A lot of enthusiasm accompanied the Minnesota GOP Rally as Sarah Palin campaigned on behalf of Representative Michele Bachmann on Wednesday. That evening, Governor Palin hosted a private fundraiser for Bachmann.
Matthew Continetti at the Weekly Standard reported:
Michele Bachmann’s rally with Sarah Palin at the Minneapolis convention center yesterday was a sight to see. Politico estimates that up to 11,000 people may have attended. Bachmann and Palin know how to work a crowd. Their message was that only Republican victories in 2010 and 2012 can undo the damage Obama and the Democratic majorities have done to the American economy and American security. Judging by the raucous applause, the audience agreed with them.
Pat Dollard wrote:
While Minnesota GOP Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.) opened for Palin and Bachmann, both quickly faded into the background, unable to compete with their wattage.
The governor and congresswoman were welcomed to the stage by an announcer who boomed: “Freedom loving Minnesotans, please welcome Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.”
The pair walked in together in front of a shrieking crowd that nearly drowned out the blaring country music—the Martina McBride anthem, “This one’s for the girls.”
In a reference to the crowd’s energy, Bachmann, who spoke first, exclaimed, “Take that liberals!”
When Palin took the stage, she drew several parallels between herself and Bachmann.
“Michele and I, we both have a lot to fight for,” Palin said, pointing out that they are both mothers to five children.
“There are a lot of conservative women like Michele who are standing up and speaking out for common sense conservative solutions,” Palin said. “2010 is shaping up to be the year that conservative women take over…and Michele is leading the stampede.”
Palin credited Bachmann with “leading the charge” to repeal health care reform and warmly recalled the first time the two met.
“I knew we would be buddies when I met her [in Alaska] and she said that we should ‘drill here, drill now.’ And I replied, ‘Drill, baby, drill.’ And we both said, ‘You betcha,’” said Palin, who also noted the similar accent and background the two women share.
“It is really good to be here in the land of 10,000 lakes with patriots who love their county,” said Palin, the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee, before chiding Obama. “Some of you are proudly clinging to your guns and religion.”
“Minnesota, you are awesome. You just rock,” Palin said in closing. “Thank you for sending Michele Bachmann back to the United States Congress.”
Patricia Murphy at Politics Daily noted these elements of the new feminism present at the rally and represented by both Palin and Bachmann:
“In politics, if you want something said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman,” Palin joked to the delight of the crowd, quoting Margaret Thatcher. “My own mantra is that behind every good, productive man stands a very surprised woman.”
Although Palin told her fans she was “just joshin’ about that gender thing,” the visual image of Palin and Bachmann commanding the stage as headliners of the event, rather than bit players, was striking. That they were flanked by women as they spoke as superstars of a political movement would have been the dream of any 1960s feminist.
But along with their super-sized political influence, Palin and Bachmann are both prolific mothers (they have five children each) and pro-life activists. Bachmann has been a foster parent to 23 children with her husband and Palin was outspoken in her choice not to end her pregnancy upon learning that her fifth child would have Down syndrome.
Those are qualities that make the women positively anti-feminist for old-school activists, but it’s also what conservative women say they’ve been missing for years in their search for their own Hillary Clinton. “No matter how you look at it, it is just good to have strong, positive female role models in political life,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, chair of the conservative Susan B. Anthony List. “For only one model to have been represented, basically cutting out half of the female population in terms of mentorship, can never be a good thing.”
As Palin finished her stump speech for Bachmann, she made a prediction about the 2010 election cycle. “There are a lot of conservative women like Michele who are standing up and speaking out for common sense conservative solutions and they’re ready to take their country back,” she said. “2010 is shaping up to be the year that conservative women get together to take back this country and Michele is leading the stampede.”