Opinion: Sarah Palin takes her bus to Iowa; Oh look, it’s the Ames Straw Poll weekend

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Sarah Palin.

At least the Iowa bus business looks good in this sour nationwide economy.

Michele Bachmann is moving around her birth state in one. Next week, President Obama will pass through Iowa briefly (and Illinois and Minnesota) on his next talking-at-Americans-about-jobs outing before his next vacation.


Now comes word that Sarah Palin will bring her famous, extremely patriotic ‘One Nation’ bus tour to the Heartland this week, allegedly for a visit to the Iowa State Fair, possibly Friday. The fair opens Thursday with a Mitt Romney speech competing with the annual carved cow in butter. Don’t fail to miss that.

If you don’t need to sweat within immense crowds amid the smells of livestock and anything you can imagine being fried, C-SPAN will broadcast the state fair’s entire list of political speakers from Romney at the open to Bachmann at the close Friday. They’re even letting one Democrat speak.

Janet Jackson will be there too, on Aug. 21, presumably with a functioning wardrobe.

Palin’s not scheduled to speak at the fair. Palin doesn’t need no schtinking fair to speak. She’s got her Facebook page with nearly 3.25 million fans listening. And her podium over at Fox.

And the political celebrity can pretty much set up wherever she wants to park her political bus, and the crowd and media will flock over, even though she has yet to declare her intentions about a presidential candidacy.

The latest leg of Palin’s bus journey just happens to coincide with the arrival of a gazillion media people and a bunch of GOP presidential candidates for the Ames Straw Poll, just to the north of Des Moines up I-35. Thursday night there’s a nationally-televised Republican debate on the Fox News Channel.

Saturday, of course, is the infamous Ames Straw Poll, actually a state party political fundraiser that attracts attention as if it really means something. (Again, C-SPAN will have live coverage beginning at 9 a.m. Pacific.) Romney and Jon Huntsman are not participating.

Neither is Rick Perry, the conservative Texas governor who’s been publicly flirting with the idea of running for the GOP nomination. One can only guess why Perry has chosen the Ames weekend to sort-of-maybe disclose his intentions. But he’ll do it in an afternoon speech to conservative writers at the annual RedState Gathering in Charleston, S.C.

As for Palin, she’ll be back to Iowa again, headlining a ‘tea party’ gathering over Labor Day weekend.


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-- Andrew Malcolm

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