The Iowa Republican's Craig Robinson has said that he would take Sarah Palin seriously as a presidential candidate when she took Iowa seriously. Today, when Gov. Palin arrives in the key early primary state for the premiere of a major documentary film about her, she will not only set foot on Iowa ground, but also "place her toes directly into Iowa’s presidential waters." As the world watches her at the Pella Opera House, searching for any sign that she may enter the 2012 Republican presidential race, Robinson now believes it's time to take Governor Palin seriously:
To many, Palin’s visit to Pella seems too late to signal that she may enter the presidential race. Even though Palin hasn’t been to Iowa since last November, she’s had an unofficial presence in the state for months now. Led by Peter Singleton, a California native, a group of Palin supporters have traveled all across the state meeting with county Republican officials and other GOP activists.While no one outside of Gov. Palin’s inner circle is certain that her Iowa visit today is the prelude to a presidential campaign, Robinson says he would not be surprised if that is what it turns out to be. He says one thing he's learned in a political career which includes over eight years of fundraising experience and a year as political director of the Republican Party of Iowa, is that there are no coincidences in politics. After summing it all up, including the grassroots organizers, the movie premiere, and Sarah Palin's first visit to his state in seven months, Robinson gets the feeling that today is more like the start of presidential campaign than just a random visit.
Singleton insists that he has no connection to Palin, but one cannot overlook what he and the others who are touting Palin across the state have done for her in Iowa. Singleton has crisscrossed the state meeting with activists and operatives alike. I chatted with him months ago and came away impressed. His understanding of Iowa and the caucus process here is impressive for an outsider.
Singleton and his team of Palin organizers have personally met with most of the county GOP chairs across the state. That is something that none of the current presidential campaigns can say that they have done. Instead of selling Iowa activists on Palin, they instead make sure that people understand that there is a possibility that Palin will run.
Even though Sarah Palin doesn’t play by the same rules that seem to govern the rest of the field of Republican candidates, she has developed an extensive ground game in Iowa, even if it’s not being officially coordinated by her or her advisors. In many ways, I think that Palin is probably more organized in Iowa in terms of grassroots communication than most of the current field.