Nightly News   |  February 07, 2010

Palin takes aim at Obama in speech

A year and a half ago, few outside of Alaska knew who Sarah Palin was. But as NBC’s Andrea Mitchell reports, these days, when the former GOP vice presidential candidate speaks, people listen.

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>> channel tonight. thank you.

>>> a year and a half ago few people outside alaska knew who she was. but a lot has happened since then, and these days when sarah palin speaks people listen. this weekend palin was speaking out as never before, about the president and about herself. nbc's andrea mitchell reports.

>> when governor perry told --

>> reporter: sarah palin campaigning in texas today for republican governor rick perry . against his chief primary challenger, senator kay bailey hutchinson .

>> and let's send a message to washington. let's get our country back. god bless you, and god bless texas.

>> reporter: as palin signals she will be a major player in this year's midterm elections and might run for president in 2012 .

>> i would if i believed that that is the right thing to do for our country and for the palin family. certainly, i would do so. i think that it would be absurd to not consider what it is that i can potentially do to help our country.

>> you're going to go through the process of thinking about it --

>> i won't close the door that perhaps could be open for me in the future.

>> reporter: in nashville tea party convention-goers didn't need any encouragement as palin took direct aim at president obama saturday night.

>> now a year later i've got to ask the supporters of all that, how's that hopy-changy stuff working out for you?

>> reporter: she castigated the president's anti-terror policy.

>> to win that war we need a commander in chief, not a professor of law standing up to lecture me.

>> reporter: but while deriding president obama 's speechmaking --

>> this is about the people, and it's bigger than any king or queen of a tea party , and it's a lot bigger than any charismatic guy with a teleprompter.

>> reporter: palin wasn't beyond using a little crib sheet herself. just in case she was asked about her top three priorities.

>> we've got to start reining in the spending. we have got to jumpstart these energy projects.

>> reporter: but as long as palin faces only friendly crowds, does commentary for fox from her wasilla kitchen, and reaches out on facebook and twitter, republicans are taking notice.

>> i think it may be that sarah palin is the first made for social media president or presidential candidate possibly.

>> reporter: whether palin is serious about considering a white house run or just leaving the door open to increase her political and commercial firepower, she is now a force to contend with, for both democrats and republicans. andrea mitchell , nbc news, washington.

>>> now to a group known