Sarah Palin fires up Tea Party rally
A roaring Tea Party crowd cheered on Sarah Palin on the Boston Common today as she slammed President Obama promising it’s “nothing a good old fashioned election can’t fix.”
Palin, wearing a lipstick-red leather jacket, urged “less government” and “cut spending” and do more than “stall the spending spree we’ve been on.”
Check out reader-submitted photos from today’s Tea Party Express rally.
The common-sense hockey mom praised Bostonians for electing upstart GOP star U.S. Sen. Scott Brown as she stood in the shadow of the Democrat-controlled State House.
“Bostonians have never been afraid to stand up for their freedoms,” Palin said. “Shoot, look at what Massachusetts did in January. You shook up the U.S. Senate.”
She called for taxes to be cut so families can “keep more” of what they earn. She tossed in a call for “drill, baby drill” and to stop America from “bowing to Saudis.”
It was a speech aimed directly at the Democrats and it was the fuel that pumped up the Tea Party Express crowd.
The turnout – clearly well in the thousands – went beyond expectations, Tea Party organizers said. The crowd filled the Common to hear Palin who took the stage before 11 this morning.
Palin took to the stage to pound away at “Obamacare” and the borrowing that will tax future generations, she said.
“The first test will be at the ballot box in November,” she said, calling on Tea Partiers to get out the vote.
Almost everyone said they came today to catch a glimpse of the conservative shooting star, but she’s not the only draw.
Gold Star Mother Debbie Lee told the story of her son, Mark, who was killed2 in Iraq. She broke down in tears to remember a boy she lost to war who stood in the line of fire to save his squad.
“He did that for each and every one of you today,” she said of her son’s death. “We’ve got political insurgents in Washington, D.C. And will you have the same response my son did? ‘Roger that. Let’s go get ‘em.”’
The rally, which kicked off before 10 a.m. and will last until about 1 p.m., has made the corner of Charles and Beacon the epicenter of the Tea Party movement today.
“This may be our only opportunity to see her live on the East coast,” said Dennis McHale, a police sergeant who worked a night shift on Long Island and then hit the road to the Hub.
John Philip Souza IV was the first speaker to take to the podium, where he railed against big government. “From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for the restoration of smaller government,” he ended his speech with.
It’s still Palin who is the big draw.
“She’s a political up-and-comer and I’m excited to see her,” said Franklin High senior Taylor Trenchard.
“It’s a great experience. I want to see Sarah Palin speak,” said Nick Melfi, 18, also from Franklin High. He came along with others in his AP government class to witness democracy in action.
Historian and Plymouth preacher Paul Jehle said the Tea Party picked the perfect location to hold an anti-tax, anti-big government rally.
“There’s a hunger here to return to liberty and constitutional law – and that’s a good thing,” said Jehle, who is dressed as a Minuteman as he works the crowd.
“In 1773, Boston voted against paying a 3 cent tea tax. It was lawful resistance to an unjust tax,” Jehle said, adding he hopes the Tea Party movement can cling to those ideals.
Protesters also milled around the packed Boston Common, including Theresa Pope, 49, who dressed up as Alice from Alice in Wonderland.
“This is all madness, so we’re going mad a little ourselves,” said Pope, of Jamaica Plain.
Another protester, who would only give his first name Peter, said police kicked him out of the area.
“This is what these people talk about, freedom of speech, but when I practice it they don’t want to hear it,” he said.