The Campaign Spot

Is Sarah Palin Looking for Long-Term Office Space in Iowa? (UPDATE: No.)

If the U.K.’s Guardian newspaper is reliable, then there’s a big hint about Sarah Palin’s intentions:

Sarah Palin has dropped another hint of her intention to run for the White House in 2012, dispatching aides to scope out office space in Iowa, the first stop in the presidential race.

The “will she, won’t she?” speculation about Palin in 2012 has become a Washington parlour game — as well as generating free publicity for her new book, which goes on sale this week.

In the course of making arrangements for that tour, two aides organising Palin’s visit to Des Moines on 27 November told locals they were looking into office space and other logistical needs for the coming year, the Guardian has learned.

Having said that . . . the local office-space guys hear this, realize they have a huge scoop on their hands, and the first folks they talk to are . . . the lefty newspaper based out of the United Kingdom*? I realize the Guardian covers the U.S. more extensively than most European newspapers, but there’s one other oddity: as of 8:10 a.m., this isn’t anywhere near the newspaper’s top stories on their web page.

All of this doesn’t mean it isn’t true; it just seems . . . unusual.

(*I said the Guardian was based in Manchester; I recall years ago writing that it was London-based and being corrected. Now I’m told that it is a London-based national paper.)

UPDATE: Shortly after posting this, I reached out to SarahPAC to see if there was any response. It turns out there’s a big one. Mark Young of Physicians for Palin throws cold water on the whole story:

This paragraph is factually incorrect. How would I know? Because I happen to be the so called “Palin aide”. Actually I’m not a Palin aide. Just like millions of Americans I am a grassroots supporter of Governor Palin. Here’s what really happened:

. . . On Thursday evening I had the pleasure of speaking with the Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi emissary (Rabbi Jacobson) in Des Moines, Iowa, in order to inquire about the availability of Kosher food and a shul (synagogue) in the town during my brief stint to Iowa on Saturday for the book signing. I explained that I am a grass root supporter of Governor Palin and editor of a blog site “Physicians4Palin,” and I wanted to know about Jewish resources in the area so that when I return (hopefully) to campaign for her as a grassroots supporter with my friends and colleagues in the future we could enjoy the spirituality of the Sabbath and our faith.

In talking with the Rabbi, it became obvious that there were many others in his community who were extremely supportive the Governor. I raised the possibility of organizing a future Shabbaton for grassroot supporters in conjunction with other group’s. He seemed very excited with this concept. We spoke about various Hotels in the area that are within walking distance of the main drag.

The story published in the London Guardian (“Sarah Palin drops 2012 presidency hint with staff visit to Iowa”) took me utterly by surprise because although it is a pleasant story, it appears to be a factual exaggeration of the true story.

I spoke with the Rabbi on Thursday. On Friday morning when the Rabbi went to the synagogue, he told a couple of people that I had called him up to discuss arranging a Sabbath in Iowa to promote Palin. Well, the next thing the Rabbi knows, he received a phone call from a reporter at the Washington bureau of the London Guardian newspaper asking him questions. The Rabbi was kind of amused, but wasn’t sure what they wanted because he had never had a reporter call him before. He told the reporter what he knew, but then the reporter began speculating about the meaning of what the Rabbi told him, to which the Rabbi kept saying, “maybe, I don’t know.” The reporter took those maybes as affirmatives, and that was the basis of the story in the Guardian.

Sarah Palin and her folks may seek office space in Iowa someday. But it hasn’t happened yet.

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