Palin pumps up Iowa party

Palin pumps up Iowa party
• • September 18, 2010

Sarah Palin offered a full-throated call to arms for
angry and out-of-power Republicans on Friday in
front of an audience of some of the nation’s most
influential party activists as the headliner for a sold-
out Iowa GOP fundraiser in Des Moines.

But the former Alaska governor only winked at the
significance of her appearance in the state where the
campaigns for the leadoff presidential caucuses are
expected to crank up in a matter of months.

Palin joked after taking the stage at Hy-Vee Hall that
her husband, Todd, urged her to work out inside
after they arrived in Des Moines on Friday.

“Todd says, ‘I guarantee, if anyone spots you in
tennis shoes, the headline is going to be in Vanity
Fair. They’re going to say, “Palin in Iowa, decides to
run,” ‘ ” Palin said.

Later, Palin batted away the buzz that confronted her
in Iowa, urging the roughly 1,500 guests to focus
on the election that’s now less than seven weeks

“We can’t wait until 2012 to get our country back on
the right track,” she said. “We need to start now by
electing strong Republican leaders who aren’t afraid
to shake it up.”

Palin mixed folksy, informal asides with quotes from
American icons Mark Twain, Thomas Paine and
Ronald Reagan, the dinner’s namesake, during her
33-minute speech.

It was her first solo political appearance in Iowa
since campaigning in the state two years ago as the
2008 Republican nominee for vice president. And it
marked the biggest Ronald Reagan Dinner in the
event’s nine-year history.

Although she has given no indication of whether
she will seek the 2012 nomination for president,
about 50 news organizations, including national
newspapers and international television affiliates,
were there to document her speech.

Palin, who has been the subject of some sharp-
edged coverage during the 2008 campaign and

since, gave a four-minute dressing-down of what
she called the “lame-stream media.”

“We have to hold the press accountable when we
know they are making things up and telling
untruths,” she said.

Palin mostly went after the Democratic majorities in
Congress and President Barack Obama.

She called the health care bill signed by Obama in
March “the mother of all unfunded mandates.”

Palin also criticized Obama for employing a troop-
surge strategy in Afghanistan, like the surge
undertaken by former President George W. Bush,
without admitting that it succeeded in Iraq.

Palin drew her biggest applause when she
repeatedly railed on Republicans to reject the
Democratic agenda as overreaching.

“We’ve been through the dark days secure in the
knowledge that our cause is great, our goal is true,”
she said. “We don’t need to fundamentally transform
America. We need to restore America.”

The line prompted one of her loudest ovations.

The chairwoman of the Iowa Democratic Party, Sue
Dvorsky, took a dim view of the policies Palin

“Sarah Palin has consistently supported extreme
Republican policies, along with Terry Branstad and
Chuck Grassley,” Dvorsky said, referring to Iowa’s