Saturday, June 6, 2009
Another day spent in Auburn, NY with the governor of the great state of Alaska, Sarah Palin. Kristina and I showed up to City Hall about 3 hours early. Kristina is the Buffalo, NY Organizer for the 2012 Draft Sarah Committee. She and I stayed in Auburn last night and made our way out to Founder's Day early this morning. We were treated like royalty as we worked the crowd before the parade. As representatives of the Committee, we handed out business cards, bumper stickers, and buttons. People were really fired up and so excited to know this official organization exists. I wish we had a truckload of items to hand out because we had to start turning people away. It was the most amazing thing. I felt like I got a tiny taste of what Sarah's life must be like--so many people wanting your attention, thanking you for working so hard, smiling at you. Interesting...Kristina and I continued to talk about Sarah, telling people how to get involved, and doing the grassroots work that must be done if we are going to get Sarah to run in 2012. (By the way, I am more convinced now than ever that she is running--just my sense.)
We had our official Committee banner and held it at the front of the crowd estimated at about 20,000. The podium was set up on the steps in front of City Hall, and Sarah noticed us and the banner. She recognized us from yesterday, and I'm sure was glad to see the banner that mirrors the business card she received yesterday. She tapped Todd, pointed to the banner, and then smiled. Up higher on the steps was the governor's right hand "man," as Sarah calls her. I will forever be indebted to Meg, for she was the reason I had access to the invitation-only event yesterday where I first met Sarah. Meg was with Sarah's daughter, Willow, Sarah's sister, Heather, and Heather's son, Karcher. Willow pointed out the banner, and they smiled. It was so cool! You'll see from the pictures that the banner is perfect. You can thank Randy Highsmith, Chairman of the Committee for a banner that so perfectly sums up Sarah: "A New Energy for America." That is particularly appropriate for two reasons: 1) Sarah really is so full of energy and 2) She is a passionate supporter of energy independence, and she is an expert on energy, which is so essential since Alaska is rich in untapped energy for America. Constantly, Sarah is speaking up to say that government needs to remove the chains and allow America to tap into this energy, rather than having us rely on foreign sources of energy. Energy is her "baby," as she says.
Her remarks were wonderful, and she looked great. The day was relatively calm, but when Sarah arrived at City Hall, the wind began to pick up. The woman behind me said, "That's the wind of the Spirit!" It was so funny, and I had to laugh. It's true that she brings that kind of wind. A man said, "Is it the North Wind?"
After City Hall, Kristina and I changed clothes and headed to the reception at the Seward House. We were front and center. Sarah was "right there." She came out, sat down, and pointed to Kristina and waved, and Kristina waved back--beaming.
During speeches at both City Hall and the Seward House, Sarah spoke passionately and well, unafraid of telling it like it is. She amazes me because she will call out the policies of the current adminstration without fear. As Barry Goldwater, Jr. said the other day, "She takes no crap." She made comments about the rich heritage of Auburn, its connection to Alaska, the 65th anniversary of D-Day. She pointed out a mother in the crowd she had just met who had lost her son in war. The woman began to weep, and Sarah was visibly moved, no doubt because she herself has a son in Iraq. She talked about America needing true reform before it becomes unrecognizable, defended her decision not to accept energy-related federal stimulus funds that had ropes attached to them (She said she has abandoned calling them "strings"), and blasted big government. She said that although America has not been perfect, it really does not need someone apologizing repeatedly for it. Ouch!!! She received thunderous applause often as she spoke, and one such time was when she mentioned that yes, we do need to cling to some things, among which are our 2nd Amendment rights and our faith in God. She added to the last part, "In God we still trust." This, of course, was a response to Obama's comment that bitter people cling to their guns and religion."
She praised the people who are a part of Auburn's history, like William Seward, and Harriet Tubman, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and her own Meg Stapleton. Once yesterday and twice today she shared with us what she told Willow upon explaining to her the powerful people who came out of Auburn: "There must be something in the water here. Drink a whole lot of it!" Both days she also joked about the fact that, no doubt, Seward realized that one really could see Russia from Alaska!
Seriously, as she dealt with the hard issues of America, she powerfully indicated that there are those who would want her to sit down and shut up rather than calling the powers that be out on policies that are a threat to America, but she quickly added that she will not be silenced! I cannot do justice to either speech, particularly her speech at the Seward House reception, so do a search on Youtube and see for yourself.
She is the type of speaker that commands attention. You just want to keep listening. She is so knowledgable, yet so common sense. She's so confident, yet so down-to-earth. I stood there listening and thinking, "This woman can be president. She has what it takes." It also pained me that the media has done so much to try to discredit her, and I will say this: If the media's work at making people think Sarah Palin is unqualified to lead the nation succeeds, it will have done more than rob one woman of an opportunity to rise to the highest office in the land. If only it were that simple. No, it will have done incredible harm to the United States of America, and I mean that. America needs Sarah Palin, a woman who values faith and freedom, can distinguish between the government's role and a person's own responsibility--a woman who knows how to connect to the crowd in a way that cannot be fully explained. It's something because, as I told Kristina today, Sarah Palin is the hockey mom, the next door neighbor, the average ordinary person on one hand, but on the other hand, she's anything but average and ordinary. She just stands out, and though you sense it via television, you really get it in person.
When she came down to be with the people after the Seward House speech, she made a comment to Kristina about the banner from earlier and took a picture with her. She spoke to me, with a friendliness born out of remembering our conversation yesterday, and hugged me immediately and said, "Thank you for all your hard work." She, of course, was speaking of the work for the 2012 Draft Sarah Committee. The fact that she acknowledged it says tons to me! I'll let you figure out what it says! When Todd came to me, he said, "Enjoy your trip up," meaning my trip in about 3 weeks to Alaska. Little does he know that he'll see me again tomorrow at the Walk for Autism, which Kristina and I registered for!
I took loads of pictures, and again the ones of me are HORRIBLE. After standing out in the heat of the parade, enduring the wind that showed up when Sarah did, and then rushing to change for the reception, my hair was melted, my make up was gone, and I really looked like I had hardly any sleep in two days--which is indeed the case. To make matters worse, I'm standing next to the most photogenic person alive, and that only makes me look worse! But I'll swallow my pride--yet again--and put even those horrible pictures here! Enjoy...