imageYesterday approximately 2000 rain-soaked patriots gathered at the Indianola Balloon Grounds in Indianola, IA to listen to former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin speak at the “Restoring America” Tea Party of America Rally.  It had poured off and on through the event, but when the Governor’s time to speak came there was a short break in the otherwise horrible weather.

While some hoped to see something other than hot-air balloon launched from that field yesterday she made no announcement of her 2012 intentions.  Instead it would seem that the foundation for a platform and campaign narrative was laid.  Whether it was for her own campaign or for what she will expect from other candidates I’m sure will be debated, but she did point to what she believed is the way forward.

This, in my opinion, was the best speech I’ve heard her give.  It was confident, bold, fiery and funny.  She didn’t hold back, and so if she were to run I believe we were given a peak at how she would separate herself from the rest of the field.  He turned the heat up on the political establishment.

Noting the Tea Party’s electoral victory in 2010 she said, “We sent a new class of leaders to D.C., but immediately the permanent political class tried to co-opt them – because the reality is we are governed by a permanent political class, until we change that.”  She said that the political class talks about spending cuts, but usually just ends up spending more.  “They spend, they print, they borrow, they spend more,” Palin explained, “and then they stick us with the bill.”  She said the “pat themselves on the back” claiming that they solved the debt crisis, but humiliated us when we received our first credit downgrade.  She said that they then “promptly went on vacation.”

Continuing her attack on the political class in Washington, D.C. she said while she normally believes polls are for “strippers and cross country skiers” she cited a poll where residents of the D.C. Metro area (where she noted seven of the ten wealthiest counties are located) believe the economy has improved.  She added, “See, there may not be a recession in Georgetown, but there is in the rest of America.”

She went on to define the problem within the political class.

Yeah, the permanent political class – they’re doing just fine. Ever notice how so many of them arrive in Washington, D.C. of modest means and then miraculously throughout the years they end up becoming very, very wealthy? Well, it’s because they derive power and their wealth from their access to our money – to taxpayer dollars.  They use it to bail out their friends on Wall Street and their corporate cronies, and to reward campaign contributors, and to buy votes via earmarks. There is so much waste. And there is a name for this: It’s called corporate crony capitalism. This is not the capitalism of free men and free markets, of innovation and hard work and ethics, of sacrifice and of risk. No, this is the capitalism of connections and government bailouts and handouts, of waste and influence peddling and corporate welfare. This is the crony capitalism that destroyed Europe’s economies. It’s the collusion of big government and big business and big finance to the detriment of all the rest – to the little guys. It’s a slap in the face to our small business owners – the true entrepreneurs, the job creators accounting for 70% of the jobs in America, it’s you who own these small businesses, you’re the economic engine, but you don’t grease the wheels of government power.

She said none of this surprises her as she faced this before as Governor of Alaska.  She said that it was the same kind of “good old boy politics-as-usual” that she fought and saw victory over with the corrupt political class’ dealing with Big Oil up in Alaska.  She said, “And I can tell you from experience that sudden and relentless reform never sits well with entrenched interests and power-brokers. So, please you must vet a candidate’s record. You must know their ability to successfully reform and actually fix problems that they’re going to claim that they inherited.”

With the reduction in our credit rating and the increasing debt she attacked President Obama’s handling of the problem, that his answer to our debt problem was to “incur more debt” and spend money which would make people even more reliant on the government.  She said this is the “antithesis of the pioneering American spirit.”

She said the only future that Obama is trying to win is his own reelection and that he is going to “mortgage our children’s future to pay for it.”  The proof she said is in where you saw the stimulus money invested – with those who were Obama’s big donors.  She called this “pay to play.”

She didn’t just go after President Obama, but she also went after some of the GOP candidates who have raise a lot of cash.  She said they need to be asked, “What, if anything, do their donors expect in return for their ‘investments’?”  She said she has been out-spent in her campaigns “two to one, three to one, five to one.”  And to take a shot at those who complain about her staffing, “And, by the way, I don’t play that game either of hiring expert political advisors just so they’ll say something nice about me on TV – if you ever wonder.”

She said that our challenge isn’t just to replace Barack Obama in 2012, but that the real challenge is “who or what we will replace him with.”  She added, “It’s not enough to just change up the uniform. If we don’t change the team and the game plan, we won’t save our country.”

You can watch her entire speech below:

Photo by Dave Davidson

Update: You can view my post at The Des Moines Register about the job plan she laid out in contrast to what President Obama will present later this week.

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