Sarah Palin does have a point. The “lamestream media” tends to paint people with a single, cliched brush and then continue to paint them with the same brush again and again.
It’s even harder once you’ve been parodied on Saturday Night Live, I’m sure.
So I went to the Palin4Ward rally this morning at Qwest Arena on the Grove, expecting the flesh and blood Palin to be at least a few degrees less a caricature than portrayed on TV.
But Palin is Palin, even up close, as you can see from the photo below. Classic Palin.
The speech—a stump speech and fundraiser for First Congressional District candidate Vaugh Ward—contained a series of clichés about the military and public service and liberals that Palin repeated in a loose spin cycle.
Even the guy who introduced the guy who introduced the guy who introduced Palin agreed that Palin is as Palin does.
“She is exactly like you would think she would be,” said District 10 Sen. John McGee, who warmed up the Vaughn Ward faithful prior to the speech. “She’s very folksy and down to earth.”
McGee means that as a compliment. But I was a bit offended when Palin said that Idahoans are just average Americans. Where are the above-average Americans?
McGee and his wife are expecting their second baby in a few months, and all Sarah and Todd Palin wanted to hear about was the pregnancy and when the baby was due, McGee said.
There were two interesting moments during the Palin speech. At one point she asked if there were any “Tea Party-Americans” in the house and got near-universal cheers. While local Tea Party groups have endorsed Ward opponent Raul Labrador, and the same national Tea Party group that Palin has rubbed elbows with gave its blessing to Rep. Walt Minnick, Palin came to town today to steal headlines for Ward.
But the interesting thing is this new (to me) usage of “Tea Party-American.” I can’t help but think the hyphen is in opposition to “African-American” or “Asian-American.” But maybe I’m still being lamestream or conspiratorial?
The second interesting part was when Palin brought up Minnick, by name, blessing his heart and saying: “Walt, it’s who you’re hanging with, man.”
Should Ward win the nomination on Tuesday, this might be Ward’s approach to taking on Minnick in the General Election: No complaints, you’re just the wrong party … which is not a very Tea Partyish strategy, by the way.
At the rally, a parallel drama was taking place behind the media cordon.
Reporters were escorted to a cordoned off area and asked to stay put during the show. I was even escorted to the little boy’s room to take a leak at one point (“freedom” only goes so far, after all). But at the press table, along with the usual crew, were Rev. Anthony Harper Ph.D. (publisher of Intermountain Christian News) and Idaho Conservative Blogger, whose name I have not yet discovered.
ICB lamented the fact that reporters continued to work through the Pledge and the Christian prayer that was offered and also heralded Palin's speech. ICB does not understand the concept of dispassionate observation nor does he gather that many of Americans are not partial to certain types of prayer, including the jingoistic one offered this morning.
Meanwhile, Palin had a lengthy segment of her speech (I think it was repeated at least twice) in which she slammed reporters, using her communications degree from U of I as cred. She referred to the lamestream media several times as well.
At the end of the speech I jumped the cordon to shoot some pictures and tried to get close enough to ask Sarah Palin a question. I wanted to know who exactly she’s working for these days. But there was no way to get a question in—the Sarah Palin stump is a one-way affair.
And that’s lamestream.