NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Sarah Palin is predicting a good year for conservative candidates for public office, saying the policies of President Barack Obama and Democratic leaders in Congress will be short-lived.
The 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee told the National Tea Party Convention in Saturday that a string of recent Republican victories at the polls, including Scott Brown's longshot win in last month's special Senate election in Massachusetts, bodes well for conservative candidates this year.
She told the convention in Tennessee that if there's hope for the tea party movement in Massachusetts, there's hope everywhere.
"It's so inspiring to see real people, not politicos, inside-the-beltway professionals, come out, stand up and speak out for common-sense conservative principles," Palin said.
“I am a big supporter of this movement,” Palin said. “America is ready for another revolution.” She added that the current Democratic administration can no longer blame the previous one for the nation’s ills.
“It’s been a year now,” she said. “They own this now, and voters are going to hold them accountable.”
The Obama administration has repeatedly argued that the nation's financial system was on the verge of collapse when Obama took office last year, and is now in the early stages of recovery.
The appearance -- the first of several Tea Party events Palin plans to attend in the coming months -- marks the end of the three-day National Tea Party Convention in Nashville, Tennessee.
The convention at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel is the first national meeting of a movement that emerged last year amid protests over the policies of President Barack Obama and the Democrats who control Congress.
Palin’s supporters at the convention say the media has been overly critical of her and there is plenty of time for her to decide whether she will run for president in 2012.
“If that’s where God puts her, that’s where she’ll go,” said Tammy Holmes, 36, a small-business owner from Farmington, Missouri, who is attending the conference.
Tea Party activists, drawn to Palin’s anti-Washington rhetoric and working-mother personality, would form a natural base for Palin should she decide to make a White House bid, Bloomberg News pointed out in coverage of the event.
Palin called the Tea Party movement a ground-up call to action to force both parties to change the way they do business, and "that's beautiful."
Palin gave particular attention to Brown's election, calling him a representative "of this beautiful movement."
"If there's hope in Massachusetts, there's hope everywhere," she said. "His victory is a sign of more good things to come."
She called on the administration to take note of the election results, saying "you better stop lecturing and start listening."
"The Obama-Pelosi-Reid agenda will leave us less secure, more in debt and under the thumb of big government," she added, saying voters all over the country are sending a message that they want change in Washington.
She harkened Obama's famous campaign slogan, asking, "How's that hope-y, change-y stuff working out for you?"
She spent several minutes on national security and terrorism, pointing to the failure of the system to prevent the Christmas Day bomber from boarding a plane to the United States. She also criticized the brief interrogation of the bomber and his treatment as a civilian rather than as as a terrorist war criminal.
"It's not politicizing our security to discuss our concerns because Americans deserve to know the truths about the threats that we face," she said, criticizing Obama's approach to foreign policy with such hostile regimes as Iran.
"To win that war we need a commander-in-chief, not a professor of law standing at the lectern," she said, and received a standing ovation.
"We need a foreign policy that recognizes its friends from its enemies," she added, and called for sanctions against Iran.
On the economy, Palin railed against the federal government's bailouts, the use of stimulus funds for "pet projects," called for oil drilling in the U.S. and the deficit, which she called "generational theft."
"The list of broken promise is long," she said. "Washington has broken trust with the people. We are drowning in debt and many of us have had enough."
The audience who listened to Palin's speech were the same estimated 600 patrons who paid $549 to attend the full convention and lapped up the anti-Obama rhetoric of the opening speaker on Thursday, former Republican Rep. Tom Tancredo. He called President Obama a "socialist ideologue," who was elected because "we do not have a civics, literacy test before people can vote in this country."
Over 1,000 paid $300 just to see Palin speech, which was broadcast on CNN, CSPAN and MSNBC and available via the Web on cbsnews.com and other sites.
Palin was paid $100,000 for her appearance, which puts her in the same league for speaker fees as recent past presidents, such as Clinton and Bush.
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