Details are sketchy at the moment, but multiple souces confirm Governor Palin has arrived at the Machine Shed Restaurant in Des Moines:
Via Jennifer Jacobs of the Des Moines Register…
Sarah Palin is here at the Machine Shed in Urbandale, with a crowd chanting "Run, Sarah, run." #iacaucus #palin
…and Jeff Zeleny of the New York Times:
Sarah Palin arrives at Machine Shed restaurant in Iowa. Big applause and chants of "Run Sarah Run" by Organize4Palin crew.
More when it becomes available.
Update: CNN’s Peter Hamby tweets:
Palin chief of staff Mike Glassner in the house here in Urbandale. Palin mobbed despite best efforts of staff to get people seated
Update II: Here are a few pictues from the Machine Shed floating around the twitterverse. Apologies for not citing who took them but I can’t figure it out.
Governor and Todd Palin at Machine Shed Restaurant:
Crowd at Machine Shed:
Update III: Jennifer Jacobs has the first details from Des Moines:
Minutes after Alaska’s Sarah Palin arrived at the Machine Shed Restaurant in Urbandale tonight, the crowd of a couple hundred started up a chant of “Run, Sarah, run!”
Palin beamed, then asked Iowans about themselves as she shook hands and posed for photographs.
The possible presidential candidate didn’t make a speech and left for her Des Moines hotel with her husband, Todd, about half an hour after she arrived.
When a reporter asked Palin what she thinks about the current GOP competitors, she answered, according to Radio Iowa: “Happy with the field of candidates. I always think that there’s room for more, though, because spirited debate and more competition will allow an even better discourse and a more rigorous discourse that the public deserves,” Palin said.
The event at the suburban restaurant, popular for conservative political gatherings, was organized by a Conservatives4Palin, a group created by Palin aide Rebecca Mansour. (Mansour wasn’t there, but two other staffers, Michael Glassner and Jason Recher were at her side.)
More, including some great pictures, here.
Update IV: A brief video can be found here, although the quality is admittedly poor.
Update V: (h/t danielvito) From Thomas Beaumont of the AP:
Sarah Palin made a surprise appearance at a suburban Des Moines restaurant Friday evening on the eve of a speech in the leadoff caucus state that is being closely watched for signals of whether she plans to run for president.
The former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican nominee for vice president was greeted at the Iowa Machine Shed restaurant Friday night with chants of "Run, Sarah, run!" as she made her way through hundreds of fans.
Hundreds jammed the entry, bar and back room of the farm-themed family restaurant, straining to get a look at the political celebrity. They were from dozens of states from as far away as Texas, Florida and California.
Palin has said she is considering entering the race for the 2012 GOP nomination, already under way in Iowa, which holds the first nominating caucus, and other early-voting states. She has said she expects to make a decision by the end of September, and is not expected to disclose her plans during her speech Saturday at a tea party rally in a town south of Des Moines.
Palin is expected to speak Saturday about the federal deficit, and criticize Democrat President Barack Obama and congressional leaders in both parties for the recent debt-ceiling standoff.
Accompanied by husband Todd, Palin worked the crowded restaurant, shaking hands, posing for pictures and hugging babies.
More from the AP, including additional pictures, here.
Update VI: More pictures:
Governor Palin signs autographs:
Todd Palin at the Machine Shed:
Update VII: Scott Conroy tweets:
Observation of hardcore Palin supporters: they are YOUNG. A lot of 20-somethings here. Ya don’t see that in Iowa GOP politics
Update VIII: Via Jeff Zeleny at the New York Times:
Sarah Palin arrived in Urbandale, Iowa, on Friday evening to greet passionate supporters who traveled from across Iowa and the around the nation to hear her deliver a weekend speech that could offer an indication of whether she intends to join the Republican presidential race.
“I’m happy with the field of candidates,” Ms. Palin said, pausing a moment to answer a question as she walked into a crowded restaurant. “I think that there’s room for more, though, because a spirited debate and more competition will allow for an even better discourse and a more rigorous discourse that the public deserves.”
She walked into the Machine Shed restaurant just west of Des Moines to a burst of applause and chants of “Run, Sarah, run!” She spent about 30 minutes shaking hands and taking pictures with members of Organize4Palin, a grass-roots group that has been urging her to enter the race.
Ms. Palin is scheduled to deliver a speech on Saturday at a Tea Party rally in Iowa, followed by an appearance on Monday in New Hampshire. She is not expected to make her presidential intentions known this weekend, aides said, but is likely to make them clear by the end of September.