Sarah Palin to Rally in Iowa for Hog Castration Senate Candidate

Wednesday, 16 Apr 2014 02:59 PM

By Sharon Churcher

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Sarah Palin will headline a "Heels on, Gloves Off!" rally with Joni Ernst, the Iowa Republican Senate candidate whose campaign ad comparing federal budget cutting to hog castration has gone viral.

The Des Moines Register
reports the April 27 rally is being staged by a group called ShePAC, which says in an emailed invitation to the event that Ernst’s background is a testament to her experience in the state.

A lieutenant colonel in the Iowa Army National Guard, "Joni has never forgotten where she came from," the group says. "She has served 21 years in the military, and has been a crusading conservative in the Iowa State Senate. She was ShePAC's 1st endorsement of the 2014 cycle — and we are proud to support her!"

The mailing says of Palin, "Recent polls found her to be the most respected figure in the Republican Party today! Her dedication to conservative candidates and causes is inspiring -- she is a warrior for conservative women everywhere."

As NPR has reported, Ernst’s ad is perhaps the first in political history to draw parallels between the Hill and pig farms.

Speaking fondly about castrating the creatures in her youth, she suggests that this will be a useful skill if voters send her to Washington.

Republican campaign strategist Brian Donahue praised her campaign in an interview with the network: "We had a female candidate running for office and she's talking about castration and relates it to members of Congress, which is pretty unbelievable stuff," he said.

"But beyond the race she's running, people are sharing it online and that's the effect you want to create. And that's what emotionally, cutting-edge media does. It takes on its own life."

Another consultant, Lori Raad, said the ad is particularly apt for Iowa, as the state leads the nation in hog production. It has driven home the point with voters that Ernst has first-hand experience with pigs, Raad argues.

"Hog neutering is an authentic part of her biography, reflected by how matter-of-factly she delivers the line. I might have made a funny face when I said that word. It was very natural for her."

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