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Palin, Steele And Breitbart Rock GOP Fundraiser In Anaheim

Hillel Aron |
October 16, 2010 | 7:36 p.m. PDT


 Breitbart, Steele and Palin. (Hillel Aron)
Breitbart, Steele and Palin. (Hillel Aron)
It was as Tea Party as things get in California.

On a grey, soupy day in Anaheim, minutes away from Disneyland, the unlikely trio of Sarah Palin, Andrew Breitbart and Michael Steele brought the Republicans inside the Platinum Ballroom of the Marriott Hotel to their knees.

"America– we do not seek its fundamental transformation, we seek its restoration," said Palin, to thunderous applause, a sublime articulation of what conservative message has always been and will always be about. 

Billed as a "Victory Rally," tickets ranged from $20.10 (get it?) to $950, the latter of which came with tickets to a reception afterwards and a photo op with the former vice presidential candidate. Organizers of the event said they did not know how many people were in attendance, although one volunteer told me, "over 1,500."

Noticeably absent were a pair of Republicans--California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman and Senate candidate Carly Fiorina, who couldn't even be bothered to come up with a better excuse than "scheduling conflicts." In fact, Fiorina spent part of the day with Palin's former running mate John McCain in San Diego (only about an hour-and-a-half drive).

Nevertheless, all spectrums of the Republican party were represented.

Andrew Breitbart, the internet mogul behind the conservative news site Breitbart.com, looked tired and upset sitting on stage with 25 or so members of the Republican establishment. But he gave a blistering, pithy speech that attacked the Democrats, "Harry Pelosi," and most of all, the media. 

"When we take over the media, when I become your boss, I will give you a hug," he reassured the press section in the back.

"I'm not a journalist," he added. "I'm an American!" The crowd went absolutely bonkers.

Next up was the formerly embattled RNC chair Michael Steele, who looked like a new man, having the time of his life.

"Wassup California!," he shouted as he took the stage. "Ya'll look like you're about to tear up some stuff."

Steele insisted there was no rift in the Republican Party between the Tea Party and the moderates. But not everyone was so happy that Steele was there.

"I was booing Michael Steele," said Marc Harris, a blogger for Big Government, one of Breitbart's sites. Harris, who was wearing a "Tea Party Patriots" shirt said Steele was trying to take credit for energy surrounding the Tea Party movement. "We're making him popular," he said.

Also on stage was Van Tran, the California state assemblyman who's running for Congress against the Democratic incumbent Loretta Sanchez. Sanchez got herself into a bit of hot water recently when she accused Tran, who is Vietnamese American, of being "anti-immigrant and anti-Hispanic." Former President Bill Clinton campaigned for Sanchez in Los Angeles on Friday.

But the main event was Palin, who delivered a well-written speech that touched upon all the basic conservative principles.

"And yes, I will be quoting Reagan," she said, in a remark aimed at the press, "and not Mao."

She blasted the Democrat-controlled Congress for racking up, in her words, "$7 million of unsustainable, immoral debt." Not too clear on how she came to that figure, and if all debt is immoral, or just the debt that was created by Democrats.

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