Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Winner of the Iowa GOP Straw Poll...Sarah Palin

It doesn't matter what people say about Sarah Palin. The former governor of Alaska still has star power, and reporters are craving for her attention. Palin is in the drivers seat. She is able to command the spotlight without asking for it. While Michelle Bachmann and Ron Paul took top honors at the straw poll, it fails in comparison to the attention Sarah Palin got when she attended the Iowa Fair prior to the GOP debates. Heck, Sarah Palin can declare her candidacy a week before the 2012 election and take all the stream from the GOP candidates, and also, Obama's re-election bid.

(The Hill) DES MOINES, Iowa — Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin hasn't announced her 2012 plans, but she stole the show at the Iowa State Fair on Friday.

Palin and her husband, Todd, had a private lunch with supporters — including longtime Iowa fundraiser Becky Beach — on the fairgrounds, then walked over to admire the life-size "butter cow" sculpture, stopping along the way to take photos with fair-goers. While many presidential candidates had already appeared on the fairgrounds Friday, she was the only one who drew such a thick throng of onlookers and supporters, along with a clutch of media coverage.

Palin, who stopped by the fair as part of her One America bus tour, denied that there were any political reasons for her coming to the state the day between a GOP presidential debate and the Iowa Republican Straw Poll.

Her decision to visit the fair came recently, and there was criticism that she was trying to overshadow the straw poll, leaving Palin promising not to attend the Saturday event.

She told reporters earlier in the day that she hadn't made up her mind about a presidential run.

"I think there is plenty of time to jump in the race," she said, according to reports. "Watching the whole process over the last year certainly shows me that, yes, there is plenty of room for more people."

Despite the public event, Palin didn't make it easy for reporters to find her. Her staff didn't release a schedule or announce her stops, leaving fans and the media to track her movements via word of mouth and Twitter.

Her visit came while other presidential contenders were addressing voters at the Des Moines Register's soapbox, a traditional stopping place for candidates, and looking for support in Saturday's straw poll.