Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin speaks at an event held by the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013, at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa.

Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin speaks at an event held by the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013, at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa.

*She’s back…

Former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin popped up at an event in Iowa and compared the federal debt to slavery.

“Our free stuff today is being paid for by taking money from our children and borrowing from China,” she said at the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition’s fall fundraiser at the State Fairgrounds Saturday night. “When that money comes due – and this isn’t racist, but it’ll be like slavery when that note is due. We are going to beholden to the foreign master.”

Palin drew an audience of about 750, smaller than the 1,500 she attracted in 2010 for a Republican Party of Iowa dinner.

She told the Iowans, who have the ear of presidential candidates, that they reflect what’s good about America. “You’re unpretentious, hardworking, humble, very candid. You tell it like it is and you’ll tell a politician exactly what it is that you’re thinking,” she said.

Conservatism, she said, is partly about “moving the poor and the underemployed out of poverty and out from the shackles of dependency on government.”

“We’re not wards of the state but free men and women who can live good and productive lives without D.C.’s appointed best and brightest telling us what to do,” she said.

Palin got extra applause when talking about how moderate Republicans have failed grassroots conservatives.

“Remember their promise that they would do everything in their power to fight against socialized medicine, against Obamacare?” she said, as the crowd jumped, cheering, to its feet. “When it came time to stand and defund it, they waived the white flag of surrender and they threw under the bus the good guys who did stand up and fight.”

Another theme of her 31-minute speech was about censorship of religious activities – an injustice seen most blatantly around Christmas, she said.

“Christmas is under attack,” she said.

Palin quickly acknowledged that she has a new book coming out next week on exactly that topic. It also, she said, includes a moose chili recipe. “Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas” will be released on Tuesday with an official launch in the town of Bethlehem in Pennsylvania.

“I say in a very jolly Christmasy way: ‘Enough is enough,’” she said. “Enough is enough of this politically correct police out there that is acting to erode our freedom to celebrate and exercise our faith.”

Before Saturday night’s event, Palin’s last public appearances in Iowa were in 2011 for a tea party rally in Indianola, the premier of a movie about her life, and a State Fair visit – when speculation was still running high over whether she’d jump into the presidential fray that year. In August 2012, she was in Iowa for a private party.