Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Devoted Volunteers Build Foundation for Palin in Iowa

This is very interesting. - Reggie



PELLA, Iowa -- Last December, Michelle McCormick penned a letter to Sarah Palin, addressed it to her political action committee, and dropped it in the mail.

An unassuming 28-year-old north Texan who works in the oil and gas industry, McCormick had experienced a family crisis similar to the one that had befallen Palin's family when the former Alaska governor's daughter Bristol became pregnant in 2008. McCormick wanted to let Palin know that how the vice presidential candidate handled the situation while in the national spotlight helped guide McCormick through her own family difficulties.

McCormick didn't harbor much hope that she would get a response, but about three weeks later she received a personal reply from Palin.

Six months later, McCormick now spends every weekend (and an increasing number of weekdays) in the nation's first voting state of Iowa attending GOP Central Committee meetings, collecting names of activists in counties across the state, and doing other volunteer organizing in advance of a Palin presidential campaign that she considers inevitable.

"If she was willing to take the time to respond to somebody who is a nobody in Texas, that just shows me what kind of heart she has," McCormick told RCP. "She's a very high-profile individual, and she's got a lot of people making demands on her, and I thought this is someone I really want to help get into the White House."

McCormick is one of the more devoted members of a dedicated nationwide group called Organize4Palin, in which an all-volunteer effort is setting the groundwork for a Palin presidential launch that its members believe is only a matter of time.

Although Organize4Palin purports to have active chapters in over 30 states, the backbone of its operation is in Iowa, where Palin would likely have to win the caucuses in order to remain a viable candidate, if she were to enter the race.

"It's not cheap, but I try to budget and don't go on extra shopping trips, and I don't have cable," said McCormick, who has been staying in inexpensive hotels and supporters' homes during her travels across Iowa since March. "We do have a pretty big caffeine budget."

McCormick said that she is "100 percent" sure Palin will run for president, and is considering moving to Iowa full time while she awaits an announcement. If she does move to the Hawkeye State, McCormick would be following in the footsteps of Peter Singleton, a 58-year-old California lawyer who has been leading the charge in Iowa, where he has made his home for the past eight months.

When Singleton first visited the state in August 2010 -- with a vague notion of planting seeds for Palin ahead of the caucuses that were still a year-and-a-half away -- he was so unfamiliar with the political environment here that he had to Google "election AND Iowa" before plotting his initial moves ahead of the midterms that November. Almost a year later, Singleton is no longer a political novice.

"I've probably met with 1,000 people in this state in one-on-one meetings or a couple people at a time," he said. "The one-on-one meetings and the two- and three-people meetings are the heart and soul of what we're doing, and believe me, the other guys don't do that. They take a radically different approach."

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