CPAC: When Sarah Palin Talks, People Listen

AP Photo/Cliff Owen
AP Photo/Cliff Owen

Remember those old E.F. Hutton commercials? You know, “When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen!” Well, you can say for certain that over the last four years at the Conservative Political Action Conference, Sarah Palin has been the E.F. Hutton of the gathering.

The former governor of Alaska, the only Republican woman to ever run on a national ticket, captivated those in attendance at CPACs 2012-2014.On Thursday she did it yet again.

Unlike her last three trips to CPAC when she spoke on the closing day of the event, Palin spoke on day one this time around. You could say instead of being the Super Bowl she served as the Daytona 500. Either way she was once again the biggest thing going.

CPAC is a busy event. There’s a lot going on. So, it’s not uncommon to see a ballroom with lots of empty seats for many speakers. Others grab bigger crowds, but even then it’s not difficult to pan the room and find many a texter, a yawner, and a zoned out attendee. With Palin this is never the case. They pack ’em in to see her. Her latest visit to CPAC on Thursday was no different. They came in droves and gave Palin their undivided attention.

Palin delivered an eloquent speech that focused on something near and dear to her heart–veterans issues. She delved into heavy topics like PTSD, unemployment, divorce rates, and suicide. The audience was locked in. The message was heartfelt and important, and the woman delivering it was passionate and trustworthy.

Palin spoke of Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer, the man who introduced Palin to the crowd Thursday. “”His selfless service inspires us,” said Palin. “He and his generation of vets remind us of that courage that founded this country.” Speaking of founders, Palin quoted and lauded the Father of Our Country while also remembering our greatest American sniper. “From George Washington to Chris Kyle,” Palin praised “ordinary Americans equipped for extraordinary things.” She called on those on hand to remember the thousands wounded and killed in the war on terror. On a personal level, she discussed the deployment of her own son Track. Her emotion and commitment to our troops was evident. The picture she painted captivated everyone within earshot.

In past years at CPAC, Palin focused more on the failures of Barack Obama. Each time she hit it out of the park. Thursday, she showed her versatility. Instead of remarks heavy on humor and barbs, this one was all from a place of love: love of country and love of our troops. Palin has unquestionable love for both.

The comments from Palin were well received and clearly shared more than those of the establishment types visiting CPAC 2015. Cheers interrupted her again and again. Social media was set ablaze. They were listening.

The overall message from Palin is a call for our veterans to be taken care of. She accurately blamed D.C. bureaucracy for killing our vets. She called out corrupt government and demanded we serve our vets before illegal immigrants. Palin, like those who were standing and clapping for her, believes veterans need to know their brothers and sisters who didn’t make it home from the war on terror didn’t die in vain.

When other speakers take the mic at CPAC you can find many conference goers milling about in the hallways. When Palin speaks, those hallways are quiet. They’re jamming in the ballroom to hear her. Those craving passion, common sense, and honesty got heaping portions of all three.

This truly original and strong speech even has some liberal media members giving a thumbs up instead of the customary criticism. Some have expressed surprise, although it’s hard to say why since Palin delivered talks like this again and again as governor and as a vice presidential candidate.

Like the problem solver that she is, Palin didn’t just list what we want or need, she mapped out the way to achieve such things. She called for the election of an “honorable commander in chief”. She also prescribed real action in the tinderbox that is the Middle East. Palin told onlookers that genocidal thugs can only be stopped by God and the Red, White, and Blue. How true.

As she often does, Palin left the adoring crowd with a call to action. It was a simple but vital assignment: find a vet and thank them. Let them know you know where your freedom comes from. Easy enough. There’s a great chance people will do this because they were clearly listening.

When Sarah Palin talks, people listen. Now it’s time for D.C. to listen to her. They should, She’s got a lot to say and it all makes a lot of sense.


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