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Jim Lee/Sioux City Journal

Governor Sarah Palin stopped in Sioux City yesterday as part of the book signing tour for her new book, Going Rogue: An American Life.  I had hoped to be there, but alas I was not one of the 625 who had books signed and able to shake her hand.  As always any stop in Iowa brings about 2012 speculation.  Carl Cameron of Fox News reported live:

Now when politicans come to Iowa, I’ve been guilty of jumping on the “oh they are definitely running” bandwagon. So I’m not faulting speculation (though has any other tour stop brought out national networks and even international attention?).  I’ve said that while I hope she runs I have no idea of whether she will run.  She has certainly been influential and effective in promoting common sense conservatism without a title.

Though that hasn’t stopped people from taking swipes at a potential Palin candidacy.  In an AP article Eric Woolson was quoted:

But some questioned whether Palin could turn her star appeal into votes in a state where face-to-face campaigning has usually played an important role.

Republican strategist Eric Woolson worked for Democrats early in his career, and he saw some comparisons to the campaign of former Sen. John Glenn. The former astronaut drew huge and admiring crowds when he ran for president in 1984 but that didn’t translate into votes.

“They went to see John Glenn the astronaut, not John Glenn the Democratic candidate for president,” Woolson said. “A tremendous amount of her appeal is as Sarah Palin the celebrity, as opposed to Sarah Palin the potential 2012 nominee.”

Just some background on Eric Woolson, he’s currently working for Bob Vander Plaats Gubernatorial campaign.  He also worked for Mike Huckabee’s campaign in 2008.  Maybe he’s just jealous that Huckabee didn’t have near the turnout for his book signing in West Des Moines.

Steve Scheffler, head of the Iowa Christian Alliance and the Iowa National Committeeman on the Republican National Committee in the article said:

…many people were attracted to Palin because “they like Republican leaders who call a spade a spade.”

But, he said, the former Alaska governor still has a lot to prove.

“Her biggest challenge will be to convince people she’s got the depth to be a successful president,” he said. “In the perilous times we live in, people are going to want to know if she’s up to snuff.”

I agree with Scheffler in his assessment why people are attracted to Palin, but I think what he said about her having a lot to prove could be said about a good number of potential candidate, including Mitt Romney, who was also only a one-term governor, and not a very effective one at that (RomneyCare, governing as a liberal).

Listening to Jan Mickelson on WHO Radio this morning people who called in were saying.  She “represents our values,” “she’s trustworthy,” and “I think she’d straighten out the party, Congress” (though has there ever been a President able to do that).  So Woolson’s claim that it’s just celebrity appeal is unfounded.

Then there’s it’s Iowa of course she’s running mantra ala Tim Albrecht (former Romney staff, now working for Branstad Gubernatorial campaign) in the same AP article.

“No politician comes to Iowa by accident,” Republican strategist Tim Albrecht said. “Every politician knows the implications when they set foot here.”

Wonder what he would have said if she didn’t come to Iowa?  Oh boy!  Or if she planned two stops?  And it isn’t even 2010 yet.

Update: Kevin Hall, the Des Moines Conservative, declares Sarah Palin the frontrunner for the nomination. We’ll see if future polls will back that up, but right now if she decides to run she’ll be in good shape. (HT: Josh Painter)

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