Palin Tells 'Tea Party': It's Revolution Time
Sarah Palin declared "America is ready for another revolution" and repeatedly assailed President Barack Obama on Saturday before adoring "tea party" activists, a seemingly natural constituency should she run for president.
"This movement is about the people," the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee said as the crowd roared. "Government is supposed to be working for the people."
Noting Democrats' recent electoral losses just a year after Obama was elected on promises of hope and change, she asked: "How's that hope-y, change-y stuff workin' out for you?"
Her audience waved flags and erupted in cheers during multiple standing ovations as Palin gave the keynote address at the first national convention of the "tea party" coalition, an anti-establishment grass-roots network motivated by anger over the growth of government, budget-busting spending and Obama's policies.
Filled with Palin's trademark folksy jokes, the speech amounted to a 45-minute pep talk for the coalition and promotion of its principles. The speech also was rife with criticism for Obama and Democrats who control Congress, but delivered with a light touch. But, aside from broad conservative principles like lower taxes and a strong national defense, it was short on her own policy ideas that typically indicate someone is seriously laying the ground work to run for the White House.
Indeed, Republican observers say she's seemingly done more lately to establish herself as a political celebrity focused on publicity rather than a political candidate focused on policy.
Catering to her crowd, Palin talked of limited government, strict adherence to the Constitution, and the "God-given right" of freedom. She said the "fresh, young and fragile" movement is the future of American politics because it's "a ground-up call to action" to both major political parties to change how they do business. "You've got both party machines running scared," she said.
Palin suggested that it should remain leaderless and cautioned against allowing the movement to be defined by any one person. "This is about the people" and "it's a lot bigger than any charismatic guy with a TelePrompTer," she said, jabbing at Obama.
"Let us not get bogged down in the small squabbles. Let us get caught up in the big ideas," she said, though offered few of her own.
The former Alaska governor, who resigned from office last summer before completing her first term, 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." That prompted most in the audience to stand up and chant "Run, Sarah, run!"
This program aired on February 7, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.