Sarah Palin: Still the GOP’s Biggest Star

An article by Craig Robinson with the above title appears in the Iowa Republican.  In his piece, Robinson discusses Governor Palin’s visit to Pella on Tuesday and explains why there are no substitutes, on the bench or elsewhere, for Governor Palin.  Excerpts follow:

Pella took center stage as Sarah Palin made a visit to the community of 10,000 to view a new documentary about her political life, “The Undefeated.”  Below are my thoughts about what took place there yesterday.


Pella was the perfect setting to unveil the new Palin documentary, The Undefeated, because, in many ways, it could be said that the community of Pella is undefeated.  While many parts of the state are dealing with high unemployment, Marion County, which includes Pella, has seen its unemployment rate dropped from 7.3 percent in January to 5.7 percent in May, which is below the state average.

The community, which has 2400 more registered Republicans than Democrats, embraced the movie premier and Palin visit.  The day before her visit, the movie producer and other advance staff could be heard laughing throughout the downtown with public safety officials.  As always, the community of Pella put its best foot forward as the spotlight shined upon its picturesque city.


The crowd was electric inside the Pella Opera House during the movie.  Those in attendance didn’t just sit back and watch the movie, they participated in it by clapping and cheering throughout.

Palin was amazing in Pella yesterday.  As she and Todd made their way though various shops in the downtown area, onlookers would stop to say hello, ask to take a photo, or get an autograph.  Palin took it all in stride.  Even though she is a huge media sensation, she is somehow able to remain grounded.  Nothing illustrated that more than the bug splattered Chevy Malibu that they drove to Pella.

The media couldn’t help but try and compare Palin to Michele Bachmann, who officially launched her presidential campaign on Monday.  They both connect to people, and both have star power, but having seem them both in Iowa in the span of 24 hours, it’s clear that Palin will always be the original female GOP star.  That’s not an insult toward Bachmann, but Palin’s star shines brighter.

I thought it was pretty remarkable that Palin, who is a national political phenomenon, came to this small Iowa town, strolled through the town square, watched a two-hour movie with 300 plus locals, and then spent several hours meeting people and shaking hands at the cook out that followed the movie premier.  The people just flocked to her in Pella last night, and she handled it all with grace.

Palin must have posed for a thousand photographs last night.  In addition, she also autographed hundreds of books, tickets, and even a baseball.  While she could have left at any time, she patiently worked through the crowd until she hit the door of her car.  The crowd loved her.  Nobody went home disappointed.

Read Robinson’s entire piece here.   This is how retail politics is done, folks.  If Governor Palin enters the race, she has promised to give it a 110 percent commitment and go to countless towns just like Pella; not only in Iowa but across this great land and she’ll literally bury the competition.  Her competitors know this, of course, and that’s why they’re trying so hard to convince her to stay home.  Just in case anyone missed Governor Palin’s rousing speech to the crowd inside the Pella Opera House after the film, here it is again courtesy of Shane Vander Hart.  Notice that there’s nary a note card or teleprompter in sight.

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