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Sarah Palin, in Iowa, still sees room for others in the Republican field

Sarah Palin at the Iowa state Fair 8-12-11

It may not surprise you a whole lot to learn that despite the already months-long campaign, the two major debates, the Ames (Iowa) straw poll tomorrow and Texas Gov. Rick Perry's imminent entry into the GOP race, Sarah Palin still thinks there's room in the crowd for more.

As long as they have executive experience, of course. And are common-sense conservatives.

Coincidental to absolutely nothing, Palin appeared at the politico-magnet Iowa State Fair today, continuing her "One Nation" bus tour in the nation's first nominating state.

"There is still plenty of room in that field for common-sense conservatives who have executive experience," Palin said during a fair visit. "Watching the debate not just last night but watching this whole process over the last year it certainly shows me that yeah, there is plenty of room for more people."

Tomorrow just up the road from Des Moines is the Ames, where the straw poll means nothing and everything at the same time. (C-SPAN and Fox News Channel all day.)

Nothing because it has no binding value on anyone to do anything; it just gives the media something to get excited about in mid-summer. Everything because success or failure in just a few thousand PR ballot totals will catapult or doom some of the lesser-known candidacies.

Palin is not participating, but she will return to Iowa over Labor Day to keynote a tea party rally and -- who knows? -- perhaps see if there's still room in the Republican nominating race for someone with executive experience like, say, a former governor with a documentary movie coming out to wider release then.

Palin said she was pleased that her friend Rick Perry, the governor of Texas, was presumably entering the nomination contest tomorrow during a speech to online conservative writers in Charleston, S.C. "I appreciate that he is willing to jump into this arena," she added.

Hmmm, "this" arena? Meaning the one she's in too? Without saying so?

After his remarks to the RedState Gathering in South Carolina, Perry will fly to New Hampshire for a reception and then speak on Sunday in Iowa -- coincidentally, in Waterloo, the hometown of fellow Republican candidate Michele Bachmann.

Also coincidentally, after the Perry schedule came out recently, Bachmann agreed to speak at the very same Sunday event.

What a small world!

RELATED:

What to watch for in the Ames Straw Poll

Did Ron Paul win the GOP debate in Ames Thursday?

Sarah Palin grades Obama on the downgrade: 'Disgraceful and embarrassing'

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Sarah Palin at the Iowa State Fair on Aug. 12. Credit: Charles Dharapak / Associated Press

 
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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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