Some of the senior Republicans who packed tables at the front of the room in the Hyvee Hall are privately dismissive, or worse, of Palin’s place in the party. She’s “harmful,” said one top state Republican leader. “People don’t take her seriously,” said another.
Farther back in the room were the activists who had come for Palin, making this the party’s largest annual dinner with 1,500 guests. Some said they hoped Palin would run for president and said they’d support her. More — in Iowa’s sober tradition — said they looked forward to hearing from her.
Three volunteered to POLITICO that they adored her and would like to see her run for vice president again, a sign of lingering doubts about her readiness for the White House, even among true admirers…
Palin has no footprint in Iowa. She arrived from Missouri Friday afternoon on the jet of a donor to the Iowa GOP and departed for Alaska after her speech. She went for a run in sunny Des Moines with, she said, a University of Iowa Hawkeyes T-shirt and Iowa State Cyclones cap — “showing love to the home team,” but local officials said they knew of no private meetings or organizational plans.