Palin Excites CPAC Crowd in Return to Spotlight

Conservative firebrand slams Obama, GOP establishment
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 16, 2013 1:43 PM CDT
Palin Dings Obama, 'Calculating' GOP in CPAC Speech
Sarah Palin drinks from a 7-Eleven Super Big Gulp on stage while speaking at the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., Saturday, March 16, 2013.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Sarah Palin returned to the national spotlight at CPAC today to roundly criticize President Obama and fire potshots at the Republican establishment, NBC News reports. In her first major appearance since Fox News, Palin slammed Obama time and again: "Mr. President, we admit it, you won—now step away from the teleprompter, and do your job!" she said. She also dinged him on his golfing, his canceling of White House tours, and his proposal to broaden background checks for gun buyers. "Dandy idea, Mr. President—should've started with yours!" Her talk received the most raucous and frequent ovations of the entire conference, the Guardian reports.

She saved some of her folksy (or is it kitschy?) ire for the GOP, calling on the party to embrace a populist vision: "Now is the time to furlough the consultants, and tune out the pollsters, send the focus groups home, and toss the political scripts," she said. And she speared new conservative super PACs designed to weed out more conservative candidates for more electable ones. Her talk had humor, too: She sipped a Big Gulp in a clear jab at New York's anti-soda campaign, and tossed off a line regarding her Christmas gift for husband Todd: "He's got the rifle, I've got the rack." (Business Insider runs down the most "awesome" lines of Palin's speech.)

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