Obamaphones. Teleprompters. Big Gulps.
Sarah Palin hit all the laugh lines in her speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Saturday afternoon, bringing the audience to its feet perhaps a half-dozen times. At points, Palin simply jumped between one-liners.
On proposals for gun control: “More background checks? Dandy idea, Mr. President. Shoulda started with yours.”
On the president’s permanent campaign: “Mr. President, we admit it — you won. Accept it. Now step away from the teleprompter and do your job!”
On advice to college Republicans: “You gotta be thinkin’ Sam Adams, not drinkin’ Sam Adams.”
At one point, the former Alaska governor pulled a Big Gulp soda out from under the podium and began sipping on it, to raucous applause, a joke at the expense of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s ban on oversized beverages.
Palin preached — to a responsive congregation — a message of faith in conservative values and the American heartland. She blasted the capitol’s “cocktail parties of power” and put political consultants on the chopping block. “The last thing we need is Washington, D.C., vetting our candidates,” she said, slyly dinging Karl Rove’s new “Conservative Victory Project,” which intends to be a moderating influence in GOP primaries.
“We’re not here to dedicate ourselves to new talking points coming from D.C. We’re not here to put a fresh coat of rhetorical paint on our party,” she said. “We’re here to restore America, and the rest is just theatrics.”
Sen. Ted Cruz, who helped introduce Palin before her speech, seemed to defend her political relevancy by noting her early support for Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Tim Scott, Pat Toomey and Nikki Haley — and her role in promoting his own candidacy.
“Let me tell you something,” Cruz said. “I would not be in the U.S. Senate today if it were not for Governor Sarah Palin.”