“Run, Sarah, run” were the words that could be heard coming from the crowd in Indianola, last Saturday, Sept. 3.
Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin spoke at a Tea Party rally to a generally positive audience that included several Northwestern students. If people don’t remember her from the election three years ago, they may recognize her from the satire of Saturday Night Live or the notable amount of criticism she has received from the media.
“She has done very well considering all the criticism she has taken,” said junior attendee Hannah Biernacki.
Some at the rally expected Palin to announce her candidacy for the 2012 election and were surprised when she did not. While Palin did not announce whether she is going to run, there is still time for her to enter the race. Some speculate that she will announce her campaign in the near future.
Junior Kati Heng also attended the convention and was surprised and disappointed by Palin’s lack of political involvement in the current campaign.
“We thought Palin was going to announce something, but she didn’t announce anything,” Heng said. “There was this moment when she stopped talking and people were cheering
just went on with her speech. It was kind of disappointing. We thought she would at least endorse a candidate.”
Many people are confused about what the Tea Party actually is, but after attending the rally, junior Andrea Hallberg said she now has a better understanding of this political group.
“It is the most conservative of conservatives,” she said.
Palin spoke about the nation’s recent problems and her suggested solutions, including her plan to solve the budget crisis and get the country back on its feet after the national credit rating was downgraded. Palin claimed that the United States has natural resources and does not need to go overseas for oil. She promises that “this will bring real job growth” to the United States.
Palin also addressed the fact that there was no percentage increase in the job market this past month and referred to Obama’s campaign slogan in 2008 when she said “that hopey-changey stuff didn’t create one job in August, did it?”
Other speakers joined in the criticizing of Obama and the Democrats, both directly and indirectly.
“Something that was surprising to me was the rhetoric speakers at the rally were using. Every time President Obama was mentioned, they called him Barack Hussein Obama, with emphasis on the Hussein,” Heng said. “The worst part was a comedian who started making jokes about kids with special needs. He said that Palin was so pro-life that she would not abort a baby even if she learned that the child had as defective of brains as Nancy Pelosi.”
Also interesting was the unique dress and demeanor of many in attendance. From USA themed fold-up chairs to T-shirts touting the Tea Party’s adopted slogan “Don’t Tread on Me,” the group from NW stood out a bit more than the rest.
“The crowd was a lot different than I expected,” Heng said. “I was dressed in nice clothes, but a lot of people were wearing cowboy hats, T-shirts and cowboy boots. It was weird.”
Palin suggested that even if Americans don’t want to replace Obama, a change is necessary. The cheers of the crowd made it clear that many of those in attendance agreed. Despite critisisms the Tea Party has faced over the past several years, their enthusiam remains.
“I think it is very cool that a group of people are willing to come together and rally for something they believe in,” Hallberg said.