I asked Judd Saul, the Tea Party of America media relations representative, about the lower than expected turnout. “It wasn’t the rain that kept folks away, it was activist Peter Singleton, who spread rumors the rally in Indianola, Iowa, had been canceled. Emails and blogs stated Palin would be a no show at the event. It came down to the Tea Party vs. Sarah Palin’s party, that was unhappy with this event because they lacked control.” Other rumors claimed that Christine O’Donnell invited herself to the rally and was told she was welcome. In fact, O’Donnell was disinvited because the Palin camp didn’t want to share the venue with her.
At Strong America Now’s tent, tee shirts were given to those who signed a petition calling on candidates to take a Tea Party fiscal responsibility training class if they wanted to be endorsed by the Tea Party. From various voices in the crowd: “The only hot air coming out of the plant is from Al Gore’s ass,” “Vegetarians are whimps because they don’t have to hunt down the prey” and “Democrats are ruining the country by taking god out of everything.” According to one woman’s tee shirt. “If you love guns, babies and Palin, the Tea Party is for you,”
After Palin’s made her speech, she mixed with the crowd, holding babies, hugging supporters, signing books, tee shirts and whatever else was passed her way. Up next for Palin, New Hampshire, where her appearance raises further questions as to whether or not she’ll run for President in 2012.