Sarah Palin's mere presence at the Iowa State Fair Friday was enough to stoke speculation of a possible presidential run, but what she said to the Associated Press should give pause to those who are insisting that she won't declare her candidacy for the 2012 race:
Palin said she hasn't decided whether she would run for president, but suggested she was leaning toward a bid, adding: "When we're ready to announce ... you won't be able to miss the announcement."Consider that she did not say, "If we announce..." She said "When we announce..." That's just one in a long series of sometimes not-so-subtle clues that Gov. Palin will shake up the 2012 GOP presidential field with an announcement before the end of September.
And when pressed about her future plans, Palin said a trip home and a visit to the Alaska state fair were in order.
"Moose season is starting up in Alaska soon so we'll go back home and moose hunt," she said, adding: "And then, we'll come back out on the road, we hope."
As she shuffled through cattle pens and livestock buildings in a casual T-shirt and black slacks, Palin posed for pictures with well-wishers and fans. She scrawled her autograph on hats and fair programs, asked supporters what they did for a living and talked about becoming a grandmother.
Nearby, onlookers jumped onto fences and craned to get a glimpse of the Palins amid the jostling throng of journalists circling her. It was a marked change from the declared candidates who visited the fair and met with voters without such a buzz.