CPAC: Sarah Palin Delivers Keynote Address
Palin, who entered to Van Halen’s “Right Here, Right Now” (use of the same song drew ire from the band when the McCain campaign used it in 2008), was greeted by a rousing ovation from the conservative audience, her bread and butter supporters. They chanted her name and sang "Happy Birthday" as she prepared to deliver her speech.
She did not enter or leave the stage draped in the American flag or a copy of the Constitution, though she might as well have with the uberpatriotic image she tried so hard to convey.
The theme of Palin’s speech was simple: conservatives good, Obama bad.
“President Obama has a conflict of visions,” Palin told the crowd. “When I listened to the State of the Union, he barely mentioned unemployment. He gave us more promises, to give us an economy built to last. Well, we want it built to grow and we don’t want your economy built to last. We want your administration to end.”
Palin’s job was to rile up the conservative base of the Republican Party in an effort to defeat Barack Obama in November. And rile them she did. At one point in the middle of her speech, Palin poked fun at his 2008 campaign message of hope and change.
“You can see the failure, but not of the American people or America itself, it is the failure of our leadership. But we know how to change that yes we do, yes we can. Hope and change, yeah we got to hope things change. It’s the change we can believe in, we can’t wait, our country hangs in the balance,” Palin said as she whipped the crowd into a frenzy as they (and then she) began chanting, "U-S-A, U-S-A."
She went further, equating the United States under Obama to a sinking ship on multiple occasions.
“When a ship is sinking the last thing we need is a community organizer (referring to the position held by Obama prior to becoming a senator) rearranging the chairs on deck while singing ‘Let’s Stay Together’,” Palin said.
But the former Alaska governor didn't stop at Obama. She also took aim at members of Congress, saying, “Often they come to Washington denouncing it as a cesspool, but after a year or two they say it’s not a cesspool, it’s a hot tub. America, it’s time to drain the Jacuzzi and throw the bums out with the bath water.”
Palin appears to have gone to the Newt Gingrich school of media aggravation, telling her fellow conservatives the media does not want to remind the country of the Tea Party victory in 2010 and accusing the media of distorting the record, smearing the reputation and attacking the families of conservative candidates. She did not give examples to back up her accusations.
Only members of the Tea Party were safe from Palin’s crosshairs.
“This November we’re going to take back the Senate and fortify the House. Beware, Washington, Tea Party patriots are alive and well,” Palin promised.
While it is true that the Tea Party saw some success in the midterm elections, the reality is there was not an overwhelming Tea Party revolution in 2010, as Palin would have you believe. Only 32 percent of Tea Party candidates managed to win seats in the midterm elections.
Palin’s speech had a definite audience—staunch conservatives—and her message was well received by them.
"The Tea Party rose up because Americans woke up; our movement is biggern than one person, one candidate, one party. It’s about one country united under God. We’re not red Americans, we’re not blue Americans. We're red, white and blue and Obama we are through with you," Palin cried.
How her speech played with more moderate conservatives however remains to be seen.
Palin’s “WTF” Moment
But the moment that has people talking the most might be dubbed “Palin’s ‘WTF’ moment.” While talking about the president’s jobs plan, something the White House calls Winning the Future, Palin sounded more like a teenager than a politician, calling the jobs plan “his WTF plan.” She offered no alternative.
“And I’m the idiot,” Palin countered.
Well Sarah, you said it. Far be it for the rest of us to disagree.
Reach Christine Detz here.