Saturday, February 06, 2010

Sarah Palin Assails Barack Obama's Policies And Proclaims A Second Revolution Before 1,100 Activists At National Tea Party Convention In Nashville

Sarah Palin wound up the three-day National Tea Party Conference in Nashville, Tennessee by declaring that "America is ready for another revolution" and repeatedly assailed President Barack Obama's policies on Saturday February 6th, 2010 before a group of 1,100 tea party activists who coughed up at least $349 a whack (600 of them paid $549 each for the entire conference) to listen to her keynote address. Local media story with Alaskan reaction in the Anchorage Daily News. Other stories from the Nashville Tennessean, ABC News, the Weekly Standard, Fox News, and WorldNetDaily.

Plenty of red meat for the activists had already been served up by former Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo, who ripped John McCain and proclaimed that Barack Obama was elected because of "people who could not even spell the word ’vote’ or say it in English’", and WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah, who renewed his perennial call for Barack Obama to show proof of natural U.S. citizenship. But Palin served up even more when she repeatedly criticized Obama, saying that his big spending agenda has made the country less secure. She characterized Obama's deficit spending as "immoral" and "generational theft. Palin also chided Obama for Democratic losses in New Jersey and Virginia governor's races last fall and in a Massachusetts Senate race last month, saying that he's 0-and-3. But while Palin welcomed tea party activists regardless of their formal political affiliation, she specifically encouraged "tea party"-aligned candidates to compete in GOP primaries, saying, "Contested primaries aren't civil war; they're democracy at work and that's beautiful."

C-Span has made a video of the entire speech, to include the Q&A at the end, available:

Palin didn't indicate whether her political future would extend beyond cable news punditry and paid speeches to an actual presidential candidacy. All she offered was a smile when a moderator asking her questions used the phrase "President Palin." This ambiguity has given rise to questions as to whether she eventually intends to be a candidate or merely wants to be a celebrity. Various polls indicate Sarah Palin is taken just as seriously as a candidate by Republicans as Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee.

There was one note of discord, though. The Tennessee Tea Party Coalition, which formed independently of the National Tea Party, criticized the National Tea Party for charging so much money to attend the national conference. They characterized the national group as "a bunch of snakes", and said it is fishy, at best, to have such a large amount of money involved for a movement that is of this nature. The Tennessee group packs a punch as it claims a membership of 18,000 people scattered among 34 local Tea Party organizations. There was also a brief flare-up between Joseph Farah and Andrew Breitbart over the "birther" issue; Breitbart thinks it's a loser, while Farah wants to keep it front and center.

In response to this criticism, it should be noted that the intent of the conference organizers was not to throw the door open to every Tom, Dick, and Harriet on the street. They envisioned that the various tea party organizations would select the best of their numbers to attend the convention, and to raise money locally if necessary to help defray the expenses of attending. Sarah Palin has already said she will plow her $100,000 fee back into the movement.

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