Palin Heads South

THE VILLAGES, Fla. (AP) -- Sarah Palin played it safe Sunday on her first trip as John McCain's running mate to the battleground state of Florida. She stuck mostly to the themes she's hit since the Republican convention and took no questions from reporters or the crowd.

She was welcomed like a star, with tens of thousands cramming into a plaza and nearby streets in this enormous retirement community about an hour north of Orlando. Some waited more than five hours in 92-degree heat to see her speak for 23 minutes.

Palin arrived in Florida on Friday and had no public events Saturday, though she told the crowd her daughters Piper and Willow got to go to Disney World.

After some jokes about the difference between golfing in Florida and Alaska, her remarks hit most of the same points she's made since McCain chose her as the first woman to run as a Republican vice presidential nominee. She did, however, update the stump speech to reflect last week's turmoil in the financial markets.

"We need serious reform on Wall Street. We need better regulation. It's like Senator McCain said just yesterday - we don't need a dozen federal agencies doing the job badly, we need the best agencies doing the job right," she said.

She said McCain had warned about the problems affecting financial institutions, and attacked Democrat Barack Obama on the issue.

"This week when the economic crisis threatened the livelihood of millions of Americans, John McCain took a clear stand and he offered his own recovery plan. Our opponent refused to even take a stand on the position," Palin said.

The Obama campaign criticized McCain's response to last week's events on Wall Street.

"McCain's first response to this crisis was to say that 'the fundamentals of our economy are strong,' then he admitted it was a crisis, and then he proposed a 'commission,' which is just Washington-speak for 'I'll get back to you later,'" said Obama campaign spokesman Mark Bubriski.

The visit drew a few contrasts between Palin and Obama running mate Joe Biden.

The largest was the crowd. Some people had to wait in line about 90 minutes just to park their cars. Biden's largest crowd during a visit earlier this month was about 2,000.

But Biden made four stops in his two days, and ventured into Republican strongholds like Fort Myers and Sarasota. He took questions from the audience at each stop and did interviews with local media.

Still, Palin had star power. One teenage girl held up a sign that read, "When I grow up, I want to be Sarah Palin." Another sign read, "This chick supports Sarah Palin." Many said they didn't even know who Palin was until last month.

"I knew absolutely nothing," said Tyler Deeds, 19, who made the drive from Auburndale 90 miles away and waited more than 5 hours to see Palin. "I couldn't even tell you who the governor of Alaska was."

But Deeds, who plans to enter the Navy soon, said he "tends to cling to my guns and religion" and he quickly grew excited about Palin's candidacy.

Joan Guay, 81, dabbed bottled water on her arms as she waited for Palin in the broiling heat. She said she previously supported Democrat Hillary Clinton.

"This country needs a woman up there," Guay said. "I like her background, I like her family. It's a family that does things together. And I like her work in the community."


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  • by KDW Location: Goldsboro N.C. on Sep 27, 2008 at 05:18 PM
    I am so excited about Sarah Palin being our Vice President. She is smart,intelligent,has morals,an makes obama look as dumb as he is! Let's don't forget biden(even if everyone wishes they could)he lies, makes so called mistakes HA!HA!HA! uses other peoples work and ideas---do I need to keep on adding his qualities??????. No wonder liberials and democrats are so jealous of Sarah Palin and try to cut her down because she's as close to perfect as you can get!!!! All democrats have is a idiot running for President and a creep that lies and has been caught being dishonest running for Vice President!!!! What a choice!! GO JOHN MCCAIN AND SARAH PALIN!!!! OUR COUNTRY NEEDS YOU!!!!
  • by Red State Location: Washington Co. on Sep 24, 2008 at 10:25 AM
    LOL It's halarious to me that liberals will call someone "bloodthirsty" who hunts and actually eats animals, but that term is not in their vocabulary when we're talking about killing innocent babies. They'll call it reproductive rights of women, or stem cell research, or feminism but cannot seem to call it what it is - the murder of innocent babies. Go figure. Btw editor, why can't we post our comments to the article about Obama defending his abortion rights record? I think a few of us would have something to say about that.
  • by DD on Sep 24, 2008 at 06:26 AM
    To Ray - What a God awful joke to have a Man running for PRESIDENT that has NO experience at anything except changing his mind and voting "present". McCain/Plain 08
  • by Obama Snake Oil Location: Washington on Sep 24, 2008 at 05:23 AM
    Thanks Al, great post. I am democrat but will vote McCain and Palin as I have made clear. When the democrats get the party back, I would consider them again. As long as they shove liberals down our throats, there will be a republican in the white house. Bob, you can post about Fox all you want, the point is the network does present both sides whereas the other networks and media are definitely liberal. The "I hate America", the military and any republican mentality. This isn't a football game, its about security of the country, something Obama and Biden don't have a clue on. If you don't believe this then you need to do some research. You don't cut and run when the war is so close to finish unless you are a coward with a political agenda.
  • by AL Location: GREENE CO on Sep 24, 2008 at 12:43 AM
    I want to thank all of the Obama Biden supporters for a wonderful job of showing how you can say what you want on this blog. Well I will tell you who made it all possible: John Mc Cain. did Biden serve in Nam? I know Obama did not serve at all. Unless it is for himself. Palin has done a lot more for americans than Obama and Biden. Biden has been in DC and still has it all wrong. and to ole hoss Palin is not a pervert you for get about Slick Bill and Monica and the Cigar?? Who is the pervert?? Democrats used to be god fearing people now it is politically correct fearing people!! AS far as Palin leading the country Hillary had her 8 years leading Bill around yes the country was in better shape as far as job wise but our morals and values and integrity has died. Bush was waaaayyy wrong and I admit that but I would never had voted for Al Gore nor John Kerry. Get a decent man or lady in there reguardlees of color for the Democrats I might vote Democrat but till then REPUBLICAN!!
  • by Ole Hoss Location: NC on Sep 23, 2008 at 08:35 PM
    Palin? You mean that bloodthirsty pervert? She literally makes me vomit.
  • by Bob Location: Winterville on Sep 23, 2008 at 07:45 PM
    Thanks O84P. My fear is that too many Americans think of this as a football game, i.e. my team = good, your team = bad. I understand the football mentality, ECU = good... But, this ain't football, this is our great nations future. To paraphrase Ronald Reagan: "are you better off now than you were 8 years ago?". Anyone have a scorecard? Can I keep score? Anyone seen New Orleans? How secure is your home value or 401K tonight? Military might be over-stretched? Hey, anyone seen Bin Laden?
  • by Obama 08 4 Prez! on Sep 23, 2008 at 06:50 PM
    Bob you are a man after my own heart. I don't know what's better.....the sting of what you said, or all the heads it's going over! :)
  • by Bob Location: Winterville on Sep 23, 2008 at 06:40 PM
    All media = bad, except for Fox News of course (tic)! WAIT! WHAT?! Even Fox news today ran a negative story suggesting that the McCain camp is keepin' Palin in hidin'?! The dirty LIBERAL main stream media has now even corrupted the ONLY media outlet that is hallowed, right, and beyond reproach?! RUN for the HILLS!!! (Or just maybe, Fox has to feign toward "fair and balanced", at least ocassionally, and McCain reps really are veilin' Palin; "You Decide"). PS: Any of you neo-cons care to comment on what a real conservative, George Will, wrote today? Google it if you wish. George Will vs. Sean Hannity, hmmm, who do you consider more credible in terms of true conservative bona fides?
  • by Anonymous on Sep 23, 2008 at 01:45 PM
    I just saw on the news that Sarah Palin said she wanted cameras, but no sound while she met with World Leaders today. WHY are they keeping her away from the media. She must not be as smart as they want you to think she is. Wake up people who love her.
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