A well-known Republican and former candidate for vice president — Sarah Palin — was at the fifth GOP debate in Las Vegas on Tuesday. Palin was spotted in the audience of the earlier JV debate between Lindsey Graham, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, and George Pataki, and was photographed talking to Graham before the big event. While Palin hasn't publicly endorsed Graham, it looked like she was giving him a pre-debate pep talk. Coming from someone who has their fair share of debate experience, a Palin chat could actually be pretty helpful.
Palin tweeted that she was appearing on CNN's The Lead with Jake Tapper before the GOP debate, which put her at the Venetian casino where the event was unfolding. It would just be silly to be in the building and not watch the show, so Palin took advantage of her location.
The former Alaska governor and John McCain's running mate in the 2008 election was probably happy not to be in front of the cameras, sitting in the audience stress free and watching other Republicans sweating on stage. Only someone who's been in the same position can truly know how nerve-racking it is to participate in a nationally televised presidential (or vice presidential) debate.
Palin doesn't look too entertained in the photo tweeted of her in the audience, but it could have just been unfortunate timing. Or, she could be falling asleep — it's hard to say.
It's really not surprising that a devout Republican politician who's been out of the game for a while would show up at a GOP debate. Besides interviewing Donald Trump in August, Palin hasn't been involved in politics much lately, so her schedule must have been wide open for Tuesday night. What's more entertaining than watching your fellow Republicans duke it out on stage? Maybe Trump's twitter feed, but not much else.