Monday, June 27, 2011

Politico: Team Palin reaching out to Iowa activists... or not (Updated)

"They said I was on the list."
Politico's Maggie Haberman reported that the Palin camp is reaching out to political activists in Iowa with offers of meetings while she's in the early primary state Tuesday for the premiere of "The Undefeated" documentary. One of those activists is former state GOP executive director Chuck Laudner, a prominent Iowa conservative:
Laudner confirmed to POLITICO he'd gotten a call from Palin's advisers either Friday or over the weekend asking about meeting with him while she's in Pella for the screening of "The Undefeated."

"They said I was on the list" for people she wanted to get together with, said Laudner, who has ties to staunch conservative Rep. Steve King - who, in congress, has formed an alliance with Rep. Michele Bachmann.

Laudner sounded a skeptical note about whether Palin is truly serious, or, as he said, "dancing around."

"I'd be interested to see if she's serious about a run," he said. "That'd be (question) A, and B, would it be too late. That's what it feels like, anyway. It's not too late now, (but if you) dance around until fall" it will be.

Nonetheless, he said, many conservatives are waiting to see what happens with Palin and Rick Perry, he said - discounting Tim Pawlenty as a "dead stick" and Herman Cain and Rick Santorum as "cruising along." He did not mention Newt Gingrich.
The meetings are the first sign of what Haberman calls "actual political activity" by Gov. Palin in Iowa. Haberman discounts the One Nation tour as "opaque in purpose," but the 2008 GOP vice presidential candidate did break the ice with a select group of mostly conservative New Hampshire Republicans at a seaside clambake at the end of the first leg of her bus tour early this month.

Although Laudner said Bachmann's campaign kickoff was well-timed, now expectations have been raised for the congresswoman, "and you almost have to be perfect from here to the straw poll."

h/t: Henry D'Andrea


According to a tweet from RealClearPolitics' Scott Conroy, Chuck Laudner told Scott that Palin aides did NOT reach out to him about getting together in Iowa. Scott says it was Peter Singleton, who's not a Palin aide, who contacted Laudner. It would not be the first time the media has mistaken Singleton, an O4P volunteer, for a member of the official Palin team. It also would not be the first time that Politico completely made up what it presented as a direct quote, either.

Politico now has now added a "clarification" to its post:
An earlier version of this post, based on an interview with Laudner, described "meetings" with Palin, which he later emailed to say was a post-film meet-and-greet with her, put together by an Iowa-based backer of the former Alaska governor.
- JP

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