I am still in disbelief. I wasn’t even going to make this trip to Indianola. It’s a 16-hour drive from Hershey, Penn. But, not wanting to miss a chance to mingle with the Palinistas, and hear the Governor’s big speech, I lugged my three lovable kids along … they watched a grand total of eight full-length movie DVDs over two days in the mini-van, and I nearly finished the Atlas Shrugged audio book.
And in a surprise twist … at the Machine Shed restaurant tonight we got to hug Sarah Palin and shake the First Dude’s hand, and tell them how much we love their family, and support them. We had heard rumors that the Guv would drop by, but I wasn’t really expecting it.
Worth the drive, huh? I’ve met the Governor a couple of times briefly, but it was special to be there this time with my children. As it turned out, my kids were slightly more interested in the gift shop in the lobby. Oh welll …
I told them … “Well, you just got to meet the next president, the first woman president. How does it feel?” The historic moment was somewhat lost on them given their young ages of 9, 7, and four. But I think everyone who meets Gov. Palin does get that sense that she is destined for great things. It’s a palpable feeling when you are around her. She has an aura of greatness, in her demeanor and confidence, and it’s easy to speculate about the future when you see the effect she has on people.
Special thanks to Peter, Michelle, Alex, and all the others who made the night possible. I also know Karen Allen and her family drove 16 hours from North Carolina. Whoo hoo!
The atmosphere in the Machine Shed restaurant was electric. I had heard that people started gathering there as early as 5 p.m. Media people were swirling around with their cameras and notepads. I briefly chatted with our old friend Scott Conroy, and a reporter from the L.A. Times. Between 7 and 8 p.m. the crowd just became huge, especially once the busload of Texans4Palin pulled up. Outside in the lobby area and gift store, dozens of Palinistas milled about with their buttons, shirts, and signs. It was like a gigantic family reunion. And it was a diverse crowd – old, young, families, singles, of all backgrounds, and orientations.
Once inside the reserved room, there were about 20 packed tables.
It was awesome to meet some of the writers and longtime posters here whom I’d never met, including Nancy, and to reunite with friends I’d gotten to know at previous meet-ups. And Frank Aquila was there with his new book Sarah Palin Out of Nowhere. I plan to do a full review later, but you need to check it out on Amazon.
The Governor and Todd entered through a side door and came right down our aisle. A couple quick thoughts about meeting her again. She looks really strong, tanned and healthy. I would say, she’s looking very fit for the rigors of the campaign trail. Ha! And Todd … he is looking very fit for any kind of trail!
It’s amazing Gov. Palin can even concentrate with all the noisy stampede around her, but she takes her time with each person. She signed people’s books. She asked all three of my kids for their names and where we were from. Upon hearing we’re from Hershey, her eyes lit up, she said she loved “Hershey” and I could tell she was craving some chocolate. I wish I would have brought her some for the s’mores she loves.
I gotta get some sleep now … but God Bless all the Palinistas here in Iowa … as well as the ones who are making the trip with us virtually.
We are all a giant family. And tomorrow we get to hear from the Mama Grizzly herself.
h/t Aggies4Palin for the featured image on this post, and Shonte for one of the pictures below.
Update by Ron Devito of US4Palin:
CLIVE, IA – Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and her husband Todd tonight held a special meet and greet session with over 150 supporters at the Machine Shed Restaurant. They entered the restaurant to a throng of reporters and supporters shouting “Run, Sarah Run!” Gov. Palin spent nearly 30 minutes shaking hands, hugging, and bonding with her supporters. She signed tee shirts, books, posters, and bare arms. As this story goes to press, one man who had his arm signed is on the way to a 24-hour tattoo shop to have the former Alaska Governor’s signature made permanent.
Gov. Palin shook my hand shortly after entering. She signed my O4P NY tee shirt, as I said to her, “Take New York. Take the heart of it. Take it all….all 29 electoral votes. Do it for my wife. Do it for my mother. Do it for all the little girls of this country.” My meeting with her concluded with a hug from Gov. Palin, followed by a handshake with Todd.
The former Alaska Governor did not address supporters at the Conservatives4Palin-sponsored event, however, Peter Singleton, Iowa State Coordinator, Organize4Palin did. The Palins sat and listened to his address, followed by final bonding with supporters.
A 21-minute 1080p HD video of this bonding session will be ready in approximately four to six hours. Check back with US4Palin.