Sarah Palin was in town today to speak at the Tribute to the Troops hosted by Colorado Christian University. If you missed the livestream at Conservatives4Palin, never fear, I took notes. It isn't quite liveblogging because I didn't have internet access inside the building, but I figured you might be interested in a blow by blow account of the events from the perspective of a lowly blogger. (And that's how I felt sitting in the press section.) A big shout out to the friendly folks from CCU who granted me press status. So without further ado, here's how it all went down (pictures and more coming soon):
Arrived at 6:45 pm.
A-listers (in my opinion) seen at the event:
State Senator Kevin Lundberg
Michelle Morin of Moms4Freedom
(Actually there was a whole VIP room, these were just a few people I saw.)
Maze of unofficial security, and a few cops. The CCU staff welcomes me to the event and helps me figure out where to go. A stage is set up outside to the west of the event center for the overflow. Held in a gym with Colorado, U.S. and Christian flags hanging from the ceiling, basketball nets folded up. A blue tarp covers the floor, huge American flag on stage, uniformed military personnel on stage. Staff friendly, courteous. Many students. Roped off section to front left, press on the left behind a rope. Crowd already filling bleachers in the back and non roped off section.
John Andrews speaking, pledge.
National Anthem by sung by Legacy, a choral group composed of military
John Andrews again.
Big applause for events of yesterday.
President of CCU speaking. Every penny goes to the troops. Troops are here from Alaska, even Wasilla: Miss Sydney Stewart. Someone tries to start USA chant. Speaker says cheering will be later but we love the chant.
Skype connection to Amy Justice in Afghanistan (?). Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) video. Bonnie Carroll speaking.
7:53 Palin arrives
"It is the veteran, not the reporter, that..."
Basketball court. Alaskans and Coloradans know what real mountains look like.
Boykin and Todd went pheasant hunting. Ribbing him about his shot, should come to Alaska to hunt moose. Boykin I guess is speaking later.
Mission of CCU is to honor Christ, traditional family values, limited government, support for the poor, free markets, orginial intent of the Constitution.
Thank God about hearing the news last night. ...finally met justice at the hands of America's finest.
In Denver, Palin was on a panel with Armstrong and Prager. What is the biggest threat to our country?
Prager - we are losing passing on what it means to be an American to the next generation
Palin - but many young people choose to serve in the military and fight for freedom.
Who are these young American warriors? Volunteers who know that America is worth fighting for and America's enemies must be defeated. Big applause.
We thank Bush for having made the right choice. Big applause.
Praises Sargent Sal Junta, medal of honor recipient, now residing in Fort Collins.
Threats still here, and may be ramped up. Troops deserve the clarity of knowing what their mission is. No team in the world could have accomplished what that
team of SEALS did. Applause.
Oooh. Going after Pakistan. Lots of questions... many retired military officers living nearby. General Boykin could get to the bottom of it. Speculation that
many officers were helping him. (So... Palin is with India.) We should demand answers to our questions. Anybody who cooperated in hiding bin Laden should be
brought to justice. Credit to the troops for the victory.
Lack of clarity in Libya, contrasts to clarity in Osama mission.
The Palin Doctrine:
1) We should only commit our troops when American interests are at stake.
2) If we fight, we fight to win. We use overwhelming force, only objective to defeat the enemy as quickly as possible. Nix nation building, we use our military to win wars.
3) We clearly explain why we are sending our sons and daughters into battle.
4) American soldiers must never be put under foreign command.
5) We use military force only as a last resort, but encourage and support forces of freedom around the world.
(Applause after each one.)
The stronger we are, the more peaceful the world will be under our example. Applause
Remember what Reagan would say? "We win, you lose." Applause.
Some think these principles are outdated... the world would be less free and less safe without our leadership.
We must, we will, remain the world's abiding beacon of freedom.
Pundits, elites, politicos think we are in decline. When you look at our young people who want to fight for America, that is proof that we are not in decline.
Entrepreneurs. We believe in American exceptionalism.
What do soldiers leave at home? Tradition. Patriotism. Not a need for a fundamental transformation of America, but for a renewal of all that is good about America. Big Applause. They've made us proud, lets make them proud. May you be blessed in the mission, Colorado. God bless you Colorado and God bless America.
Press leaves (mostly).
Let me call roll. John Andrews? Present. [someone else]? Present. Osama bin Laden? Osama bin Laden? Osama bin Laden?
Only problem with this day is that I have to follow Palin.
Swears oath. How many took that oath?
Freedom, defending the Constitution.
I don't know about you but I'm proud to be an American. I proud to have served. I'm proud of what we've done. I'm proud to have shed blood for it. I'm proud
to be a veteran. Took a bullet up through the chest. A lady who was hit by a grenade said God bless Ronald Reagan and God bless America. Knew my wounds were worth it.
Legacy with one last song - God Bless America.
Oh, and Andy Barr? I'll be deconstructing and correcting your report tomorrow. Don't bother trying to edit it; I've already saved it.