James Pethokoukis

Politics and policy from inside Washington

Palin in Madison: Veni, Vidi, Vici

April 16, 2011

Sarah Palin rides to the sound of the guns. It was a chilly, wet and blustery afternoon in Madison, Wisconsin — one more appropriate for a late-season Packers game than a springtime political rally. The stirring NFL Films theme,  “The Classic Battle,” would’ve been a more apt musical choice than Van Halen’s “Right Now” to accompany Palin as she entered the stage outside the state capital building to address thousands of Tea Party members, along with a good number of extremely hostile, expletive-hurling government union rowdies.

palin

In the last few months, political professionals and insiders have been writing off the former Alaska governor and 2008 vice presidential candidate, convinced she won’t run for the GOP nomination in 2012 or ever. Then again, even those GOPers who are running can hardly compete with the MSM’s weird, all-consuming fascination with The Donald.

But all it took was one powerful, pugnacious and presidential speech — just 15 minutes long — for Palin to again make herself completely relevant to the current political and policy battles raging across America.

She waded forcefully into the state’s white-hot battle over government union power, giving her full-throated support to Gov. Scott Walker: “These are the front lines in the battle of the future for our country. A pension is a promise that must be kept. Scott Walker understands this. He understands that states must be solvent to keep their promises. He’s not trying to hurt union members. Hey folks, he’s trying to save your jobs.”

Then, perfectly capturing the real-time mood of the conservative grassroots, Palin scorched the ever-shrinking budget deal negotiated by congressional Republicans. “We didn’t elect you just to rearrange the deck chairs on a sinking Titanic. What we need from you, GOP, is to fight.” She then urged Washington Republicans to take a page from the national champion University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team and “learn how to fight like a girl.”

Finally, it was President Barack Obama’s turn. She defended, to great cheering, Wisconsin’s own Paul Ryan from the president’s blindside attack on his bold budget plan. Palin contrasted it with Obama’s 2009 stimulus plan, describing it as a “trillion-dollar travesty.” She mocked his latest economic proposals as naive bets on “really fast trains and solar shingles.” The clincher: “Our president isn’t leading; he’s punting on this debt crisis. Win the future? The only future he wants to win is his re-election.”

That line about fighting like a girl, as well as her “Game on!” declaration will surely reignite speculation about presidential plans. And understandably so. Frontrunner Mitt Romney continues to fashion and refashion a saleable explanation for his Obamacare-esque Massachusetts health plan. And while Tim Pawlenty scored a coup with the hiring of hotshot campaign manager Nick Ayers, his embryonic candidacy is still a work in progress. There’s enough voter unease that another Mitch Daniels boomlet seems to be in progress.

Will she run? Even many of those close to Team Palin have no idea. Palin herself may not have made a decision and may not feel she needs to until the autumn. But as it stands, she arguably represents the purest expression out there of Tea Party passion and free-market populist rejection of Washington’s bipartisan crony capitalism. If she ran, her high-wattage appearance in Madison shows just how dangerous her candidacy would be to a field of solid but stolid opponents.

Here’s how John Nolte of Big Government put it:

If Sarah Palin’s not running for president, what a terrible waste that would be of the single best stump speech I’ve heard since, well, Palin’s ’08 convention speech, which just happened to be the single most electrifying political moment of my adult life. … On this day, Tea Party tax-day, Sarah Palin walked into the heart of this nation’s battle, stared down a gallery of Leftist union goons with poise and grace, and articulated our message as well as anyone ever could. Let’s hope this is just the beginning.

So MSM, keep obsessing over the shiny new Trump toy if you must. But better keep an eye on a certain sharpshooting, grizzly mama. She’s back.

Comments

She’s a natural on the stump. The GOP’s worst nightmare and best hope.

Posted by rufous | Report as abusive
 

Sarah Palin has no attitude or behaving or any intelligence or honesty necessary to be the president. White House and US Senate and House of Reps would be in danger from collapsing if anybody like Sarah Palin becomes the president. But no worries, she has no chance against Barack Obama.

Posted by Digest.Politics | Report as abusive
 

It amazes me to no end that you can get away with such fabrications under the banner of Reuters – who obviously does not vet their columnists or their news. The Tea Party rally at the Wisconsin Capitol today numbered in the 100′s, maybe 200-500, not 1000′s and was made to seem larger by a fence placed on the capitol lawn to coral the Tea Party and protect it’s speakers. There were however 1000′s of genuine Wisconsinites there to rally against Gov Walker and his Tea Party agenda. It was reported to be about 10:1 rallying against Walker. It was also discovered that Tea Party numbers were bolstered by busing in from Rockford IL and surmised to be funded by American’s for Prosperity funded by the Koch brothers. James Pethokousis is another faux news shill of the Tea Party. Reuters reputation is further tarnished.

Posted by d0j0 | Report as abusive
 

d0j0 genuine Wiconsinites have TWICE rejected the left in WI, once on Nov 2nd, and again by re-electing Judge Prosser in a landslide (what, you say 7300 votes isn’t a landslide? But your side claimed 200 votes was a landslide when you mistakenly thought you won) despite the best efforts of the unions, DNC and even George Soros. So the bottom line is that whatever the number of Tea party members present, they still represent the majority of WI and the will of the people, the unions days of power and money laundering for the Democrat Party are fast coming to a close, and about time too!

Posted by R.Patel | Report as abusive
 

I don’t think this this blogger has read Reuters Handbook of Journalism http://handbook.reuters.com/index.php/Ma in_Page.

“Everything we do as Reuters journalists has to be independent, free from bias and executed with the utmost integrity. These are our core values and stem from the Reuters Trust Principles.”

I don’t think calling government employees “extremely hostile, expletive-hurling government union rowdies” is going to win you any journalism awards either.

Posted by colinhobby | Report as abusive
 

Un Frickin’ Believable. Were you there? There were maybe 500 Tea Partiers there (all from out of state using Wisconsin–USING Wisconsi– to spread her propaganda, which has nothing to do with Wisconsin. The thousands that were there were Wisconsinites protesting Palin and rallying to defend their state.

You should be ashamed. You wonder why the middle class is starting to rise up. Well this is why. We are sick to death with the media filled with lies.

Posted by LarryW2012 | Report as abusive
 

Hahaha, dOjO and Digest Politics, you crack me up! And especially you, DoJo. Did you hear the results of the election? Your leftist judge candidate LOST. By over 7000 vote. Sorry, but MOST people in Wisconsin support Walker. MOST people in Wisconsin have common sense.

Here, read this: http://ow.ly/4BRFn The grownups are in charge in Madison again, thank God.

Posted by PatriotMom | Report as abusive
 

@d0j0: let’s see…absurd warping of numbers..check. “koch bros”…check. “faux news”…check.
you only forgot to blame bush and mention how awesome barack is…then you would have all your parroted lib talking points in order. sheesh. you guys need to change the record..your needle is stuck in the groove.

Posted by cholewa | Report as abusive
 

d0j0, my advice to you is to battle in the field of ideas; the truth of things like crowd size is too readily available. When you resort to lies and impugning the integrity of left leaning news agencies, the desperation becomes abundantly apparent and you seem small, petty and ridiculous. In short, strategic lying fails as a plan of battle.

Posted by zoobird | Report as abusive
 

“… bolstered by busing in from Rockford, IL…”

Is this for real? Nobody is THAT clueless!

Rockford is where the Democrats fled so the legislature wouldn’t have a quorum. The only people needing to be bused in from Rockford would be Democratic Wisconsin state legislators.

Posted by Nolanimrod | Report as abusive
 

Methinks I detect a whiff of sockpuppet in the comments….

Posted by CTwelve | Report as abusive
 

“I don’t think calling government employees “extremely hostile, expletive-hurling government union rowdies” is going to win you any journalism awards either.”

colinhobby yes you are correct, James left out the sexual harassment they were throwing at Palin using all too common terms for female anatomy alongside their oh so witty ‘Koch Suckers’ rant as well as numerous middle finger salutes…Indeed journalism should be about the truth and so James should have described more acurately just what the bused in union agitators were doing.

Posted by R.Patel | Report as abusive
 

The reason non-union American workers are siding with the Unions is because we have seen our wages decline while CEOs are making record amounts and paying 15% capital gains on their stock options that are given out like candy. We side with unions because we wish we belonged to one ourselves.

Posted by Dr.Stark | Report as abusive
 

Sarah is a political force of nature. She is ineluctable (look it up, mouth-breathing knuckle-draggers).

When she announces her campaign for the presidency, the force of that political shockwave will reverberate across this nation like a 6,000 megaton nuclear blast, sending all those ill-advised enough to deign to stand against her scurrying for the dark holes they came from seeking shelter from her scorching heat.

She is the truth— the searing, purifying, cauterizing light of truth. None who deceive and dissemble and denigrate will be spared the lethal barbs of her wrath, for it is the wrath of a decent people too long held down by the jackboots of a government which routinely overeaches its constitutional authority, and of the the feet-for-hire of union thugs whose only goal is to keep that bastard government in their bought-and-paid-for seats of illegitimately usurped authority.

You who mock and criticize as though you even knew whereof you speak, your day in the sun is coming. Sarah’s sun. When she wins the White House, you will see a healing of this nation that will blot our the indignities you find so easily slipping your petulant, puerile, insincere lips.

God Bless America, and may God continue to bless and keep His angel and our “Joan of Arc,” Sarah Palin. The next President of The United States of America.

Sarah Palin 2012 ~ “Going Oval”

Posted by PlinyMerrick | Report as abusive
 

Brave heart Sarah comes to town and the union goons start crying and whining about people being bussed in and crowd number inflation — their two favorite tactics.

I love the smell of fear in the morning.

Posted by Clear50 | Report as abusive
 

PlinyMerrick:

An accurate and inspirational comment, beautifully written.

Keep fighting the good fight, amigo. There are more of us out there than they can possibly imagine.

Posted by Clear50 | Report as abusive
 

The strategic lying that is going on is from the top of the conservative ideological puppeteers and pumped with mega-bucks through the network of conservative front groups built up over the last 30 years. The AFP buses were marked as from Rockford. ….and the landslide for conservative activist Supreme Court Judge Prosser is under investigation for election fraud in a county that has a history of election ‘irregularities’ and whose County Clerk has defied requests to clean up the handling of election results – one who was initially hired by Prosser and was a computer programmer for the GOP. Wisconsinites did indeed elect Gov Walker and polls show a great majority of those voters are very unhappy with their choice. They and many across the country were deceived by conservative populist rhetoric that is carefully crafted to make the average person think that government is the problem when the bigger problem is unchecked corporate greed driven agendas. Even the fabrication of the Tea Party as a populist movement was strategically cooked up by the wealthy elite to co opt the frustrations of the American People and direct them towards the government instead of the mega corporations. The real original Tea Party was an act of defiance against a monopolistic corporation, The East India Company. We have one of the best governments in world when we keep the checks and balances in place so that it is ‘of the people, for the people, by the people’ but steadily over the last 3-4 decades strong well funded (by the wealthy elite) efforts have removed the checks and balances and we now have a plutocracy that only appears to be a democracy. Sure, there can be problems of all sorts with any large organization and our government can and should be constantly swept of waste and inefficiency and fraud but their is a much greater fraud being perpetrated against the American People by the most powerful and wealthy corporations and individuals. Some of this is simple due to allowing them too much freedom to pursue their goals without restriction or regulation. Corporations want profits of course and profits are good for the economy when the profits go back into the economy but profit seeking alone tends to ignore human values and the general well being of society. Regulations and restrictions are applied to keep the balance. The Old West comes to mind. Without regulations and restrictions the wealthy and powerful individuals and corporations become lawless bandits and robber barons. They have once again done that while we were just trying innocently pursue our eroded American Dream. While there has been and will be corruption in unions as in any organization, the union is simply a democratic tool to apply bargaining power against the robber barons. While I have never been in a union I have new appreciation of unions as an important and needed part of our democracy. Unions provide a way for people to lobby their interests and needs where their elected representatives are failing them – most often because the elected representatives are either in the pockets of the wealthy and corporations or are themselves unable to go up against entrenched power or corrupted process. I will trust unions any day more than corporations but I would still want to be vigilant against union corruption as well. It’s a very confusing time in our nation where corruption and lies are so rampant that even though 98% of us have the same goals and best interests we have been divided by the effective propaganda of the other 2%. We want to believe what we see and hear from our ‘trusted’ sources because few of us have time to research the facts while we are working two jobs and raising our families. But many of our trusted sources are corrupt or they are themselves not seeking the truth and are simply drinking from the well funded faucets of those who want to keep their wealth and power and want to keep us in our place with not enough education or time and need to keep us indebted in one way or another. Unchecked, the big corporations and wealthy elite are pushing us back towards becoming another 3rd world country where we are all struggling to be part of the cheap labor force while they plunder the natural resources of our land. They on the other hand can take their profits offshore and live in guaranteed luxury on private islands and super yachts and jet around between their mansions and villas. Think this is not true? The financial meltdown for us was quite profitable for that other 2% and most of them are completely insulated from financial worries. Here’s a worthy project. Take a break from believing whatever you believe for a while. Pick a topic of interest and don’t take anyone’s word but rather do a little research for your self. As you pursue the truth at each stage ask who is behind the information, who is promoting it or funding it and what are they gaining from it. Ask, how it affects your life and your community. Get out of your belief rut so you aren’t still limiting your self to what is possibly being fed to you in that rut. Ask your friends and neighbors what matters most to them and listen. Turn our county back into a democracy of the people by the people for the people. Not of the corporations by the corporations for the corporations. Corporations are not people. They are profit seeking machines that will roll right over you and your community if you do not determine the rules.

Posted by d0j0 | Report as abusive
 

@PlinyMerrick: Someone who is the truth would provide more facts and fewer non-factual statements.

Funnily enough, I think in the 2012 election she could be the GOP’s John Kerry: No real message other than that she is Not Barack Obama. I have yet to hear an actual platform statement from her, though it could just be that amidst all the untruths she has uttered, the incoherent chatter she uses to frame them may contain actual planks in her platform. If I had to hazard a guess, I’d say she favors basically handing over all authority to corporations and harvesting all our natural resources as quickly as possible.

In case anyone is wondering, I respectfully disagree. You can’t vote out a corporation once it gains power.

Posted by boomshadow | Report as abusive
 

GOD Bless Sarah Palin, GAME ON!

Posted by Sarah4POTUS | Report as abusive
 

GOD Bless Sarah Palin, GAME ON!

Posted by Sarah4POTUS | Report as abusive
 

God Bless Sarah Palin, God Bless America!

Posted by Sarah4POTUS | Report as abusive
 

Trumka in Madison: Widdle Winky Wavy.

Posted by BinkyNabob | Report as abusive
 

James, this is written like a man truly begging for a pegging.

Posted by joeyess | Report as abusive
 

Sarah Palin rides to the sound of the guns. It was a chilly, wet and blustery afternoon in Madison, Wisconsin — one more appropriate for a late-season Packers game than a springtime political rally. The stirring NFL Films theme, “The Classic Battle,” would’ve been a more apt musical choice than Van Halen’s “Right Now” to accompany Palin as she entered the stage outside the state capital building to address thousands of Tea Party members, along with a good number of extremely hostile, expletive-hurling government union rowdies.

Thousands of Teatards?? Really?

When did Reuters give license to it’s reporters and columnists to lie?

Good to know, though.

Posted by joeyess | Report as abusive
 

May God Bless us all. My reading of Christianity and the life and teachings of Christ would put those blessings upon the general welfare of the people and not on the side of the greedy and power hungry. Jesus would be overturning the tables of corporate money lenders. Many faithful believers are being led astray and that includes Sarah and most of the Tea Party. They do not realize they are being used against their own best interests and in some cases their own human weaknesses and greed are being used.

Posted by d0j0 | Report as abusive
 
 

@James Pethokoukis:
I find it interesting that you chose to ‘Veni, Vidi, Vici’ as a tagline for this article. Emperor Julius Caesar’s words “I came, I saw, I conquered”. Caesar sought to amass power thru populist tactics and after assuming control of government, he began extensive reforms of Roman society and government. He centralized the bureaucracy of the Republic and was eventually proclaimed “dictator in perpetuity”. He was later assassinated on the Ides of March with the hopes of restoring the constitutional government of the republic. – Wikipedia

Posted by d0j0 | Report as abusive
 

As noted before, Palin’s supporters were outnumbered 10 to 1, she had maybe 500 compared to 5,000 union folks. Her signs says it all AFP- Americans for Prosperity. Palin was shipped in by the Koch brothers, and embarrased by the result.

Posted by blockhead | Report as abusive
 

I love it: blockhead’s, joeyess’ and boomshadow’s Palin-fear and grasp-at-straws desperation is palpable.

As for boomshadow’s misguided observation that Palin has “No real message other than that she is Not Barack Obama.”

Even if that were true, which it isn’t, that’s all it will take to win in 2010, my friend. That’s all it will take.

As for d0j0′s long-winded and illogical pro-union rant, the less said of that, the better.

Posted by Clear50 | Report as abusive
 

“as she entered the stage outside the state capital building to address thousands of Tea Party members”

The statement above is a not true. There were not thousands of Tea Party members in attendance. From CBS News: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/04/1 6/politics/main20054601.shtml

“Hundreds of pro-union labor supporters are surrounding smaller groups of conservative Tea Party members attending a rally featuring former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.”

Facts would be nice.

Posted by marionetta | Report as abusive
 

Video of “Tea Party Rally Madison April 16th”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=en7Jw72XK yI

Strangely you can’t hear Sarah Palin speaking nor can any applause be heard.

James Pethokoukis needs to get himself a private room to deal with the Lowry Starbursts he’s experiencing. They appear to be clouding his perception of reality.

Posted by mypetgloat | Report as abusive
 

I must congratulate Pethkoukis for a well written Reuthers article that was in vogue before Karl Rove taught reporters to lie about Saddam Hussein and Barack Hussein Obama used before Axelrod perfected the craft of turning mainstream media into a limp-wrist media. Barack Hussein Obama is the face that launched a trillion debts for the US and an unwanted war against the Libyan people disguised as kinetic energy exercise. A thing of beauty is a joy forever, and the face of Sarah Palin has endured the the incessant attacks of journolists, those creatures creatures of dubious gender who want to replace our culture of life with their culture of death long buried with Sodom and Gomorrah. Sarah Palin is the only Republican to have openly defended the Donald Trump’s earnest search for truth so the greatest scam in the history of US politics may yet be uncovered when truth emerges in all its splendor. I trust that James Pethokoukis may be steadfast in his calling as authentic journalist in practicing true journalism and give the Donald Trump a hearing and win the eternal reward promised to every seeker of truth. James calls to mind the name of one of the two Boanerges brothers and Pethokoukis evokes the glory that was Greece. He is a writer and when he writes he has something to say. God bless you James! God bless America the Beautiful that best minds like you may yet succeed in saving from total eclipse.

Posted by anatolepushkin | Report as abusive
 

Sarah Palin is very beautiful. She is much fitted to lead America the Beautiful, a great nation of beautiful people with beautiful dreams and visions. She is also very courageous, which makes her even more beautiful.

Posted by anatolepushkin | Report as abusive
 

Wow, James. If this doesn’t cement your reputation as a shameless Americans For Prosperity pumper, nothing will.

Here’s Wisconsin cheering for mama grizzly–

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=en7Jw72XK yI

Posted by Yellow105 | Report as abusive
 

The progressives and liberal press did an excellent job of character assassination on Sarah before the last election. Her experience and accomplishments as Governor of Alaska were marginalized even in the face of NO RELEVANT EXPERIENCE in government for Obama. Unfortunately, Axelrod et al set a lasting negative impression that still haunts her and makes her unelectable. She still has an important mission as the premier grass roots conservative.

As the son of a labor organizer in the 1930s, I have an excellent understanding of the original labor movement. There is no place in the public sector for organized labor with the possible exception of safety and working conditions, but certainly not for salary and benefits. In the private sector,if a labor union’s demands and managements concessions are too costly the company will be priced out of their market and the company will go bankrupt (unless it’s GM!) No such market check exists for public unions. We are witnessing the result of 50+ years of politician’s subservience to public unions.

On another subject, it is interesting that the liberal response to those critical of large government is a blistering attack on “big business” as though the cure to all of our ills is something akin to European socialism. In case they haven’t noticed, Europe is swinging to the Right. Socialism doesn’t work!!!

Posted by Pilgrim1620 | Report as abusive
 

GOD Bless Sarah Palin, GAME ON!

Palin is the worst thing that has ever happened to the USA. since 911. There is no basis of fact in anything she says. Pro-Palin supporters just like the quick thoughts of this air head who quit her job as Governor of AK and is a loser. The disrespect of that action should have been enough to see her transparency and what she really represents, personal gain and nothing more than a Republican.

Posted by jack47 | Report as abusive
 

I hope she gets the Republicon nod, she certainly seems to be “winning.”

She has put foot in mouth more times than Charlie Sheen and has about the same level of charisma and leadership experience.

The Grizzly girl, A.K.A. Quitter from the Last Frontier, A.K.A. the one who uses crosshairs to target opponents, etc. is the perfect representative for the Republicon/Teabagger nation.

She best represents their goose-stepping ideology and is about on par with W. Bush in intelligence and ability to do harm.

She expanded the socialized model of Alaska’s oil profits and for that became popular, the rest is just fluff.

The real mystery is why she resigned.

Run Sarah, run.

Posted by NobleKin | Report as abusive
 

Honestly, this author has been auditioning for a fox news spot for quite awhile… Not sure why reutors continues to publish his nonsense.

Posted by fromthecenter | Report as abusive
 

Sarah Palin is an entertainer folks. She’s the political version of Lisa Lampanelli without the 4 letter words or bragging about the “black” boyfriend. She insults just about everybody. This is a stand up comedy routine. Not a serious candidate for POTUS.

Posted by xyz2055 | Report as abusive
 

If any of you think Sarah Palin could ever be the next president of the United States you are all more forgone than I could ever imagine. Don’t you get it? She is so freaking controversial no one besides die hards like yourselves will ever vote for that woman. Obama will win the next election hands down. He has a billion dollar war chest for it for Christ sake and the GOP is so splintered to hell right now that no one person let alone Palin could ever bring that party back together in time to win. For the sake of reason and learning though, please donate all your hard earned cash to her and see where it gets you.

Posted by Cranberries | Report as abusive
 

PethoKOOKis deserves Sarah Palin. Watching him on The McLaughlin Group is just as annoying as hearing the moronic verbal sensationalism out of Sarah’s Yukon yap. She has not got a chance in hell of being elected POTUS, and I am just dreading the whole 2012 election campaign because I will have to hear all of her obnoxious rants for the next year and a half. She is just a publicity hound like Trump with an inflated ego and a deflated brain. PethoKOOKis needs to stay off of PBS, as I am sure he is all in favor of cutting their funding “to help balance the budget”.

Posted by dogmatic | Report as abusive
 

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