Texan Natalie Nichols' perspective on Gov. Palin at the Iowa TEA Party rally and the meetup the night before is posted at Andrew Breitbart's Big Government. Here's an excerpt:
Sarah Palin arrived to a packed house in the farm-themed “Machine Shed Restaurant” in Urbandale, IA Friday night. The ever-amassing crowd began arriving at about 6:30 p.m. to congregate and socialize with fellow “Palinistas” from across the country. Supporters stood around talking and catching up, many long time online-friends were meeting for the first time in person. The atmosphere was more like a family reunion than a political gathering. There were children playing, doting parents, young professionals, and the elderly maneuvering through the crowd with the assistance of canes. I encountered people like myself and my family, who had driven in from Dallas, TX, those who had flown in from Virginia, some who hailed from Florida, Georgia natives, Iowa hometown fans, and even a woman from the president’s neck of the woods, Hawaii.- JP
The meet and greet went on for an hour and a half when the front entry way suddenly began to buzz. When the camera crews darted for the doors, all eyes turned to see that those “Guess who’s coming to dinner” rumors were true…Sarah was in the building. She had a twinkle in her eye as she greeted those whose lucky positioning had placed them in the right place at the right time. She shook hands and held mini-conversations with her loyal supporters. She asked people where they were from and asked about their families…and she waited for the answers.
I spent some time with the Governor, but it was my 4 year old daughter who got Sarah’s attention that day.
When I introduced her to my daughter, Sarah had genuine adoration on her face. She asked my daughter her name. She was shy, so I answered, “Etta.” She said, “Ooh, that’s a pretty name, Etta! How old are you?” Etta spoke up then and told her that she was 4. I told Sarah that Etta had been asking if she could play with “Hyper.” And with that Sarah laughed, looked at Etta and said, “We call her ‘Hyper Piper’ too!” We chatted for a moment or two more, before she was beckoned away.
Palin continued to make her way through the crowd to the dining room which was already full. She worked the room and visited with those who had come out to join together to support her in her endeavors. Unlike the typical “politician,” Palin held real conversations with those present.