"I am so proud to be American. Happy birthday Ronald Reagan," she opened and proceeded to give what was mostly a foreign policy and economy speech after her opening volley on politics and the Tea Party.
"I am a big supporter of this movement and believe in this movement. America is ready for another revolution and you are part of this," she said.
She gave a shout-out to the new senator from Massachusetts, Scott Brown, and threw some light jabs at Nancy Pelosi, President Obama and Rahm Emanuel. "The only place the left hasn't placed the blame on is on the their agenda. The Obama-Reid-Pelosi agenda will make America less secure, more in debt and more under the thumb of big government," she said.
(Watch Sarah Palin say what she thinks about President Obama below)
She tipped her hat to candidates who put their hat in the ring in 2010, but didn't tip her hand as to her political plans.
She said the Tea Party movement is a ground up call to action to force both parties to change the way they do business, and "that's beautiful."
"It's been a year now," she said. "They own this now and voters will make them accountable."
Palin spent several minutes on national security and terrorism, pointing to the failure of the system prevent the Christmas Day bomber from boarding a plane. She also criticized Abdulmullatab's brief interrogation and treatment as a civilian rather than as as
"To win that war we need a commander-in-chief, not a professor of law standing at the lectern," she said, and received a standing ovation.
"People who are seeking freedom wonder if Alaska (she meant America) is still the beacon of hope for their cause," she said.
"We need a foreign policy that recognizes its friends from its enemies," she added, and called for sanctions against Iran.
On the economy, Palin railed against the federal government's bailouts, the use of stimulus funds for "pet projects," called for oil drilling in the U.S. and the deficit, which she called "generational theft."
"The list of broken promise is long," she said. "Washington has broken trust with the people. We are drowning in debt and many of us have had enough."
The audience who listened to Palin's speech were the same estimated 600 patrons who paid $549 to attend the full convention and lapped up the anti-Obama rhetoric of the opening speaker on Thursday, former Republican Rep. Tom Tancredo. He called President Obama a "socialist ideologue," who was elected because "we do not have a civics, literacy test before people can vote in this country."
Over 1,000 paid $300 just to see Palin speech, which was broadcast on CNN, CSPAN and MSNBC and available via the Web on cbsnews.com and other sites.
Cashing in on her political celebrity, Palin was paid $100,000 for her appearance, which puts her in the same league for speaker fees as recent past presidents, such as Clinton and Bush.
An article in the New York Times aptly describes Palin's growing organization, bankroll, focus on the "silent majority" and ultimate ambitions, which still remain cloudy.
"Her growing cast of advisers and support system could be working in the service of any number of goals: a presidential run, a de facto role as the leader of the Tea Party movement, a lucrative career as a roving media entity — or all of the above. Ms. Palin represents a new breed of unelected public figure operating in an environment in which politics, news media and celebrity are fused as never before. Whether she ever runs for anything else, Ms. Palin has already achieved a status that has become an end in itself: access to an electronic bully pulpit, a staff to guide her, an enormous income and none of the bother or accountability of having to govern or campaign for office."
Palin is expected to follow up her Nashville tea party speech with appearance at a March rally in Searchlight, Nev., hometown of Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's hometown, and in Boston in April.
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