Palin visits conservatives in San Jose
SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- The darling of the Tea Party was in San Jose on Thursday. Former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is speaking at a fundraising dinner at the San Jose Marriott. She just wrapped up a question and answer session with supporters at the Center For the Performing Arts.
Organizers were hoping and expecting a crowd of 1,800. They got a little more than half that for the forum. Palin hosted by the Liberty and Freedom Foundation, a far right conservative group and the crowd that paid $25 to $200 a ticket loved her.
Palin started off with her rallying cry.
"Don't you just love your freedom as an American?" said Palin.
Bay Area fans couldn't get enough of her. Many followed Palin to a private event at the Marriott.
"I'm Sarah Palin's number one fan," said Dunstan Alabanza from Antioch.
Roughly 50 people met the former vice presidential candidate inside, while one man sat outside of the hotel for a reason.
"I am in the nest of the lion, I truly am, but I could care less, because I truly believe in what I'm doing and I believe in her," said Dennis Anderson from Hayward.
Palin went onto say to the audience that America is threatened by an extreme liberal agenda, aided by a liberal media.
"These leftist elites seek to destroy the very capitalist system that created the wealth that they so enjoy and the opportunities that they've been able to seize," said Palin.
She said the government in Washington isn't listening to the people.
"When they aren't listening to the little guy, I have to ask you, 'are you ready to take it back and put government back on the side of the little guy and have government work for you instead of you having to work for government?'" said Palin.
The Liberty And Freedom Foundation says Palin is here to raise money for conservative candidates. She has endorsed Republican Senate candidate Carly Fiorina, but Fiorina will not be appearing with Palin. At Tuesday's debate, Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman was asked if she would meet with Palin.
"So that day I'm going to be out with voters talking about the things that matter to Californians," said Whitman.
The short answer is no. Neither, Whitman or Fiorina will be meeting with Palin.
ABC7's political analyst Bruce Cain says it's understandable.
"You don't really want to show up with Sarah Palin in California if you're trying to win middle of the road voters. She is not going to be a draw for Democrats for certain and probably also, not for independents," said Cain.
This week a Field Poll found a majority of Californian's would be less inclined to vote for a candidate that was endorsed by Palin. Which has led to speculation that Palin's visit to California, in part, is here for reasons of her own.
"The 2010 and 2012 elections because real change will take the next two elections, these elections are the most important of our generation. Real America is a tipping point, a lot of people are saying at a breaking point, we have got to change directions, we must got to step up to the plate and win the game for the little guy, the middle class, the unemployed, the over taxed, the over regulated and we don't have to wait 56 years for it. We don't have to wait 56 days for it even. November 2 is right around the corner, I can see if from my house, it's right there," said Palin.
Palin has had success in picking candidates early on in the primaries this year. If they win in the general elections, her political clout will increase and our political analyst believes she is here in California, in part, to line herself up for a run for the White House in 2012.
Conservative Republican groups are trying to harness the excitement and shift it toward the upcoming elections.
The Pleasanton Tea Party is holding a get out the vote rally on Saturday. Organizers say locally they're seeing a shift toward the right.
"In the Bay Area, I'm seeing it growing every day," said David Miller from the TriValley Patriots. "I'm seeing things moving our way."
That's not true say local Democrats. The party is holding its own rally Sunday. Featured guests will be Bill Clinton and Jerry Brown.
Alyson Abramowitz from the Santa Clara Democratic Committee says having Palin in town helped the Democrats' cause.
"Palin coming in here will really help us, in that she backfires on progressive people and on intelligent women and that's what California is full of," said Abramowitz.
Also on Thursday, TLC released a trailer for Palin's new show, which isn't focused on politics, but on Alaska.
san jose, sarah palin, republicans, tea party, politics
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