No, Sarah Palin has not decided whether to run for president. Or, at least, she has not decided to announce her decision.
In the latest installment of the will-she-or-won’t-she drama that has swirled around Palin this summer, the former Alaska governor dropped into little Pella, Iowa, on Tuesday for the premiere of a movie made about her political career, titled “The Undefeated.”
More than a few of the hundreds who gathered were there not for the movie—tickets to which were dispensed to local Republicans, community leaders and a few others—but to hear whether Palin would announce a presidential bid. Palin did little to clarify her intentions other than to declare that such a choice would be “life-changing” and “earth-shattering.”
“It’s a tough decision, it’s a big decision to decide whether to run for office or not. I’m still contemplating,” Palin said.
She brushed aside a comment her daughter Bristol made on a television news program in which she indicated that Palin had made a decision.
“Bristol is a smart and independent and strong young woman, listen to her,” Palin said. “I told Bristol, when I heard that I said, ‘Bristol, what we say on the fishing boat stays on the fishing boat!’ “
The 2008 vice presidential nominee did praise Iowa, calling the state and its residents “so warm” and “so nice”, words that often come flowing from the mouths of candidates. She also fanned speculation by lunching in nearby Urbandale with a prominent Iowa fundraiser. The state GOP chairman said he had had no contact with Palin’s people, nor had he heard that she would be meeting with party kingmakers, but Palin herself pledged to spend a lot of time in the state if she runs.
Palin’s visit came on the same day that President Obama arrived in Bettendorf to visit a manufacturing plant and a day after Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann formally kicked off her campaign in Waterloo. Some of those who gathered in Pella said they did so figuring it was the unofficial start of Palin’s presidential bid.
“I came up to support Sarah Palin. I thought this was going to be the kick-off for her campaign,” said Del Parker, 64, a rare-coins dealer who traveled from Dallas for the event. He said he has admired Palin since she became the vice presidential nominee in 2008.
“I just think that she fulfills the great need this country has to right itself and get rid of all this corruption,” Parker said.
If the scene was Americana—the opera house where the movie debuted boasted stained glass windows; theatergoers pledged allegiance to the flag before the screening—it was not all small town charm. Her security detail shoved cameramen away as a crush of media trailed Palin.
Palin described the film as a “vindication of my record” and a way to fight the “false narratives out there” about herself and her family. (The Undefeated” will open in 10 cities across the country, including Orange, on July 15.)
“It will blow you away. It was awesome. It’s all about American values,” she said, before heading into a private barbeque with about 1,000 supporters in Franklin Square, leaving at least one question unanswered.