which is based on her "Going Rogue" memoir.

Palin's visit created an air of excitement in Pella, a town founded by Dutch immigrants in 1847 and boasting a picturesque windmill. Taking in the scene was John Anderson, riding a bicycle with a sign draped around his neck that said, "It's now or never, Sarah, America is calling you."

"She's an inspiration," said Anderson. "I like her spunk, I like her drive, I like her charisma."

With her massive name recognition, Palin can probably afford to skip the Republicans' August straw poll in Iowa, said Tim Hagle, a political science professor at the University of Iowa. That poll is a gauge of who will win the Iowa caucuses.

Palin should have made up her mind by Labor Day in early September on whether to run to give her team time to organize for the Iowa votes.

"It's not too late for her to get into the race," Hagle said.

(Additional reporting by Kay Henderson; editing by Anthony Boadle)

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Comments (17)
dslovejoy wrote:
She’ll run. Her ego won’t let her do otherwise. She won’t win, but it will make an interesting race, especially when she will refuse to do any interviews with anyone but FOXNews.

Jun 28, 2011 3:30pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Founders1791 wrote:
Sarah Palin is the Conservative “Star Quarterback” on issues, values, and media attention.

(1) Gay rights: She is for “equal benefits” for same-sex partners. Her college room mate openly lives in a same sex marriage. Are you still getting up off the ground?

(2) Abortion: She is Pro life “except” if life of mother is at risk. Betcha you didn’t know that!

(3) Gun Control: She is for “2nd Amendment Rights” and self protection, obviously. She can drop a Caribou at 400 yards, dress it, and serve it up too.

(4) Worker Compensation: She promised to “cut her own pay” as Mayor, and did. Her husband is a member of the United Steel Workers Union.

(5) Corruption: She resigned, as Chairman of the Oil & Gas Commission ($118k per year job) over corruption between Big Oil and Republican cronies Frank Murkowski, Don Young, and Ted Stevens. That took balls and selflessness. She can’t be bought.

(6) Government Waste: She reduced Alaska Federal Earmarks by 80%. She protected the State of Alaska by refusing $28.6 million in Federal Stimulus with onerous strings attached. She got rid of “her own perks”: State Jet, Limousine, and personal Chef.

She holds Conservative “Small Government” ideologies regarding: Excessive Regulations, Boarder Security first, Entitlement Reform, Earmark Reform, Domestic Energy Independence (drill baby drill), No Bailouts of any private companies, etc.

Governor Sarah Palin, of Alaska, ran the affairs of 15,000 employees and an operating budget of $11,000,000,000 billion. Bigger then Visa, Hershey’s, or Weyerhaeuser. Did it with 93% bipartisan support by governing from the Center.

Mayor of Wasilla, the largest City in metro Anchorage, Alaska.

Jun 28, 2011 4:18pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
cudjoejim wrote:
I’ve never seen a bad picture of her!

Jun 28, 2011 5:04pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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