If anyone had any doubt that this "tea party" and any interest in Sarah Palin still considering jumping into the 2012 presidential race is nothing more than a media generated phenomenon, look no further than the nearly forty minutes of uninterrupted by commercial air time that CNN decided to give to non-candidate Sarah Palin. I have to wonder what any of the candidates that have actually declared they are running thinks about CNN's decision to air her speech.
As my fellow contributor pointed out the other day, even Fox viewers aren't that thrilled these days about the idea of Palin jumping into the 2012 Republican presidential primary race -- Fox News Poll: 71% of Republicans Don't Want Palin to Run.
That didn't stop CNN from giving her a boat load of commercial free air time. Palin dismissed the polls, and told the audience that polls are for "strippers and cross-country skiers."
Here's more from TPM on her speech -- Sarah Palin Still Flirting With Presidential Run:
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is still not running for president. She just doesn't want you to forget she might, though, however slim her chances may be.
Palin, greeted by cheers of "Run, Sarah, Run" at a Tea Party rally in Iowa on Saturday, attacked President Obama, Washington, and her fellow Republican rivals, but declined to announce whether she would enter the race in 2012.
"The truth is, Barack Obama is adrift with no real plan," Palin said. "He doesn't make sense."
As a testament to the large degree of media influence she still enjoys, Palin's rousing speech fueled even more speculation about the possibility of challenging President Obama - even though her aides already acknowledged the decision wouldn't be announced until later this month. Unless she delays her decision, yet again. But why say no to a run when it would cost her relevance?
In what was perhaps her most candidate-sounding speech yet, Palin wowed a star-struck audience but also defended the influence of the Tea Party and her own viability on the national stage. A recent Fox poll found that even 71% of Republicans do not wish her in the race.
"They're for strippers and cross-country skiers," Palin said of polls in general.
Full transcript of Sarah McWordSalad's statements in the clip above via CNN:
PALIN: Now, some of us saw it day coming. It was three years ago on this very day that I spoke at the GOP convention -- where I was honored to be able to accept the nomination for vice president that night. And in my speech I asked America, I said, when the cloud of rhetoric has passed, when the roar of the crowd fades away, what exactly is Barack Obama's plan? What does he actually seek to accomplish after he's done turning back the waters and healing the planet? The answer is, to make government bigger, to take more of your money, to give more of it to others and to take more orders from Washington and to reduce the strength of America in a dangerous world.
I spoke of this, but back then it was only my words that you had to go by. Now you have seen the proof yourself. Candidate Obama didn't have a record while he was in office, but President Obama sure does. And that's why we're here today.
Candidate Obama, he pledged to fundamentally transform America. And for all the failures and the broken promises, that's the one thing that he has delivered on. We have transformed from a country of hope to one of anxiety. Today, one in five working age men, they're out of work. One in seven Americans are on food stamps, 30 percent of our mortgages are underwater.
In places like Michigan, California, parts there, they're suffering from unemployment numbers that are greater than during the depths of the Great Depression.
Look, Barack Obama promised to cut the deficit in half, and instead he turned around and he tripled it. And now our national debt is growing at $3 million a minute. That's $4.25 billion a day. President Obama, is this when you call winning the future? I call it losing, losing our country, and with it the American dream.
President Obama, these people, these Americans feel that fierce urgency of now, but do you feel it, sir? The Tea Party was born of this urgency. It is the same sense of urgency that propelled the sons of liberty during the revolution.
It is the same sense of urgency that propelled the abolitionists before the Civil War and the civil rights movement during the 20th century. The Tea Party movement is part of this noble American tradition. This movement isn't simply a political awakening, it is an American awakening.
And it is coming from ordinary Americans, not the politicos in the beltway, not those types. No. It is you who grow our food, you run our small businesses, you teach our children, you fight our wars. We are always proud of America. We love our country in good times and in bad and we never apologize for America.
(APPLAUSE) Now that is why the far left's irresponsible and radical policies really awakened a sleeping America so that we finally understood what it was that we were about to lose. We were about to lose the blessings of liberty and prosperity.
So the working men and women of this country, you got up off your couch. You came down from the deer stand. You came out of the duck blind. You got out the John Deere, and we took to the streets. And we took to the town halls, and we ended up at the ballot box. And as much as the media wants you to forget this, Tea Party Americans won an electoral victory of historic proportions in November.
Well, we the people, we rose up and we rejected the left's big government agenda. We don't want it, we can't afford it, and we are unwilling to pay for it.
That victory, though, remember, friends, that was only one step in a long march towards saving our country. We sent a new class of leaders to D.C. but immediately the permanent political class. They tried to co-opt them because the reality is we are governed by a permanent political class until we change that.
They talk endless about cutting government and yet they keep spending more. They talk about massive unsustainable debt, and yet they keep incurring more. They spend, they print, they borrow, they spend more and then they stick us with the bill. Then they pat their own backs and claim they faced and solved the debt crisis that they got us in.
But when we were humiliated in front of the world with our country's first credit downgrade, they promptly went on vacation. No, they don't feel the same urgency that we do. But why should they? For them, business is good. Business is very good. Seven of the 10 wealthiest suburbs are suburbs of Washington, D.C. Polls there actually -- usually I'll say polls, they're for strippers and cross country skiers.
But -- but polls in those parts actually show that some people there believe that the economy has actually improved. See, there may not be a recession in Georgetown, but there is in the rest of America.