Sarah Palin greets supporters at the Machine Shed restaurant in Urbandale tonight. [The Register/Andrea Melendez]
By Gary P Jackson
Sarah and Todd Palin made a surprise visit to the Conservatives4Palin meet-up in Urbandale, Iowa Friday night.
From Jennifer Jacobs of the Des Moines Register:
Crowd chants ‘run, Sarah, run’ as Palin arrives at Iowa restaurant
Minutes after Alaska’s Sarah Palin arrived at the Machine Shed Restaurant in Urbandale tonight, the crowd of a couple hundred started up a chant of "Run, Sarah, run!"
Palin beamed, then asked Iowans about themselves as she shook hands and posed for photographs.
The possible presidential candidate didn’t make a speech and left for her Des Moines hotel with her husband, Todd, about half an hour after she arrived.
When a reporter asked Palin what she thinks about the current GOP competitors, she answered: "Happy with the field of candidates. I always think that there’s room for more, though, because spirited debate and more competition will allow an even better discourse and more rigorous discourse that the public deserves."
The event at the suburban restaurant, popular for conservative political gatherings, was organized by a Conservatives4Palin, an online group created by Palin aide Rebecca Mansour. (Mansour wasn’t there, but two other staffers, Michael Glassner and Jason Recher were at her side.)
Peter Singleton, a California lawyer who has been living in Iowa on and off as he talks up a Palin presidency, led a campaign rally of sorts tonight.
"This is not about Sarah Palin," he told the listeners jammed shoulder to shoulder in a back room with a long line out the door. "This is not about any candidate. This is about us as a people. But we need a leader."
Singleton, a volunteer organizer with Organize4Palin, continued: "There is no one who has the political courage and the vision of this woman."
The audience whooped and cheered when Singleton said he believes she could become the 2012 GOP nominee – and that she could be Democratic President Barack Obama.
More, including photos and audio, here.
Scott Conroy from Real Clear Politics was there and among his tweets:
Observation of hardcore Palin supporters: they are YOUNG. A lot of 20-somethings here. Ya don't see that in Iowa GOP politics
There's a short video here. [H/T: Linda]
The joint was crowded and Stacy Drake tweeted this photo with the headline: "Help... I can't get in"