Sarah Palin had a good weekend. On Saturday, she drew 2,000 people to a book signing in Fair Lakes, Virginia. "The lines stretched down the sidewalk outside BJ's and continued across the street into the parking lot. That part of the line zig zagged multiple times giving the appearance of everyone waiting to experience the newest attraction at an amusement park," reports NBC's Joey Bell.
Then, on Saturday night, Palin appeared at the annual Gridiron dinner to positive reviews.
And on Sunday, Palin made her first trip to Iowa since the 2008 presidential campaign. Jonathan Martin reports:
What makes her potentially so formidable was on vivid display in the hundreds of admirers who waited for hours on the ground in a mall hallway - and some began the vigil overnight in the bitter cold - to get a quickly scribbled signature, handshake and fleeting glimpse at the person most just called "Sarah."
Though some wearing Cornhusker red came from Nebraska, just over the Missouri River, many were from this city and the surrounding northwest Iowa counties that traditionally give Republican candidates some of their largest margins in the state.
But they weren't the sort of party regulars who comprise the county GOP committees and always show up when a national politician comes to town. Many said they hadn't previously participated in the state's quadrennial caucuses and some indicated that they weren't even sure what the caucuses are. And while most were self-identified conservatives, there were also registered Republicans or independents who had previously backed candidates of both parties but who were drawn to Palin because of what she represents.
Meanwhile, Democrats continue to attack Palin, elevating her status as a conservative leader. One rule in politics: If you aren't being attacked, you aren't making a difference.
SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION ALERT: I recently wrote a book on media coverage of Palin and her future in politics.