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Is This Palin’s Secret Weapon in Iowa?

By NEIL KING JR.

DES MOINES, Iowa—Prominent Republicans here pretty much splinter into two camps on the question of whether Sarah Palin will jump into the 2012 presidential race.

One side points to a mysterious California lawyer named Peter Singleton as proof the former Alaska governor will definitely run. The other side points to Mr. Singleton as proof she won’t.

“When it comes to Palin in Iowa, it’s pretty much Peter Singleton,” said Iowa Tea Party Director Ryan Rhodes. “The guy is everywhere.”

Crisscrossing the state in a series of rented cars, the 56-year-old Mr. Singleton has spent the better part of five months visiting obscure county GOP chairmen, befriending tea-party activists, buttonholing lawmakers in the lobby of the state Capitol, and amassing a database of potential Palin supporters. His base camp is the Days Inn in West Des Moines, where he washes his shirts in the sink.

Deepening the mystery: Mr. Singleton swears he has never met Ms. Palin and has no contact with her team. “I’m just a dedicated activist working on my own,” he said.

Sarah-Palin-iowaMs. Palin’s aides concur, insisting that she hasn’t met with Mr. Singleton and that he is in no way coordinating with her political-action committee.

But not many Republicans here buy the lone-wolf theory.

“I came away from our conversation convinced Mr. Singleton is organizing for her, and has an inside track on her 2012 campaign,” said Jeff Jorgensen, GOP chairman of Pottawattamie County in the state’s southwestern corner. He met Mr. Singleton for breakfast last month.

State Sen. Kent Sorenson, an up-and-comer in Iowa tea-party circles, emerged from his talks with the Menlo Park lawyer with a different conclusion.

“To send someone you’ve never met, an operative from another state, just seems odd,” he said. “It suggests Sarah Palin is simply not serious about Iowa.” Mr. Sorenson plans to support Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann if she runs.

Ms. Palin’s plans for 2012 remain a big topic across a state famed for its first-in-the-nation caucus, a contest—now set for February—that rewards those who really work the state, from county fairs to small-town living rooms.

Ms. Palin, who appeared at a tea-party event in Wisconsin over the weekend, is slipping in most national polls, but GOP activists here believe she would scramble the emerging field if she jumps in.

Other presumed candidates—Tim Pawlenty, Haley Barbour, Newt Gingrich—are now popping into Iowa almost weekly. Many are beginning to hire operatives and lease office space. But Republicans strain to cite any evidence of a fledgling Palin campaign in Iowa—beyond the ubiquitous Mr. Singleton. Ms. Palin hasn’t visited the state since December.

“I can’t think of a single person outside of him who says they’re ready to drop everything and work for Sarah Palin if she runs,” said Maureen Olsen, publisher and editor of the Neola Gazette and state president of the Iowa Federation of Republican Women.

The tall, sleepy-eyed Silicon Valley lawyer and former Oracle salesman seems to have found his calling in Iowa’s political byways. Until last year, he had never worked on a political campaign.

A Northern California native, he spent a decade as a small-time investor after leaving Oracle in the mid-1990s. He then got a law degree and clerked for a Nevada Supreme Court justice, at age 52.

He first traveled to Iowa in August with a map of the state, and one contact at a tea-party group. “I drove around to the big counties and went into the election offices to shake hands and meet people,” he said.

He worked for Sharron Angle’s unsuccessful Senate campaign in Nevada before returning to Iowa after that election.

Iowa GOP activist Stacey Rogers first met Mr. Singleton in late November, outside a Borders bookstore in West Des Moines.

It was 6 a.m, but people were already lining up for a Palin book signing 12 hours later.

“He had a clipboard, and was gathering names, not for the book-signing, but for later use, in case Palin runs,” Ms. Rogers said.

Since then, the two have bumped into each other at dozens of events, including at a Polk County Republican Party meeting in a Des Moines Holiday Inn late last month.

“The guy has compiled a truly encyclopedic knowledge of Iowa politics and Iowa political operatives,” she said as Mr. Singleton worked the room, pulling aside members of the county’s central committee. “He also seems strangely prescient about the internal workings of Sarah Palin’s own operation.”

Mr. Singleton was similarly omnipresent at a recent Conservative Principles Conference in Des Moines that brought half a dozen likely GOP candidates to town—but not Ms. Palin.

Connie Armstrong, a top GOP organizer in Linn County, which includes Cedar Rapids, pulled him aside at the event to grill him on his ties to the Palin camp.

“He kept saying ‘we,’ but he wouldn’t clarify who ‘we’ was,” she said. “My gut feeling is he’s working on her campaign.”

Wherever he goes, Mr. Singleton argues that Ms. Palin will jump into the race, will win the Iowa caucuses and the GOP nomination, and is the best suited to defeat President Barack Obama.

If others think he is “amiably but aimlessly wandering about on an extended holiday trip,” he said, all the better.

Source: Wall Street Journal

20 comments

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  1. momochi

    Finally, an issue that I am passionate about. I have looked for information of this caliber for the last several hours. Your site is greatly appreciated.

    1. charles shepard

      Palin may not be polished enough to be president. I don`t think she has learned to make the closed door deals and steal tax payer money.

      1. Ron Br.

        I agree.

  2. Carol Ann

    Glad to hear this information.. Very interested in Sarah Palin’s convictions and principles. Have read her books… Love her spunk and drive… Watching for more of the positive.. Liberals fear her and with good reason!

  3. Jeannie

    Sarah’s secret weapon happens to be millions of people all over this Nation willing to give up everything and work VERY hard on her campaign! jmho Come on IA – be the first . . .

    1. Char In Ohio

      You are EXACTLY RIGHT……they THINK there aren’t many who will support Sarah. The media WANTS us to think this…..it’s an Alinsky tactic to make the opposition THINK they have LOST before they have even begun the fight. It is a psychological thing. We must NOT be fooled by the fake polls and media attempts to discredit Sarah as a viable candidate for 2012…..THEY ARE AFRAID OF HER AND WANT TO DESTROY HER …..FOR A REASON !!!!

      IF you have NO FEAR of your competition……You would not fight SO HARD to destroy them……You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure that one out ……

      1. Jeannie

        Amen to that — EVEN my children saw that they went after Sarah and almost totally ignored the ACTUAL presidential candidate McCain! LOL — the amount of support she will receive will make the Restore Honor Rally look like a PTA meeting lol

  4. Char In Ohio

    At first I thought perhaps this guy was a “mole” out to take Sarah down. But on further research, I found people in a Pro-Palin group I belong to say they have actually met this man and he is NOT someone out to take her down. For me, that was reassuring because I am a huge Sarah supporter.

    I wouldn’t be fooled if I were them , that….alot of folks out there “will not just drop everything and work for Sarah’s campaign”……I happen to KNOW MANY that are just waiting in the wings for the word to come down !!!! I think they are in for a rude awakening IF and WHEN Sarah does announce at JUST HOW MANY WILL DROP IT ALL AND WORK TO GET HER ELECTED ……

    Never , Never underestimate…..SARAH :)

    1. Jeannie

      Some even would love the “work” right now with so many being unemployed – the pay is WAY more than ANY wage — union or not

  5. Bruce O'H.

    Sarah Palin is an honest, principled Patriot. If you wish to help her, join Organize4Palin.

    1. Sapwolf

      Right on Bruce. That is the one thing all Americans can do right now is join Organize4Palin.com so that their contact information is willing and waiting to swing into action.

  6. Sapwolf

    The LSM and Obama administration are desperately trying to portray that Gov. Palin will not run and that she is unpopular.

    Hogwash. I’m on the ground in Iowa and the only question is when she announces. I am having little trouble getting people to sign-up for O4P.

    The support is there, although Iowans wish she would visit them to show she wants their vote.

    The Governor is preparing to make sure all the ducks are lined up. She has read their playbook and understands it. She knows the poll numbers are bogus for the most part and she is fearless.

    http://teamsarah.ning.com/photo/rules-for-radicals-signed-by?context=user

    1. Jeannie

      Amen! Thanks for this post – wasnt sure how the people in IA really felt since the media tells us what they want us to believe! I think the support she will amass will totally shock the “guys in the know” i.e., Karl Rover (rover on purpose) – he not only hasnt got a clue – he lost it long ago. Run Sarah Run

  7. Pamela Nannie

    I love Sarah, i think she is the the most real person we have in the public eye today, she has came a long way, since her run for vice president, and with no one to hold her as the McCain camp did
    , I think she will now be a force to set the Demcrats on their heals…Go Palin

    1. Jeannie

      McCain camp didnt hold her — they dropped her, slammed her, degraded her and now even though THEY INTRODUCED US TO HER — they want us to act like we have never heard or believed in her. McCains support was for his running mate — NOT for him. Now it is her turn to shine — and she does it so beautifully

  8. Payday Loans

    This was a very interesting article. Good opinion and 
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  9. AuntieCoosa

    Sarah Palin has everything a Republican Presidential Candidate needs EXCEPT for GOP support.

    Sarah Palin is the BEST choice for President and can out-debate Obama if she surrounds herself with good, honest, supportive staff and NOT with under-handed two-faced ‘GOP’ operatives like some who have weaseled their way into her entourage. She needs to be very careful of whom she associates and trusts.

    IF SARAH PALIN IS NOT CHOSEN BY THE GOP OR IF SHE IS AND IF SHE DOES NOT WIN ENOUGH ELECTORAL COLLEGE VOTES, IT WILL BE ENTIRELY THE FAULT OF THE GOP ESTABLISHMENT.

    The GOP must demand cohesion and unity within their ranks so that they win in 2012 and the USofA can be saved from financial ruin when a REPUBLICAN takes over the leadership of the USofA in 2013.

    If the GOP fails to unify conservatives and so-called libertarian-conservatives, they have only themselves to blame. The GOP needs to open their doors for TRUE TEA Party leaders and stop undermining Sarah Palin and other TEA Party candidates.

    There is definitely something ethically askew when the GOP attacks the BEST CANDIDATE for President because they’d rather lose than have Sarah Palin in the White House.

    The GOP will be the Grand Old Non-existence Party if they don’t get their act together and unify for the good of this Once Great Nation.

    Ron Paul may think he’s a viable candidate, but he’s been smokin’ the weed if he thinks so. He might be a despoiler since he always gets the ‘marijuana’ vote but all he’ll do is insure an Obama victory. I’m not sure he’s not running just to see Obama win again. And Newt Gingrich has too much 1990’s baggage and ‘old-ville’ mentality to be a serious contender. He knows the ‘talk’ but he failed the ‘walk.’ Herman Cain doesn’t have name recognition although he’d be a fair contender if he did. Cain is savvy. Palin might use him in her administration to help him in future political office. If Romney should get the nomination, he can’t bring the votes because he’s too closely tied to Romney-Care aka Obama-Care-Lite. People will vote for the devil they know [Obama] instead of the devil they don’t know [Romney]. Tim Pawlenty, Gary Johnson, don’t have name recognition or nation-wide support and won’t be considered serious contenders by the majority of conservative voters. Donald Trump is a shill for Soros and Obama, everyone who’s done their homework figured that out already.

    OBAMA PROVED THAT THE IOWA CAUCUS CAN BE STRONG-ARMED TO VOTE FOR WHOMEVER SOROS’ MONEY CAN BUY. IF SARAH PALIN WINS, IT WILL BE BECAUSE PEOPLE OF HIGH MORALS AND ETHICS REFUSED TO BE INTIMIDATED.

    1. AuntieCoosa

      I like Michelle Bachmann but I am hoping she’s going to throw her support to Sarah Palin.

      As for Chris Christy, he’s an East Coast Liberal Republican like Romney. He is doing good things in New Jersey, but he’s NOT going to garner votes from the South or from Middle America.

  10. bfelter

    It’s obvious the liberals are frightened to death of Sarah Palin with all the negative publicity they constantly throw her way. She is fearless and quick to respond in a forthright and honest approach to all the garbage that Obama and his cohorts dream up to change our country into something we won’t recognize. We, our family and friends are 1000% for SARAH PALIN in 2012!!!

  11. gadget news

    The blind leading the blind.

    Where are the JOBS, republicans ??

    We dont care about Obamacare, tax breaks for wealthy individuals and corporations, and Iran. WE WANT GOOD JOBS !!!

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