Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, in a speech that sounded a lot like a 2012 trial balloon, or at least an effort to drum up speculation on the subject and boost her brand within the Republican party, told a Bakersfield, Calif., conference Saturday to consider the next two elections together.
"We cannot undo the damage done by the Obama agenda until we replace Obama himself," Palin said. "These two elections, 2010 and 2012, go hand-in-hand. ... The theme of 2010 has got to be rebuke their errors, reject, repeal; and then the theme of 2012 — it's renew, revive and restore."
Palin, 46, appeared at the Bakersfield Business Conference before a sold-out crowd of about 10,000. Full-day tickets for the conference were $495 each.
Palin told the crowd: "Folks, in 2012," the message should be "renew our optimistic, pioneering spirit, revive our free market system and restore constitutional limits and our standing in the world, as that abiding beacon of freedom. ... Not transformation but restoration with a 'Great Awakening' that we already feel emerging across America. We will win this year, we will win this year. And I believe we will win in 2012."
Palin has used versions of the "renew, revive, restore" line previously. Palin's 2012 mention came after a speech directed to the "little guy," an interesting choice for the crowd at the Bakersfield Business Conference.
She also took a few digs at the "cocktail party" — what she called the "go-along-to-get-along" "establishment" wing of the Republican party, saying "those defeated liberal Republicans, what did they do? Now they're the ones running as a third-party candidate — and they're redefining, I guess, the term 'bitter clinger.' "
Earlier this week, an angry email from Palin's husband, Todd, was leaked to a liberal Alaska blog. The email questioned why Alaska GOP Senate nominee Joe Miller hasn't been willing to endorse Palin for president in 2012, after her backing helped him to a win in the Aug. 24 primary.
Both Palin and Miller have denied any rift exists, and the "bitter clinger" remark sounded like a doubling down on the claim that the flap was just a case of getting "our wires crossed." Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who lost the primary, is running as a write-in candidate in the Senate race.
Karl Rove, who Palin castigated in a recent speech in Iowa and called one of "our friends in the machine" on Fox News — after he was skeptical tea party-backed Republican nominee Christine O'Donnell could win the Delaware Senate race — addressed the crowd two speakers before Palin. Former first lady Laura Bush spoke between them.
There was no word on whether Rove and Palin bumped into each other backstage.