Here are a few early reports coming out of Iowa:
Alex Pappas at the Daily Caller:
The former Republican governor of Alaska and 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee referenced the 2012 election many times throughout her remarks, calling out the “permanent political class,” “crony capitalism” and “entrenched political interests.”
“The reality is we are governed by a permanent political class,” Palin said to applause from a rain-soaked audience in Indianola, “until we change that.”
The crowd at the Tea Party for America’s “Restoring America” event ate it up. She was interrupted during her speech to chants of “Run, Sarah, Run.”
“We’re going to speak truth today,” Palin told the crowd. “It may be hard hitting, but we’re going to speak truth today because we need to start talking about what hasn’t worked, and we’re going to start talking about what will work for America.”
At one point, Palin proposed doing away with federal corporate income taxes, something she said would create jobs.
“We have the highest federal corporate tax rate in the industrialized world,” she said. “Did you know our rates are higher than China and communist Cuba?”
Speaking from notes, Palin also mentioned how it was three years ago today that she gave her widely acclaimed speech at the Republican National Convention as the GOP vice presidential nominee.
And — in a classic Palin moment — she got a few laughs when criticizing consultants, TV pundits and polls.
“Polls,” Palin said, “are for strippers and cross country skiers.”
John McCormick at Bloomberg:
Sarah Palin, looking and sounding like a presidential candidate at a Tea Party rally in Iowa, left chanting supporters without saying if she will make a run for the White House next year.
““America is at a tipping point,” said Palin, 47. “This is a systemic crisis due to failed policies and incompetent leadership.”
In her 40-minute speech, Palin kept most of the focus on Obama, without mentioning any of the Republicans running for president. Some of her remarks sounded like they were directed at potential opponents if she decides to run.
She cautioned against “corporate crony capitalism”triggered by campaign contributions and called for a detailed inspection of the candidates.
“You must vet a candidate’s record,” she said. “You must know their ability to successfully reform and actually fix problems that they are going to claim that they inherited.”
Jennifer Jacobs at the Des Moines Register:
Indianola, Ia. – The challenge is not simply to replace President Barack Obama in 2012, “it’s who and what we will replace him with,” a feisty Sarah Palin told a crowd in Iowa this afternoon.
“Because it’s not enough –“
That’s when the crowd began to yell “Sar-ah! Sar-ah!”
After pausing for a few seconds, she pushed on: “Folks, you know it’s not enough to just change up the uniform … if we don’t change the game plan.”
Although this audience of like-minded conservatives passionately urged her to run, Palin during her 40-minute speech did not say whether she will seek the Republican nomination for president.
Palin did have harsh words Saturday for President Obama and the direction that she says the country has taken in his first term.
Speaking at the rain-soaked Indianola Balloon Festival Grounds, she said "America is hurting" and at "a tipping point" due to "failed policies and incompetent leadership."
Palin said the crisis runs deeper than the fear of double-dip recession or "the shame of a credit downgrade."
She says this crisis "will relentlessly rage until we do restore all that is free and good and right about America."
We’ll add more as it becomes available. For those who don’t know, C-Span is planning on running her speech again tonight at 8:00 PM
Via Jedediah Bila at the Daily Caller:
Sarah Palin hit the stage in Indianola, Iowa this afternoon to keynote the Tea Party of America’s “Restoring America” rally. And she certainly pulled no punches.
Palin took on President Obama’s failed policies and proclivity toward crony capitalism, stood firm in her support for tea party principles and rekindled the 2008 RNC speech she gave exactly three years ago today.
Consistent with her 2008 message, the former Alaska governor and vice presidential nominee reminded Americans today of the danger of politicians who follow a do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do motto. Palin, whose record features persistent and successful efforts to tackle a corrupt political class, articulated the necessity of challenging the status quo in order to battle corruption and effectuate genuine reform. She shared the frustration of many Americans with regard to business as usual in D.C. Most importantly, she offered real solutions, including a plan that serves as a stark contrast to our president’s perpetual empty rhetoric: repeal Obamacare, uphold the Tenth Amendment, rein in overregulation, prioritize significant and legitimate spending cuts, cancel unused stimulus money, “own up to the debt challenge that is entitlement reform,” tap into our God-given energy resources and make America “the most attractive and competitive place to do business” by eliminating all federal corporate income tax, corporate welfare and loopholes.
Update II: (h/t Eddy) The UK Daily Mail has a writeup and some great pictures, including the one above the fold, here.
Update II: Media horde struggles to catch a glimpse of "irrelevant" Sarah Palin:
The Right Scoop:
Sarah Palin gave a masterful speech today in Iowa, going after everyone from the President and the Democrats to the Republican establishment. It was a perfect speech for me, especially given that I just watched her new film last night, Palin: Undefeated, and I highly recommend it. She is the real deal and is setting herself up to be the one who will fight for the people and oppose the cronyism that regularly inhabits Washington DC, as she has done it in her on state of Alaska.
Scott Conroy at RCP:
Sarah Palin still isn’t a candidate, but in an aggressive bid to lay down her marker in the 2012 Republican presidential race, she delivered a speech here Saturday that was as confrontational toward the Republican establishment as it was aimed at President Obama.
Despite her high-profile endorsement of Rick Perry during his 2010 gubernatorial primary fight, Palin used thinly veiled language to leave little doubt that she sees the Texas governor and national front-runner for the Republican nomination as part of the problem.
“Some GOP candidates, they also raise mammoth amounts of cash,” Palin said. “We need to ask them, too: What, if anything, do their donors expect from their investments? We need to know this because our country can’t afford more trillion-dollar thank-you notes to campaign backers.”
Again and again, Palin urged her audience to confront “the permanent political class,” “crony capitalism” and “the good ol’ boys,” whom she said she took on as governor of Alaska.
“The challenge is not simply to replace Obama in 2012, but the real challenge is who and what we will replace him with,” the 2008 vice presidential candidate said before pausing a full 30 seconds to allow the cheers and chants of “Run, Sarah, run!” to finally dissipate.
“Folks, you know that it’s not enough to just change up the uniform,” she added. “If we don’t change the team and the game plan, we won’t save our country.”
Molly Ball at Politico:
The former Alaska governor presented a very candidate-like five-point economic plan based on expanding domestic energy production and eliminating corporate taxes altogether, along with corporate welfare. But she also pointed the way toward an involvement that doesn’t involve running for office again, telling the crowd: “Real hope comes from you. Real hope comes from realizing you can make a difference, and you don’t need a title to make a difference.”
Palin’s theme was “corporate crony capitalism” that she said results in a “pay-to-play” culture of politicians rewarding their contributors with earmarks, contracts and tax breaks.
“There may not be a recession in Georgetown, but there is in the rest of America,” Palin said from the stage of the Tea Party of America event in a rain-drenched field south of Des Moines.
Peter Hamby at CNN:
Sarah Palin took sharp aim at President Barack Obama and at least one of her potential Republican rivals Saturday at a rain-soaked tea party rally in Iowa, the state that will open the GOP nomination fight early next year.
Palin allies had hinted to reporters before the speech that she would draw a stark contrast between her record and that of Perry, an impressive fund-raiser who has long been criticized by political foes of rewarding his campaign donors and political allies with government contracts and posts.
She did not mention Perry by name, but it was clear who was on her mind when she dressed down the current Republican field and questioned their willingness to return government power to the people.
Palin also mocked Republicans who have spoken ill of the tea party movement, namely those who label tea partiers “hobbits.”
That was a jab plainly directed at the man who plucked Palin from obscurity and placed her on the 2008 presidential ticket: Arizona Sen. John McCain, who criticized “tea party hobbits” in a Senate floor speech during the debt ceiling debate.
Palin now heads to the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire, where she will headline a rally sponsored by the Tea Party Express.
Amanda Coyne at the Alaska Dispatch:
Many had wondered if she would announce today. She did not. However, she did dangle clues in front of the crowd. Her speech was littered with talk of "my plan," and "what I would do." Her plan to get the country on track, she told the crowd, was a "bona fide working man’s plan." It included "enforcing" the 10th Amendment and concentrating power at the local level, repealing Obama’s health care plan, and prioritizing and cutting the debt. None of this was new. Palin has spoken all these things in other speeches.
What was new, however, was her "plan" to eliminate corporate income taxes. In tandem, she would "eliminate corporate welfare, loopholes and bailouts." Doing so, she said would make America the most competitive and attractive place in the world to do business in while sending a message to corporations that they "stand and fall on their own."
And the event certainly had the feeling of a campaign kick-off crossed with a revival meeting. Before she spoke, Christian music floated out of the speakers. Jesus’s name was continually invoked, and not as a "swear word," one presenter said. People got soaked and swayed under rainy Iowa sky in this field of dreams so near the center of the center of the country.
It didn’t matter for many in the crowd whether or not Palin actually announced a run for the White House today. They are convinced that she will, and that she’ll let her intentions be known in due time, when she’s ready.
More from Coyne here, including some new pictures from today’s barnburner in Indianola.
The image below currently occupies the top of the page on the Drudge Report. Although the caption accompanying it makes no sense, the picture is very cool. Kudos to the landscaper:
Ron Brownstein at National Journal:
Sarah Palin offered no new clues about her 2012 intentions, but signaled the themes of a possible presidential campaign at a rain-soaked tea party rally south of Des Moines Saturday afternoon with an exuberant attack on “crony capitalism” and the “permanent political class” of both political parties.
Targeting her criticism toward Republicans as well as Democrats, Palin presented herself as the champion of ordinary Americans against “a collusion of big government and big business and big finance” that has saddled the nation with unaffordable federal debts and impeded recovery.
She directed her sharpest barbs at President Obama, but also fired a clear warning shot toward a 2012 GOP field that she has left open the possibility of joining.
Palin argued that the core of Obama’s agenda was using taxpayer dollars to reward his supporters. “Between bailouts for Wall Street cronies, and stimulus projects for union bosses’… and green energy giveaways, he took care of his friends, and now they are on course to raise $1 billion for his reelection bid so they can do it all over again,” she charged.
Moments later, she told the crowd that they should question whether the 2012 Republican candidates now raising “millions” from donors can be trusted to do any better. “We need to ask them too, what if anything do their donors expect in return for their investments. We need to know this…because our country can’t afford more trillion dollar thank you notes to campaign backers,” she said.
Through her energetic 40 minute speech, Palin drew excited applause from a crowd of several thousand, whose numbers were suppressed by a driving rain that let up only shortly before she spoke. When she said “the challenge is not simply to replace Obama in 2012” but to elect a candidate committed to reform, she prompted an excited chant of “run Sarah run” from the crowd. But after dropping that hint, she offered no more indication about her thinking on whether to join the race.