Independence, Mo. – Former Vice Presidential candidate and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin brought her rock-star status to Independence last night. She told some 3 thousand supporters at the Winning America Back convention that the Tea Party movement had had a permanent impact. Not surprisingly, she said Tea Party activists would sway elections in November.
In spite of the ubiquitous "Palin in 2012" buttons, Palin wouldn't commit to any future political ambition. She joked she may become the PTA president once her baby goes to kindergarten in a few years.
Palin reiterated her support for oil drilling, on and off shore. In reference to the oil spill off the Gulf of Mexico, Palin said it was a tragedy and expressed sympathy; "My heart goes out to the victims of that disaster." She said, however, the U.S. must continue drilling to cut our dependence on foreign oil. She said "energy security will be the key to our prosperity." Palin called on the government to pursue an "all-of-the-above" approach to energy - tapping every domestic energy supply available.
Sarah Palin spoke passionately against the new health care bill. Using the name conservatives have given the new law - "Obamacare" - Palin called it "the mother of all unfunded mandates."
In an address that lasted more than half an hour, she reiterated many of the day's themes, such as slashing federal funding; "You can't legislate prosperity out of D.C.," and chastising the administration and Congress for abusing the Constitution.
In a question and answer session with KCMO talk show host Chris Stigall, Palin said the Tea Party had energized so many people that it would definitely affect future electoral politics, and she urged the crowd to stay engaged;
"A lot of us have been telling Washington, 'no, we don't like those....they don't like those plans.' We've told them in polls and protests and special elections. But they just don't get it. They don't get it yet. They lecture us instead and apologize for us and talk down to us, especially here in the heartland. Oh Man, they think if we were just smart enough we'd be able to understand their policies. I so want to tell them, and I do tell them , 'Oh, we're plenty smart, and oh yeah, we know what's going on, and we don't LIKE what's going on!'.... and were not gonna let them tell us to sit down and shut up! We're gonna tell them what we expect of our government. They think they can decide what's best for us though, even if we don't like it, can't afford it, and we know it makes no sense, some of the things they're gonna propose, and they think they're gonna do it anyway. You know, that doesn't sound like preserving American liberty to me. It doesn't sound like they have any intention between now and midterms even of listening to what it is we're saying, and that's why between now and November were gonna elect new leaders who reflect our views and values who respect our rights and respect our freedoms. We're gonna elect those leaders who will listen to us in this republic."