Posts Tagged ‘Sarah Palin’

Palin’s appearance at Iowa event uncertain after she accused organizers of dishonesty

Posted on: August 31st, 2011 by The American Independent 3 Comments

The 2012 presidential buzz is centered on whether or not former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is going to choose to formally enter the race, but locally it seems Palin still needs to decide whether or not she will appear at an Indianola tea party event scheduled for Saturday.

CNN is reporting that Palin sources have said organizers for the “Restoring American Event” have been “dishonest” about the speaking program and rally promotion, and that Palin is no longer likely to attend.

The rally is being sponsored by Tea Party of America, a newer group that has little experience with hosting such a large event. On Tuesday, for instance, there was a mix-up on whether or not Christine O’Donnell, a previous Senate candidate from Delaware and a tea party favorite, would be in attendance.

A source close to Plain was even more blunt with The Wall Street Journal, saying Palin’s appearance was “no longer confirmed” and citing “continual lying” from event organizers that involved not only the O’Donnell appearance but fundraising and unapproved logistical changes. The source said there could possibly be another event scheduled in Iowa this weekend, or Palin could ultimately decide to appear at the Indianola event.

Local organizers did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Tea Party Express announced Tuesday evening that Palin will be speaking at their Labor Day rally in New Hampshire on Monday, which Palin’s PAC has confirmed.

Quinnipiac poll: Romney trails Perry, but does better against Obama

Posted on: August 31st, 2011 by The American Independent No Comments

A new Quinnipiac University poll out early Wednesday shows Texas Gov. Rick Perry climbing to a narrow lead in the GOP presidential nomination contest, but former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney running slightly better against President Barack Obama.


Iowa 2012 GOP Presidential Power Rankings: The winner needs ‘that special something’

Posted on: August 29th, 2011 by The American Independent No Comments

If there has been a single thread that has connected the previous 11 editions of The Iowa Independent’s Power Rankings, it has been an overall feeling of discontent among Republicans as activists in the state search for someone who represents their views and that they believe also stands a good chance of unseating Democratic incumbent Barack Obama.

With the Ames Straw Poll a memory and, thanks in part to a timed entry by Texas Gov. Rick Perry, showing very little bounce for the top two finishers, our panelists seem more intent on the political end game and which candidate has the mixture of organization, charisma and “that special something” to take the race all the way to the finish line.

If the caucuses were held tonight, here’s how our panel believes they would end:

  1. Rick Perry — Despite the fact that the governor of Texas hasn’t yet proven himself from an organizational standpoint in the Hawkeye State — and won’t likely have to in advance of the caucuses due to his later entry — our panelists cannot deny that Perry has brought something to the race that has been missing.

    “Many activists have said to me, ‘I’ve been holding out for a winner!’ Republican activists may agree with the agenda of a [Michele] Bachmann or a [Rick] Santorum, but they aren’t convinced those candidates can beat Obama. There’s a buzz around Perry that says he can,” notes one of our panelists.

    Others on our panel, however, are curious if Perry’s lead is more of a honeymoon period — something that will wane as the newness of his candidacy wears off.

    “His current buzz does make him the flavor of the month — just like [Mike] Huckabee and [Donald] Trump before him — but there is more to him than just that,” notes another panelist. “He appeals to all segments of the party, [at least] to varying degrees. That huge undecided number that keeps showing up in Iowa polls may have found their hairstyle of choice.”

    Candidates may rise on appeal, but they must have substance to win the first-in-the-nation caucuses. What the panel wants to see from Perry going forward are signals that his campaign is organizing at the grassroots level in Iowa, working the ground and drawing increased support.

    “If the caucuses were held today Perry would instantly coalesce a group of former Tim Pawlenty supporters and soft supporters of others to finish very strong, but at this point in time he doesn’t have the organization on the ground to marshal enough of them to pull it out.

    “Still, there is little denying the initial roll-out of his candidacy has been impressive and, if things keep trending the way they currently are, he’s the one to beat.”

    Perry’s performance in upcoming debates and his interactions on the campaign trail in Iowa and other early states could still sway his candidacy further up or down. And, while it is unlikely that more fiscally-minded Republicans would be swayed by the entry of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin in the race, it is likely that some more socially-minded Iowa conservatives could. That could spell trouble for Perry’s honeymoon, at least in Iowa.

    “While it is true that there are some who simply won’t support a woman, there are some who will — even if that woman is Palin, who comes with history. She still appeals to a segment of the GOP that feels America hasn’t been promoted in that Ronald Reagan style it should be, and there is no one, perhaps other than Reagan himself, who makes Republicans feel better about themselves than Palin. That’s her advantage over other conservatives already in the race including Bachmann, although Bachmann has been pulling such references into her own speeches. Such ‘lifting up’ by Palin will be hard for Iowans to resist.”

  2. Michele Bachmann — For the first time since late June, the Minnesota Congresswoman doesn’t lead our Hawkeye State Power Rankings and, perhaps more importantly, she came dangerously close to being knocked out of the top two.

    Since late March, when Bachmann began to seriously hint that she would pursue a White House bid, she has remained a favorite of our panelists. They viewed her as someone who could appeal to the state’s influential social conservative base as well as a candidate that could count on support from the tea party movement — both being influential for the upcoming caucuses. The straw poll should have been a proving grounds for her Iowa organizational skills (and to a certain extent it was) but, under the shadow of a Perry announcement, it simply didn’t provide a large boost.

    “Winning the straw poll still has its privileges. One of those privileges is a vastly superior organization compared to a guy who’s been in the race for only two weeks, and has just made a handful of stops in Iowa while facing no real scrutiny from voters or his fellow competitors yet. That said, Bachmann is not trending in the right direction at the moment, and she needs to recapture the momentum she had heading into Ames. Perhaps letting voters see the woman of depth I have seen privately, and not the woman of talking points I often see publicly, is a good place to start.”

    Another panelist notes that “Bachmann still has two big things going for her in Iowa: She’s from a neighboring state, which can only benefit her when it comes to ground organization, and she’s a known quantity.

    “Let’s face the fact that despite some of rifts here in our state, many of which have been promulgated by supporters of other candidates, Bachmann is someone that activists here know and know well. There is very little shock value left when says things that maybe don’t completely add up, or when she ruffles feathers in local circles. It’s expected, and just like all other expectations in Iowa, when she exceeds them — when says things that really resonate and does well with retail politics — she really, really shines. If she comes into the state and works even the smallest bit to dispel some of the more negative press, it will do her campaign a world of good and she will win on caucus night.”

    Criticisms leveled by Pawlenty that Bachmann was prone to misstatements may not have ultimately benefited his campaign, but our panelists believe they likely injured Bachmann’s, at least to some extent.

    “One can dismiss occasional things like mixing up whether John Wayne was born in Winterset or Waterloo and maybe even whether August 16 was Elvis’s birthday or the day he died, but at some point one will start to wonder whether it’s just an occasional flub or a pattern that is worrisome. Recently Bachmann claimed that if she becomes president gas prices would go down to $2 a gallon. That’s not a factual mistake, but it certainly caused a lot of people, including a lot on the right, to roll their eyes. Bachmann fought hard to make herself be perceived as a serious, top-tier candidate. She needs to stop the mistakes if she expects to maintain that standing.”

  3. Ron Paul — The biggest news to come out of Texas congressman’s presidential bid in the wake of the straw poll were news reports that he was being ignored in the wake of his strong second-place finish. Our panelists took note of the strong finish, and they continue to believe that overall Paul’s fiscal message is resonating better with state activists than it did in 2007. But when it comes to the game of expectations, they feel Paul just managed to meet them in Ames and, thus, didn’t do anything overly extraordinary to warrant higher placement.

    “Paul’s supporters certainly don’t want to hear it, but he probably peaked at the straw poll,” notes one panelist. “There were plenty of stories during the last two weeks about how the media were ignoring Paul’s very close second place finish straw poll. I suspect that it was less a matter of purposefully ignoring Paul as opposed to choosing to focus their resources on candidates who were perceived as more likely to be able to capture the nomination.

    “Paul received over three times as many votes at the Straw Poll as he did in 2007. That speaks to both an improved organization and more focus on his economic message. Even so, when Paul starts to speak on other issues his libertarian roots show themselves. Many Republicans are not happy with the wars we are fighting, but they usually don’t think that we should just pull back to our borders. Some Republicans are in favor of legalizing marijuana, but that position isn’t one widely held. In other words, despite his obvious success at the Straw Poll, Paul will have a difficult time appealing to a broader Republican base.”

    Another panelist has already moved on to wonder where the libertarians and similar factions of the party will go when “they finally figure out that their guy is not moving forward in this process.”

    “Look, there’s a lot to be said for loyalty, and there is no doubt that Ron Paul’s supporters are loyal — but I have to wonder if they’ve ever heard the phrase about being ‘loyal to a fault.’ At this point, I don’t think they are doing their candidate any favors by ramping up his expectations to levels that he doesn’t actually have the base support to meet.”

    Another panelist believes Paul could have won the straw poll — and beat expectations — if it wasn’t for his debate performance two nights before.

    “His organization flexed its muscle at the straw poll, and that strong second place finish came after his brutal debate performance just 48 hours prior. That tells me two things: Paul’s support isn’t going anywhere, and Paul can’t grow beyond that base of support. I believe Paul would’ve won the Straw Poll if not for his queasy answer on Iran and nuclear weapons. That moment in that debate illustrated the dynamic Paul finds himself in. The current economic climate in the country has made his base coalition more loyal than ever because he’s been proven right all these years. On the other hand, his foreign policy positions are still too far out there to grow that coalition to a winning coalition.”

  4. Mitt Romney — There are more questions than answers surrounding the former governor of Massachusett’s campaign. That is, his Iowa strategy or, more aptly, his lack of an Iowa strategy seemed pretty well mapped out in advance of Perry’s entry. Our panelists now wonder if ignoring the Hawkeye State, or keeping Iowa activists at arms length, is going to be enough to put him in the state’s top three — something he critically needs to do, even if he is banking on a New Hampshire victory.

    As one panelist notes, “Mitt still has the 23 percent he’s had since he started his presidential campaign (back in junior high school).”

    But there’s more than just low poll numbers at stake. Romney was hoping residual 2008 supporters and here-and-there visits to Iowa would be enough to keep him “playable” in the first-in-the-nation caucuses. He had, for all practical purposes, conceded the state to a more social conservative candidate of the same ilk as a Huckabee — someone that the other early states wouldn’t find as appealing as his more moderate, if not sometimes conflicted, stances. But if Iowa and another of the leading four states go to the same candidate, Romney’s weak performances could be enough to shut him down before the contest moves on to states that are decided more by ad buys than retail politics (where he doesn’t necessarily excel).

    “If a four candidate field emerges from the starting four states, that bodes well for Romney, who is extremely well financed and can move into a Super Tuesday situation with multiple ad buys and other voter outreach. But if Perry is able to land claim to both Iowa and South Carolina, Romney will need to provide more than just a New Hampshire victory. He will need to take Nevada, which might be possible because there is strong Mormon representation there. So far, however, I’ve not seen Romney doing retail in anywhere other than New Hampshire, and not a actively there as he did in Iowa in 2007.

    “Either Romney will need to start paying more attention to Iowa, which isn’t likely given the past history, or he is going to have to start concentrating more heavily on South Carolina, which also isn’t likely given that state also has a social conservative bent, or in Nevada. He simply cannot allow any one candidate to pull more of a boost than he does from these early contests.”

  5. Rick Santorum — Most of our panelists agree that Santorum has a loyal following in Iowa based predominantly on his rigid social conservative stances. Most also agree that his base support has not yet grown to a point of making him a real contender in the upcoming caucuses, and that they aren’t sure where he will be able to garner more supporters in this current field of candidates.

    “If this was 2007, Santorum would probably be faring better than he is now,” a panelist laments. “The fact of the matter is that you can’t build a campaign on issues — fiscal or conservatives — that are also held by your opponents. He doesn’t have anything, at least not yet, that makes him stand apart from the field. He doesn’t have executive experience. He lost his last election. He doesn’t have a compelling story to tell and, as a result, he seems to be a candidate that many activists like personally but are not supporting for the nomination.”

    While a handful of our panelists still envision a scenario where Santorum could play spoiler (a la Huckabee 2008), even most of those believe his fortunes, good or bad, may actually rest with the undecided candidacy of Palin.

    “Obviously, if Palin enters the race, there will be automatic buzz within social conservative circles — the same circles where Santorum has made the most headway. That could spell trouble for his campaign both from a standpoint of an established base, and from the standpoint of her much greater name recognition — which might be more appealing for any undecideds on caucus night.

    “On the other side of that coin, if Palin decides not to run, there could be some social conservatives that have been holding their support that will move toward Santorum, giving him a greater edge on caucus night when Iowans speak on behalf of their chosen candidates before the GOP balloting. Such conservatives can give very impassioned speeches that can really help their chosen candidate.”

    Unlike Democratic caucuses where second choices can play a distinct and defining role, GOP caucuses are a single secret ballot affair devoid of realignment and viability thresholds. So, just because Santorum appears to be a second-choice candidate for many, the situation doesn’t serve him as well as it would on the other side of the political aisle.

    “There is a solid base of former Huckabee supporters I know that just will never buy into Bachmann’s presidential candidacy until they have to because they’re either uncomfortable with a woman for president, and/or she has not proven to them she’s ready for the job. On the other hand, Huckabee himself has done little to hide his skepticism of Perry, who chose to endorse Rudy Giuliani over Huckabee four years ago. So who’s the alternative? Clearly not Ron Paul, who some Huckabee supporters are as leery of as they are Mitt Romney — albeit for different reasons. That leaves Santorum, who more and more has been speaking their language the past few weeks.”

Poll: Colorado voters not keen on Obama, less so on GOP rivals

Posted on: August 10th, 2011 by The American Independent No Comments

Americans are deeply dissatisfied with officeholders across the political spectrum, and in swing-state Colorado, a key battleground for next year’s presidential election, the hot enthusiasm generated here by candidate Obama three years ago has cooled considerably, according to a new survey conducted by Public Policy Polling. Although, the methodology of the poll has rightly come under scrutiny (same as every poll), given the historically dismal economy and the battering Obama has taken on the right since he entered the White House, it’s remarkable that PPP pollsters found he nevertheless notched double-digit leads in the state over every potential GOP opponent except Mitt Romney, whom he leads here by 7 points.

Only 46 percent of Coloradans polled approve of Obama as president and 50 percent disapprove of him, a 10 point approval rating dip since February. Yet PPP Director Tom Jensen says the Obama reelection team might still take heart in the survey results.

“[Colorado] voters may not like [Obama] but they like him a heck of a lot more than any of the Republican candidates. [Herman] Cain’s net favorability is -10 at 20/30, [Rick] Perry’s is -14 at 24/38, Romney’s is -21 at 30/51, [Michele] Bachmann’s is -22 at 28/50, and [Sarah] Palin’s is -27 at 33/60. Obama’s definitely benefiting from a ‘lesser of two evils’ mindset.”

As Jensen points out, just because Coloradans don’t like you, doesn’t mean they won’t vote for you. Maybe even more than elsewhere in the country, voters here hold their noses and pull the levers.

“Colorado showed last fall it was perfectly willing to elect someone it didn’t like if it liked the alternative even less,” Jensen writes. “Michael Bennet had a 39/47 approval rating on our final poll before the election and still managed to get reelected and Obama’s at least faring better than that. What it appears has happened over the last six months is that voters have soured on Obama but they’ve soured on the Republicans just as much over that period of time and the net impact has been a wash when it comes to the horse race. It’s a reflection of the disgust voters are feeling towards politicians across the spectrum right now.”

According to the poll, Obama’s numbers have remained fairly consistent among Republican and Democratic voters, but they have dipped with independents, a remarkable third of the state electorate. That’s bad news for any candidate in Colorado.

Yet independents aren’t swinging their support to Obama’s GOP rivals.

PPP’s Jensen seems surprised by the results of the poll and suggests that right now might be a low point for Obama’s support here. If that’s the case, that’s good news for Democrats.

“The last few weeks have been some of the darkest ones of the Obama administration and for all that he still has a 7 point lead over his strongest potential opponent in Colorado. This is coming off a year where Democrats in Colorado held their Senate seat and the Governor’s office in what was otherwise a terrible year for the party nationally.

“It’s still probably best to call the state purple, but it seems to be shading toward blue.”

PPP surveyed 510 Colorado voters last weekend and reports a margin of error for the survey of +/- 4.3 percent.

Unlike Bush in mid-1999, no runaway GOP leader right now (including Perry)

Posted on: June 23rd, 2011 by Patrick Brendel No Comments

A look at polling numbers illustrates how muddled the GOP presidential contest presently is, compared to the outlook at this point in the 2000 White House campaign, when then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush was already the clear frontrunner.

Current Texas Gov. Rick Perry may see the crowded field as evidence of a power vacuum in need of occupation. However, his own polling numbers aren’t so formidable right now, either — showing him to be on the same echelon as (or, if anything, slightly lower than) fellow Texan Ron Paul. This, of course, has the potential to change dramatically if Perry formally announces his candidacy and seriously pursues the GOP nomination.

In July 1999, Bush was the favorite of 59 percent of Republicans, according to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey (retrieved via At the time, U.S. Sen. John McCain’s support was at 3 percent, and it increased fairly steadily until March 2000, reaching 30 percent. Bush’s, meanwhile, stayed at around 60 percent, according to the series of surveys.

In January 1999, a Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll pegged Elizabeth Dole as Republicans’ top choice, getting 30 percent of the vote, compared to 18 percent for Bush, who hadn’t formed his campaign committee yet. A Gannet poll around the same time had Bush leading Dole 39-22 percent, though.

In June 1999, a Washington Post survey showed Bush leading the GOP field with 49 percent of the vote, Dole second with 20 percent, “undecided” at 7 percent, and then the rest. Dole would drop her campaign in the fall, giving McCain room to work his best efforts.

This year, nearly all of the latest polls show former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney as the GOP frontrunner, but with only about 25 percent of the Republican vote, according to an average of polls maintained by RealClearPolitics.

A new IBOPE Zogby/Newsmax poll purports to show that Minnesota U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann leapt ahead of Romney following the announcement of her candidacy and her exceeding of minimal expectations during the June 13 GOP presidential debate, according to the Christian Post. Bachman was the pick of 24 percent of survey respondents, followed by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (who adamantly says he’s not running) with 17 percent, Romney with 15 percent, Herman Cain with 15 percent and Texas U.S. Rep. Paul with 13 percent.

According to Newsmax, the survey also showed Christie trouncing Romney in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup, 62-19 percent, and Perry also easily beating Romney, 55-22 percent. While Christie is more popular than Romney among conservative and moderate Republicans, Perry is more popular than Romney among conservatives Republicans but less popular than Romney among moderate Republicans. Romney is most popular among liberal Republicans.

Aside from that piece of good news, however, Perry has generally been a nonfactor in national GOP presidential polls — much of that probably due to the fact that he’s not running yet and hasn’t usually been included in the polls.

According to the RealClearPolitics aggregation of polls, however, Perry has been an option in three of nine national surveys, and has an average support level of 5 percent. By comparison, fellow Texan Paul grabs 7 percent of the vote. Bachmann’s average support level is 6 percent — but the only poll taken after the GOP debate, by Rasmussen, showed her with 19 percent of the GOP vote (second to Romney’s 33 percent in that poll).

Meanwhile, a Dick Morris Poll conducted June 18-19 showed Romney leading the GOP field with 23 percent of the vote, followed by Bachmann and Paul, who each had 12 percent, then Perry, Cain and Newt Gingrich, each with 5 percent. According to theHouston Chronicle’s Texas on the Potomac blog:

“”Rick Perry shows weakness in the polling that might cause him to reconsider running for president,” Morris concluded. “As governor of Texas, he is already well known, particularly in the South. If he cannot produce more than a 5 percent vote share nationally or do better than 9 percent in his (home) region, he is not showing much strength.””

In opposition to the Zogby poll, the Dick Morris Poll showed that “The establishment Republicans who are Romney’s real first round opponents all do very poorly when measured against him,” according to Potomac.

According to Gallup — and in contrast to Zogby’s take — the June 13 GOP debate failed “to shake up” GOP candidates’ ratings among Republicans. Rather than asking respondents who their top candidate is, Gallup attempts to measure each candidate’s “Positivity Intensity Score” — the difference between the percentage of respondents with a strongly favorable opinion of the candidate, and those with a strongly unfavorable opinion of the candidate — together with each candidate’s level of recognition among respondents. (Perry’s not included in the Gallup series of polls.)

By Gallup’s metric, Sarah Palin, Romney and Bachmann are the only candidates with above-average ‘Positive Intensity Scores’ and above-average name-recognition.

While Cain’s ‘Positive Intensity Score’ has dipped in June, Bachmann’s rose, and Romney’s and Palin’s stayed level. Paul, meanwhile, has above-average name-recognition but a below-average ‘Positive Intensity Score,” putting him in company with Gingrich.

GOP candidates to appear on tea party bus tour

Posted on: June 13th, 2011 by The American Independent No Comments

The Iowa Tea Party kicks off its three-week bus tour across the Hawkeye State today in Council Bluffs, with an appearance by former New Mexico governor and GOP candidate Gary Johnson.

Iowa Tea Party Chairman Ryan Rhodes said candidates who make appearances on the bus tour stops will be able to meet people and the public will be allowed to ask them questions. All stops will be covered in posts on the publication Tea Party Review’s website,

Rhodes has said any candidate or hopeful is welcome to engage with Iowa’s tea party activists. So far, confirmed guests include Johnson, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn), Atlanta businessman Herman Cain and former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Rhodes said he is still waiting for confirmation from former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum‘s and former Gov. Tim Pawlenty‘s staffs.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has been invited and “is greatly encouraged to come here,” Rhodes said.

Rhodes brushed off the idea that Gingrich should shy away from attending a stop on the tour, in light of his staff quitting en masse Thursday. Gingrich reported his intent to start his campaign over again in California last weekend.

“If he still wants to be a part of it, we will welcome him, of course,” Rhodes said. “If he does not, then we will let people know.”

A full bus tour stop schedule may be found at It will end in Des Moines during Fourth of July weekend.

Iowa 2012 GOP Presidential Power Rankings: Hierarchy of GOP candidates falling into place

Posted on: June 13th, 2011 by The American Independent No Comments

“Are you serious?” is the question our panelists appear to be asking the 2012 hopefuls for this seventh edition of our 2012 Power Rankings. And that question isn’t just limited to the Iowa caucuses or the emphasis candidates are placing on the first-in-the-nation process. (more…)

Palin’s emails on Texas show Alaska Gov.’s focus on energy

Posted on: June 11th, 2011 by Mary Tuma No Comments

In response to open records requests, the state of Alaska has finally released 24,199 pages of email correspondence sent and received by Sarah Palin during her governorship. Mother Jones, and ProPublica have teamed up to make all the emails available in a searchable database.

Searching for the term “Texas” yields an exchange between Palin and her communications director in which the former vice presidential candidate moves the direction of her keynote speech – delivered at the Republican Governor’s Association Energy Conference held in Dallas in 2008 – to focus on energy instead of ethics and education.

From press secretary Rosanne Hughes:

“We’re finishing up your remarks for the Governors meeting in Texas. You have two sets of remarks — one is a 15-minute speech and the other is a three-minute overview of accomplishments and happenings in your state. On the three minute remarks, we focused on AGIA, ethics and education. Would you like to include anything else , or have us change the focus?”

Palin replies:

“I think janice said the focus is on energy — these guys want to know about our resources, it’s not the educ/ethics kinda crowd.”

The exchange also highlights Palin’s eagerness to attend the Texas RGA meeting due to the presence of major oil supplier Shell. She says:

“CEO of Shell and others will be at the Texas RGA mtg. I’d like to plan on that one April 16-17, i realize it’s right after session but would like to go be it’s an Energy Conf.”

Palin, a champion of oil drilling, has been criticized for her support of oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and for advocating to remove polar bears’ status as an endangered species. Carl Pope, head of the Sierra Club, has said “No one is closer to the oil industry than Governor Palin,” for those reasons as well as her “dismissive” attitude toward alternative energy and for opposition toward a windfall profit tax on the most profitable oil companies.

The Los Angeles Times reports that emails relating to oil leases with companies, such as ExxonMobil, have been redacted from the records request.

The search resulted in 50 pages of mainly congratulatory praise from Palin fans based in Texas, messages about Palin and Alaska’s enthusiasm toward a 2008 amicus brief in support of the Second Amendment issued by the state of Texas, and some light wrangling over ensuring a press release endorsing the brief did not get sent before Texas’ official statement.