Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will return to Iowa on November 9, returning to the state that holds the country’s first-in-the-nation caucuses. These are dominated by social conservatives who Palin appeals to as strongly as she resonates with independent-minded fiscal conservatives.
Palin will be a speaker at a Faith and Freedom Coalition (FFC) event that will honor Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), who led the fight to defund Obamacare along with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).
“We are thrilled and honored that Gov. Palin has confirmed to address Iowa’s top conservative activists, as we kick off the 2014 election cycle,” Iowa FFC president Steve Scheffler said. “Without a doubt, her appearance will motivate activists to be involved in grassroots politics here in Iowa that will help turn the tide here in Iowa, by electing more family-friendly public officials at all levels.”
As David Brody at the Christian Broadcasting Network noted, the appearance will underscore Palin’s influence among conservatives, especially those in Iowa, regardless of whether she decides to run for president in 2016. If she does not, her endorsement will be the most coveted among the GOP presidential contenders.
One of the reasons Palin has been called the prototypical “Teavaneglical” politician is because she fervently appeals to faith-based voters as much as she does to fiscally conservative voters. Her influence was proven during the 2012 cycle when she praised Rick Santorum in December in 2011 when Iowans seemed lukewarm about the field of Republican primary candidates. After Palin made her remarks on December 2 on Fox News’s Hannity, Santorum, who was at four percent in the polls in Iowa–barely above Jon Huntsman, who was not even competing in the state–started getting momentum and eventually won the caucus a month later. Though Santorum had gone “all-in” in Iowa and planted his campaign exclusively in the state, voters were persuaded to consider his candidacy more seriously after Palin spoke kindly of him.
Palin has influence in South Carolina as well, of course–her support of Nikki Haley in the 2010 primary ensured she won the Palmetto State’s gubernatorial election–and her positive comments about Newt Gingrich enabled him to win South Carolina’s presidential primary in 2012.
While she was mulling a presidential run in 2011, Palin made many important trips to Iowa. PassCode Creative cut a video of Palin’s trip to the Iowa State Fair.
On that trip in August, Palin drew praise from a skeptical mainstream media when she took questions from reporters who were in relentless pursuit of her. Her answers were measured and engaging while being direct and nuanced. Though conservatives who have been familiar with Palin’s rise have always known her ability to engage in retail politics–with voters and the press–without handlers has always been her greatest strength, mainstream media members not familiar with Palin realized they had not only underestimated her but were flat-out wrong about her ability to deftly handle a media scrum. As CNN’s Peter Hamby noted, Palin engaged with the media for more than an hour, and she even received effusive praise from Hamby’s CNN’s colleague Don Lemon.
Massive crowds followed her wherever she went, dwarfing those that trailed other politicians, as can be see in her appearance with Sean Hannity from the fair. The crowd can be seen dispersing as soon as Palin concludes her interview with Hannity.
During Labor Day weekend in 2011, Palin met with Organize4Palin and Conservative4Palin volunteers at a restaurant in Iowa before delivering one of the most important and defining speeches of this political era in Indianola on September 3.
In Indianola, Iowa on September 3, Palin gave a speech denouncing Washington’s permanent political class and crony capitalism that expands government to enrich Washington’s “boomtown” cronies. That speech injected “permanent political class” and “crony capitalism” into the broader political bloodstream and started the relentless campaign the country has seen against the bipartisan political establishment and their brand of crony capitalism. Those words were not in the popular political lexicon before Palin’s speech.
Palin spoke about the Tea Party class of Republicans that was elected in 2010 before blasting the “permanent political class” that would try to “co-opt them.” She said “the reality is we are governed by a permanent political class, until we change that.”
“They talk endlessly about cutting government spending, and yet they keep spending more. They talk about massive unsustainable debt, and yet they keep incurring more,” she said. “They spend, they print, they borrow, they spend more, and then they stick us with the bill.”
No, they don’t feel the same urgency that we do. But why should they? For them business is good; business is very good. Seven of the ten wealthiest counties are suburbs of Washington, D.C. Polls there actually – and usually I say polls, eh, they’re for strippers and cross country skiers – but polls in those parts show that some people there believe that the economy has actually improved. See, there may not be a recession in Georgetown, but there is in the rest of America.
Yeah, the permanent political class – they’re doing just fine. Ever notice how so many of them arrive in Washington, D.C. of modest means and then miraculously throughout the years they end up becoming very, very wealthy? Well, it’s because they derive power and their wealth from their access to our money – to taxpayer dollars. They use it to bail out their friends on Wall Street and their corporate cronies, and to reward campaign contributors, and to buy votes via earmarks. There is so much waste. And there is a name for this: It’s called corporate crony capitalism.
Palin differentiated between free markets and crony capitalism:
This is not the capitalism of free men and free markets, of innovation and hard work and ethics, of sacrifice and of risk. No, this is the capitalism of connections and government bailouts and handouts, of waste and influence peddling and corporate welfare. This is the crony capitalism that destroyed Europe’s economies. It’s the collusion of big government and big business and big finance to the detriment of all the rest – to the little guys. It’s a slap in the face to our small business owners – the true entrepreneurs, the job creators accounting for 70% of the jobs in America, it’s you who own these small businesses, you’re the economic engine, but you don’t grease the wheels of government power.
So, do you want to know why the permanent political class doesn’t really want to cut any spending? Do you want to know why nothing ever really gets done? It’s because there’s nothing in it for them. They’ve got a lot of mouths to feed – a lot of corporate lobbyists and a lot of special interests that are counting on them to keep the good times and the money rolling along.
And she discussed her record of taking on entrenched political interests on both sides of the political aisle:
It doesn’t surprise me. I’ve seen this kind of crony capitalism before. It’s is the same good old boy politics-as-usual that I fought and we defeated in my home state. I took on a corrupt and compromised political class and their backroom dealings with Big Oil. And I can tell you from experience that sudden and relentless reform never sits well with entrenched interests and power-brokers. So, please you must vet a candidate’s record. You must know their ability to successfully reform and actually fix problems that they’re going to claim that they inherited.
Real reform never sits well with the entrenched special interests, and that’s why the true voices of reform are so quickly demonized. Look what they say about you. You are concerned civilized citizens and look what they say about you.
Nearly two months before her speech at Indianola, Palin went to Pella, Iowa for the premier of the movie that defended her record against the bipartisan permanent political class in Alaksa–The Undefeated. Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon directed the movie which impressed the late Andrew Breitbart, who tweeted from the gathering along with mainstream media reporters like Nico Hines. Palin addressed supporters in the video below after the movie’s debut.
At the Pella Opera House in Iowa minutes before the debut of Steve Bannon’s Palin film, ‘The Undefeated’.
— AndrewBreitbart (@AndrewBreitbart) June 28, 2011
Everyone here’s doing their damnedest to make Palin run. Patriotic songs, pleading and even prayer. Lotta whooping. Hasn’t even started…
— Nico Hines (@NicoHines) June 28, 2011