Friday, July 29, 2011

Will Palin Announce Candidacy at Iowa Tea Party Event

The Iowa Republican
by: Kevin Hall

Although they claim to have no inside information, the volunteers that comprise Iowa’s Organize 4 Palin group are convinced the former Alaska Governor is running for President.  They also believe it is very likely she will announce her candidacy at a Tea Party event near Des Moines on September 3rd.

“It certainly makes a lot of sense for her to announce on that date,” said Richard Rogers, the 3rd District Co-Chair for Organize 4 Palin.  “It will be the third anniversary of her speech at the Republican National Convention.  That’s what launched her onto the national scene.  Announcing at that event would certainly be appropriate.  The timing is right.”

Rogers was a volunteer for Dave Funk’s congressional campaign and served as Polk County Chair for Fred Thompson’s 2008 Iowa campaign.  He’s been involved in grassroots politics since 1964, when he joined the Draft Goldwater movement.  Rogers believes Sarah Palin decided to run several weeks ago.

“Although there is no coordination with her, Governor Palin is certainly aware of what we’re doing here in Iowa,” Rogers said.  “I don’t believe she would allow us to continue to do this if she wasn’t running.  I think she has determined to do it and I think she made that decision some time back.”

Sarah Palin already has a very solid campaign structure in place in Iowa.  Rogers, Craig Bergman and Myrna Beeber are among a group of longtime political activists who are laying the groundwork for a potential Palin candidacy.  Together, they are building a statewide, grassroots organization of Palin supporters without any financial backing.  “We’re not secretly funded by some shadowy group somewhere in the Andes,” Rogers joked.  “Honest to God, we are all entirely volunteers.”

Despite the lack of funding, the Organize 4 Palin Iowa team is running a very well organized campaign.  Representatives from the group have personally met with every county GOP chair in Iowa.  They have a strong presence at central committee meetings, GOP fundraisers, and events like last weekend’s 2nd Amendment rally.  In fact, the Palin group has a stronger presence than some of the fully staffed operations.

Craig Bergman is a veteran of many campaigns, including Ron Paul’s 2008 effort.  He has appointed himself “political director” of the Iowa Organize 4 Palin group, while adding that everyone on the team is equal and there is no real campaign hierarchy.  Bergman favors Palin because of her leadership attributes.  “Ron Paul is right on the issues, but he’s not a leader,” Bergman said.  “Sarah Palin is a leader.  She’s a warrior.  She’s been the one out their fighting on the issues.”

Bergman is convinced that Palin will soon announce her candidacy.  “I don’t think somebody does all the things she’s done, all the battles she’s been fighting, and then would abandon the course,” Bergman said.  He points to her highly-touted speech in at a Wisconsin Tea Party rally in April.  “Scott Walker was going to do down and she went there and rallied the masses and turned that entire thing around.”

Even if the former Alaska Governor decides not to run, Richard Rogers will remain loyal to her.  “If she doesn’t get in, she’s at least going to be very involved in the debate and I’ll probably take my cues from her,” Rogers said.  “We’ll just ride a different horse.”

That scenario is not one Craig Bergman looks forward to.   “I’ll probably go to my knees, because that would mean we’re going to re-elect Barack Obama,” Bergman said.  “And if that happens, God help us all.”

Palin recently told Fox News that she would make an announcement about her intentions in August or September.  The Tea Party rally on September 3rd falls perfectly in that timeline.  The event, location and time are ideal for such an announcement.  Thousands of people will be in attendance.  Worldwide media will descend on Des Moines for the event.  Most importantly, Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucus status makes her visit here the perfect spot to let everyone know her decision.  Everyone will be watching.

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