Tea Party welcomes conservative darling Palin

NASHVILLE Sat Feb 6, 2010 11:46pm EST

1 of 2. Sarah Palin speaks during the National Tea Party Convention at Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee February 6, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Josh Anderson

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NASHVILLE (Reuters) - Sarah Palin tried to rally conservatives on Saturday night at a national convention of the "Tea Party" movement, taking aim at President Barack Obama on everything from big government to teleprompters.

"I believe in this movement ... America is ready for another revolution," said Palin, former Alaska governor and Republican John McCain's running mate in the 2008 election won by Obama.

The Nashville convention brought together hundreds of activists from the "Tea Party" group, which hopes to make a splash in the 2010 congressional elections and beyond.

The three-day event had been plagued by infighting, pullouts and criticism of tickets costing more than $500.

But the appearance of Palin, the darling of the U.S. conservative movement, raised its profile and gave her a national platform to appeal directly to an emerging base for the Republican Party.

In a speech that made frequent appeals to patriotism and faith, Palin used the folksy, Washington-outsider rhetoric to lambaste Obama and his Democratic Party.

"How's that hope-y, change-y stuff working out for you?" she asked, mocking the slogans of hope and change that swept Obama's campaign into to the White House.

Tea partiers grabbed headlines last year with often highly charged protests against Obama's healthcare reform drive, a $787 billion economic stimulus package and other initiatives.

The convention is the latest sign that the diffuse movement is attempting to transform itself into a political machine that can get out the vote for conservative candidates.

All 435 seats of the House of Representatives and more than a third of the 100 Senate seats are up for grabs in November. Democrats have majorities in both chambers.

Palin encouraged activists to get out and support candidates who shared their values. Her speech was frequently interrupted by bouts of thunderous applause.

"This is about the people ... and it's a lot bigger than any charismatic guy with a teleprompter," she said, a reference to Obama's use of teleprompters which conservative critics frequently chide him for.

Referring to mounting debt and government programs, Palin said: "What they are doing ... They're sticking our kids with the bill. And that's immoral. That's generational theft."

Organizers at the convention said activists were forming a political action committee to help elect conservative candidates next fall. Other Tea Party organizations such as the Dallas chapter have on-going get-out-the-vote drives.

The movement takes its name from the historic protest against British taxation, the Boston Tea Party, one of the triggers of the American revolution against colonial rule.

(Additional reporting by Ed Stoddard in Dallas; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

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Comments (18)
As a Canadian, Palins credibility is minus zero to me. Living under medicare and not prepared to give it up despite the odd wart, I am not prepared to take her advise to turn medicare over to business. As the old saying goes “free advice doesn’t cost you anything unless you act on it”. I just wish there was one, JUST ONE, Republican politician that would give the democrats the 60 votes to pass medicare. Uninsured Americans may not have another chance for Medicare for 50 years. A tragedy.

Feb 07, 2010 2:09am EST  --  Report as abuse
connor61 wrote:
I am disappointed that Reuters has more or less added to the calculated media hype of an outrageous group of conservatives who believe that global warming is a lie, are against the Kyoto convention, and have built their “grassroots” membership on an insurance scam. Check out the archives of other real investigative NEWS papers to see who the Tea Party – or “Freedom Works” – really are…formerly known as Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE). This is a cynical group of Good Ol’ Boys who think that “ethical” politics include falsely soliciting membership through too-good-to-be-true insurance policies. Here’s a link to an investigative news article about who they really are: http://www.washingtonpost.com… I think you will find Ms. Palin fits right in.

Feb 07, 2010 2:27am EST  --  Report as abuse
Marla wrote:
Palin’s a joke. The fact that she is acting in support of the Tea Party practically assures they will not be taken seriously. Keep yammering, darling!

Feb 07, 2010 2:33am EST  --  Report as abuse
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