Sarah Palin Delivers a Remarkable 2012 CPAC SpeechFebruary 17, 2012 No Comments
February 17, 2012 | MariaNews.com
Sarah Palin Delivers a Remarkable 2012 CPAC Speech
WASHINGTON, D.C. - My experience at CPAC came to a new height with the closing speech made by Sarah Palin. The room was packed with conservatives eagerly awaiting Ms. Palin’s words of wisdom. For two or three hours up until her speech, people in the ballroom were saving seats in anticipation of her speech. While people eagerly anticipated Ms. Palin’s speech, CPAC did seem to be lacking the usual passion and fierceness in conservative ideals that defines CPAC. CPAC has a rich history in serving to convey conservative ideals amongst the different groups of people attending this conference every year.
I suspect the reason this passion for conservative ideals was somewhat lacking this year is due to the wide success of Mitt Romney on the campaign trail. While conservatives are eager to get President Obama out of office, they are also wary in taking on a “utilitarian” approach and sacrificing all of their conservative ideals to elect Mitt Romney. Many conservatives look at Mitt Romney’s past record and do not feel comfortable supporting him wholeheartedly with their conservative ideals.
When Mitt Romney won the National Poll and Straw Poll conducted at CPAC, conservatives were disappointed. As the results were announced by pollster Tony Fabrizio, I heard different voices in the audience scream, “Santorum! Santorum!”
The announcement of the straw poll results at CPAC was actually one of the most anti-climactic events of the conference. Prior to the announcement, I had asked a reputable conservative blogger for HotAir.com, which candidate the blogger thought would win the straw poll. The blogger responded, “I think that Santorum will win. He has a good following here at CPAC.”
Immediately after the straw poll results were announced, Sarah Palin was introduced on stage for her speech. Millie Hallow, Vice-Chair for CPAC, gave Ms. Palin a powerful introduction. Ms. Hallow stated, “Sarah’s here, and she will not be silenced!”
Ms. Palin confidently entered on stage, smiling and waving at the crowd. The crowd unleashed with applause. One would have hardly believed this was the same woman who was so harshly ridiculed by the media just a couple years earlier. Throughout her speech, she made direct eye contact with the audience and rarely looked at notes. Her speech powerfully touched on the need for conservatives to adhere to their values amidst a challenging election. She vocalized this concern, boldly stating, “The conservative movement lacks a leader who can not only galvanize conservatives but also attack the opposition while having a record to personally back up those criticisms.” She really struck a chord with conservatives in the audience, who at one point or another, may have felt diminished for holdings their views and stereotyped as the typical “guns and religion” clinging conservative. In response to this typical stereotype, Ms. Palin humorously proclaimed, “He can keep his change. We’ll keep our God, our guns, our Constitution.” The audience roared with applause after Sarah Palin made this statement.
Ms. Palin compared President Obama’s Administration to a “permanent political class,” the very thing America’s Founding Fathers wanted to avoid. “This is Obama’s Washington. It’s not the Washington of our Founders, but the Washington of the permanent political class. It is something that our forefathers never envisioned – and they would have sworn their lives, their fortunes, their sacred honor to change.”
In the middle of Sarah Palin’s speech, the crowd grew uneasy as Occupy Protestors began screaming “Mic Check! Mic Check!” during her speech. The rude interruption did not silence Sarah Palin, and the Occupy Protestors were immediately escorted out of the room.
Ms. Palin continued her speech and directly approached pro-life issues as well. One of her most passionate moments was when she said, “I ask you to stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves, if not us, when who?”
After the speech, hundreds of supporters sang “Happy Birthday” to Ms. Palin as it was her 48th birthday. She took the time to make her way through the jam-packed crowd to hug supporters, greet them, sign autographs, and speak with supporters. As I rushed to try to snag an interview with Ms. Palin, I was caught jam-packed in a huge crowd of reporters and supporters. Despite being caught in this crowd, I was able to catch Ms. Palin’s attention as she was leaving, and my colleague handed her my Book Bio sheet. She gladly signed it, and I am now glad to have something for the archives!
In listening to Ms. Palin’s speech, I could not help but think of words of our Founding Fathers. A true patriot, Ms. Palin fearlessly defends American principles with a tenacity that far outweighs any of the current presidential candidates. Her speech, interestingly enough, came after all of the other presidential candidates speeches. I can only imagine what conservatives would have thought had her speech come before Romney. Would Romney have met the “conservative criteria” laid out by Ms. Palin in her speech for a true conservative? I’m not so sure that would have been the case.
Ms. Palin did not officially endorse any candidate in her speech, but she did say, “We will want to see that candidate who we can trust will inherently, instinctively turn right. Always err on the side of conservatism.”
Julianne Nowicki graduated from the University of Michigan in 2010, she is currently a second year student at Ave Maria School of Law and Associate Editor of the Ave Maria School of Law Review.
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