Saturday, September 3, 2011
Iowa is buzzing today, as Governor Palin will be addressing a tea party crowd in Indianola at approximately 1:15 Eastern time. But the buzz began last night when she and Todd showed up at Machine Shed Restaurant where Conservatives4Palin was having a gathering.
Amanda Coyne covered the event:
While former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was making her way from her hotel in Des Moines, to greet the Machine Shed Restaurant outside of Des Moines, for the Conservatives4Palin meet-up, other supporters were working in the haze in Indianola, setting up booths and tables, making name tags and checking lists. Not without a fair measure of discomfort. A heat wave has settled heavily upon Iowa. Brows where constantly being mopped. Hands mimicking fans waved in front of pink cheeks.
A collective sigh went up from the volunteers when, as if a mirage, Palin's big bus drove down a dirt road behind the main stage, seemingly from right out of the cornfields. Volunteers rushed toward the bus, hoping to catch a glimpse of Palin When it was clear she wasn’t there, the supporters wasted no time in dragging a cardboard cut-out of Palin, placing it in front of the bus and posing for the cameras amid the field of dreams.
Sarah and Todd stayed for about 20 minutes, shaking hands, signing posters and books, and in one case, a woman’s oxford shirt, firing up the crowd. And with that, Palin slipped out the back door.
The woman wearing the now-signed oxford -- Catherina Wojtowicz -- is an organizer for the Chicago Tea Patriots. She was part of a group of 24 coming from Chicago to see Palin. Wojtowicz is confident Palin is going to run for president. She’s been working for campaigns for 20 years, and she knows what a campaign event looks like. This, to her, was a campaign event. No question about it.
“You don’t do this unless you’re going to run,” she said. “You don’t ask people to come out like this” unless you’re going to run, she said.
It might have been a campaign event, but it was also a reunion for the folks at Conservatives4Palin, a pro-Palin website. They've been working for years together, even though some have never met in person. Die-hard Palin fans, in their eyes, they've been fighting the good fight, weathering all the various storms that have come in the wake of Palin, from the time she hit the national stage in 2008 to when she quit her job in Alaska in 2009, to today as Palin ponders whether to run in 2012 presidential election.
On Friday night, some of the C4P people got to meet the former governor herself. Among them was Damian Geminder. Twenty-two years old and a regular C4P contributor, he’s freshly armed with a bachelor's in journalism from Adelphi University in Long Island. He wore a t-shirt that read “God, Guns and Lipstick. Palin: 2012." Palin looked Geminder in the eyes and said, “Thank you for all you do.”
The man who goes by the pen-name Ian Lazaran, a young Seattle lawyer who helps C4P in his spare time, also met Palin for the first time tonight. Lazaran, a man of few words, smiled when I asked him how it felt to meet Palin. “Good,” he said. “It was really good. This has been very good.”
Read the full article here.
CNN's Peter Hamby shared his account, which you can read here. LA Times covered it here.
My fellow C4P editor, Nicole Coulter, also shared her thoughts. Nicole writes:
I am still in disbelief. I wasn’t even going to make this trip to Indianola. It’s a 16-hour drive from Hershey, Penn. But, not wanting to miss a chance to mingle with the Palinistas, and hear the Governor’s big speech, I lugged my three lovable kids along … they watched a grand total of eight full-length movie DVDs over two days in the mini-van, and I nearly finished the Atlas Shrugged audio book.
And in a surprise twist … at the Machine Shed restaurant tonight we got to hug Sarah Palin and shake the First Dude’s hand, and tell them how much we love their family, and support them. We had heard rumors that the Guv would drop by, but I wasn’t really expecting it.
Worth the drive, huh? I’ve met the Governor a couple of times briefly, but it was special to be there this time with my children. As it turned out, my kids were slightly more interested in the gift shop in the lobby. Oh welll …
I told them … “Well, you just got to meet the next president, the first woman president. How does it feel?” The historic moment was somewhat lost on them given their young ages of 9, 7, and four. But I think everyone who meets Gov. Palin does get that sense that she is destined for great things. It’s a palpable feeling when you are around her. She has an aura of greatness, in her demeanor and confidence, and it’s easy to speculate about the future when you see the effect she has on people.
Read more and see pictures here.