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Archive for February 25th, 2011

PALIN FLASHBACK: Palin center of attention at big GOP dinner

Posted by Sarah Palin Web Brigade on February 25, 2011

Peter Hamby at CNN reported on the National Republican Congressional Committee fundraiser at which Governor Palin made a last-minute appearance and stole the show.

Palin center of attention at big GOP dinner

updated 10:31 a.m. EDT, Tue June 9, 2009

From Peter Hamby

CNN

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Newt Gingrich was the keynote speaker at Monday night’s fundraising dinner for the Senate and House Republican campaign committees, but it was Sarah Palin who stole the show.

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin waves to the crowd at the Republican fundraising dinner Monday in Washington.

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin waves to the crowd at the Republican fundraising dinner Monday in Washington.

 The Alaska governor’s last-minute appearance at the GOP’s biggest fundraiser of the year ended 24 hours of speculation that the she might skip the event. A late attempt to have her speak at the dinner fell through when organizers feared she might upstage Gingrich, the onetime House speaker.

Hours before the event was slated to begin, an aide to Palin would not confirm that she would be attending. But when Palin and her husband, Todd, sauntered across the stage with Gingrich and his wife, Callista, shortly before the program commenced, their appearance was met with cheers from the audience of 2,000 party loyalists.

Sen. John McCain, who shared last year’s Republican presidential ticket with Palin, greeted his former running mate as she made her way to her table. Soon after, the former GOP presidential nominee tweeted: “Great to see Sarah and Todd at the dinner tonight — nice reunion!”

Palin did not speak at the event, but during a break in the program for dinner, Republicans clustered around the former vice presidential nominee’s table near the front of the ballroom, eager to meet the governor and pose for pictures.

 Video Watch CNN’s Candy Crowley report on the big evening »

It was the only table in the vast ballroom that had a crowd gathered around it — and despite their distance from Palin’s table, multiple television cameras kept their lenses trained on the governor for much of the night.

The guest list included 33 Republican senators and Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele. Sen. John Cornyn, who as chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee helped organize the dinner, sat with Palin and her husband during the event.

Cornyn briefly acknowledged Palin when he appeared on stage to thank his Republican colleagues for their work on behalf of the party.

“Thank you for being here with us tonight,” Cornyn told her. “Thank you for your leadership, we appreciate it every much.”

Gingrich, the event headliner, also thanked Palin for attending. He said “this country would be amazingly better off” had McCain and Palin been elected.

In a lengthy speech that touched on topics ranging from health care to border security, Gingrich railed against the Obama administration’s “disastrous” approach to federal spending and national security policy. He acknowledged the intra-party squabbles that have roiled the Republican party since last year’s election, but he said such debates are to be expected and will never really disappear.

“I am happy that Dick Cheney is a Republican,” he said. “I am also happy that Colin Powell is a Republican. A majority Republican Party will have lots of debates within the party. That is the nature of majorities.”

Gingrich held up Cheney, the former vice president, as an expert voice on national security, and he called the White House’s decision to engage Cheney on the national security issues “the first big mistake” of Obama’s presidency.

Pointing to last month’s dueling national security speeches from Obama and Cheney, Gingrich said that Cheney laid out facts, while Obama resorted to little more than high-minded oratory. Gingrich said that like Reagan, Obama has brilliant rhetorical skills — but unlike Reagan, he said, Obama “uses his rhetorical skills to hide from fundamental facts.”

 Video Watch Gingrich speak at dinner »

The dinner raised $14.45 million for congressional Republicans, money that will be split evenly between the Senate and House campaign committees as they seek to win back majorities in next year’s midterm elections.

In its most recent financial disclosure, the National Republican Congressional Committee reported $3.69 million in the bank and $5 million in debt. The NRSC, meanwhile, entered May debt-free and reported $2.69 million in its campaign war chest.

Actor Jon Voight, an outspoken conservative who stars in the popular television series “24,” emceed the event. In his opening comments, Voight blasted President Obama as “a false prophet” and “a soft-spoken Caesar” who bullies Israel and employed pleasant-sounding language to dupe the country into voting for him last November.
 

“Ayers, Wright, Pfleger, Alinsky,” he said, listing some of the liberal figures who became flash points in the 2008 race. “It didn’t matter one iota. Obama portrayed himself as a moderate, but turned out to be wildly radical.”

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Sarah Palin: Girly men don’t ride the Iron Dog!

Posted by Gary P Jackson on February 25, 2011

Photo: Sarah Palin shot some video with her cell phone of husband Todd Palin’s sled repair efforts at the 2011 Iron Dog. (Tim Akimoff – KTUU / February 23, 2011)

By Gary P Jackson

As you know, the 2011 Iron Dog is underway. KTUU spoke with Sarah Palin about the Iron Dog, and Todd’s attemptb to win his 5th championship.

NOME, Alaska —

Iron Dog racers spend countless hours preparing for and riding in the 2,000-mile snowmachine race — the world’s longest. It’s also hard on their wives, but for former Alaska Gov. and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin it’s part of the routine.

It’s stay out of the way,” Palin said as her husband Todd Palin and his Iron Dog teammate, Eric Quam, worked on their sleds on a blustery Wednesday night in Nome. “Those who are closest to these guys know what they need to do.

Spousal support at the Iron Dog is more than just a happy wife cheering her husband on from the sidelines. At the Iron Dog, a race from Anchorage to Fairbanks with a stop in Nome, where average speeds can approach 80 mph on ice-covered rivers in Alaska’s remote Interior, spousal support means trekking to Nome for the halfway festivities — sometimes with snowmachine parts in hand.

A half-dozen race wives were on hand when racer Marc McKenna, half of the first two-person team to make it to Nome — earning $10,000 in gold — told reporters to give him a minute so he could give his daughter a kiss and hug as he got off his sled.

It’s a big family tradition,” Palin said, holding her cell phone to shoot some video of her husband working on Quam’s sled. “The whole family will road-trip up to Fairbanks for the finish.”

The realities of the race are year-round, according to Palin, who says Todd spends thousands of hours on mechanical preparations in the spring and summer, and thousands more getting his body used to the rigors of riding in preparation for the race that he started competing in 18 years ago.

It’s their thing,” Palin said. “They’re in their element out there.”

Their element is often brutally cold, and dependent on whatever Mother Nature’s whim happens to be year to year. Last year she was frugal with the snow, and there were long sections of muddy trail to navigate. This year there’s more than enough snow, and riders are plowing through with no real certainty of where the trail is.

It’s takes a different breed of cat to be out there in this,” Palin said.

Whatever it takes, the Iron Dog certainly attracts people with a penchant for overcoming tough situations.

They’re out there and it’s 70 below sometimes, pitch black and they’re on a frozen river fixing a sled,” Palin said. “But these guys can do that.

Todd Palin and Quam, currently in third place, finished their sled repairs and moved on to help Todd’s former race partner Scott Davis, who is riding with his son Cory Davis this year.

I look at the life lessons in this race,” Sarah Palin said. “They will do anything to help each other out, but they have an extremely healthy competition with each other.”

The city shop in Nome, with dozens of snowmachines parked inside, seemed to amplify her words as race competitors handed each other wrenches and made repair suggestions.

When they finish the race, it takes only a week before they’re on the phone to each other talking about next year’s race.” Palin said.

The men of the 2011 Iron Dog wore the dust and grease of the Nome city shop on their shirts and had bloody knuckles to show from all the wrenching going on Wednesday night, and yet this part is easy in comparison with the rest of the race.

I think these guys are the toughest men on the planet,” Palin said. “Girly men don’t ride the Iron Dog.

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