I just got back from seeing Sarah Palin at the Right to Life event in Milwaukee. Here's a basic rundown of my experience. You probably don't care, but I'm going to tell you anway. I've only slept like four hours in the last two days. I pretty much have big raccoon rings under my eyes, so bear with me:
I jumped on ordering tickets as soon as the event was announced. I called my parents and told them about it, after which they refused to let me travel the four hours distance to get there on my own, so my Dad ended up taking me, which was fine. I mapped it out and told him where to go and we went.
We got to the event about 45 minutes before the outer doors opened (around 4:45) and there was a fairly small line. As we stood there we were glad we got there when we did because the line filled in behind us pretty fast.
There was a lady a ways ahead of us in line wearing an Alaskan sweatshirt who claimed that she either had been or currently is Sarah's neighbor. I wasn't able to get close enough to find out details, but I was dying, dying, of curiosity. At any rate, she seemed to approve of Sarah.
Once we got inside, the place filled up slowly, and from where I was sitting, it looked packed. I'd say a safe estimate would be a few thousand people, if not more.
I saw Sapwolf from C4P. He was about ten rows ahead of me. Yes, he's from New York, and yes, he came all the way here. Good grief, man, you get around. He was wearing his C4P shirt. I didn't say hi, mostly because I was about to fall asleep and probably looked like I'd been up for four days and had just stumbled out of a washing machine. But Sapwolf, if you noticed a girl lookin' at you with red hair and a red Wisconsin shirt, that was me.
Anyway, it was supposed to start at 7:30, but it didn't get started right on the dot, and people were getting antsy. All of a sudden, some applause and hollering broke out and people started standing up. I stood up too because I thought it might be Sarah, but no, it was the Republican candidate for Governor, Scott Walker. False alarm (sigh). Antsy again.
A couple minutes later some people started chanting "Sarah!" as if they were trying to bring her out. They chanted in vain. A couple more minutes ticked by.
Finally, at maybe 7:35, the organizer of the event got up and spoke, followed by one of the main people at Wisconsin Right to Life. They shared some good stuff. He apparently got his girlfriend pregnant when he was 19. They decided to have the baby, and today she's married and will soon be giving them a grandchild. It's safe to say that the pro-life movement is personal to him.
He was followed by a woman who talked about the successes Wisconsin's RTL is having and what they're doing. Again, good stuff, but not really why we came. She asked if anyone was here from out of the country and Sapwolf yelled out, "New York!" and raised his hand. Finally, the woman introduced Sarah, who came through the curtain off to the side of the stage.
I gotta tell ya, the place went absolutely insane. I've never seen her in person before. My first thought was, "Oh, my goodness, she's short!" (Not like, tiny short, but short, nonetheless). My next thoughts were somewhere along the line of "I can't believe she's right there! I can't believe she's right there!....." You get the idea.
She was wearing a red suit and looked awesome. I didn't try to get any pictures or autographs at the end or anything. One, they wouldn't let us bring cameras in; two, that's not why I was there. I know what she looks like; I wanted to hear what she had to say.
The applause went on for awhile. She tried a few times to get us to shut up so she could speak, but nothing doing, we just kept on cheering. Finally, we decided to sit down and let her have her say.
The event was obviously not tailored for recording. There were a couple of screens, but the lighting wasn't quite right so the screen version of her was just a little off. I'm pretty sure it's the shadows that weren't right. I was pretty close though, so I just looked at her. In person she looked great, but you'd be surprised what improper lighting can do to the camera version of something. I just ignored the screens. Besides, I was trying to take notes.
The first thing she did was ask if there were any soldiers or veterans in the audience and asked us to give them a round of applause. My dad is a vet. Then she asked them to stand while we observed a moment of silence for the victims of the shooting at Fort Hood. She said she'd be prayin' during that silence. Two of the soldiers killed were from Wisconsin.
After that she started off like she always does, making connections to Alaska. First up, her grandmother was born in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. Secondly, she gave a shout out to Greta van Susteren. She said she's never been around Greta where she hasn't heard her singing Wisconsin's praises. Greta, of course, is from Appleton, Wisconsin.
Sarah said the third connection was a bit more nebulous. Her father (her mom was there with her, by the way. She was sitting in the audience. That's the only family member I saw or heard mentioned as having been there.) Anyway, I think she said her father had gone to high school with a Jerry (Jeremy?) something, a guy who turned into a Green Bay Packer. I'm not a Packer guru, so don't ask me for details. But Sarah was saying how she was on the phone with her Dad asking him this stuff, and she wanted more details. Her dad was going on about the guy and asking her, "Don't you remember...?" this, this, and that about the player's record. Sarah was like, "Dad, I don't even know if I was born!"
She then got into more serious things. She took out a gold coin, one of those new gold dollars. She said a friend of hers got it as change or something at a car wash (don't quote me, I was writing notes) and asked her what was missing. It was, of course, "In God We Trust." It's been moved to the edge of the coin on the new gold dollars. Sarah said that she knew it wasn't seemingly a big deal, but it was indicative or what's going on in our country, and she just had to wonder, who gave their stamp of approval to that? "In God We Trust," our motto, is being pushed to the outside?
She then mentioned the size of the crowd and said that she liked it for selfish reasons. She said that she looks out at the crowd and thinks, "Thank God; I am not doing this alone."
The theme of her speech seemed to be Truth. She kept coming back to that word. The idea being that as the truth gets put out there by groups like Wisconsin RTL, things will change. They are already changing.
She quoted a Bible verse, but good gravy if I caught the reference. I've got an idea of what it was though; I'll keep looking.
Here's a few other quotes. Some are fairly accurate, others are as best as I could write them down:
"...Babies who survive botched abortions; there are some politicians who would choose to see those babies die."
(referring to the Gallop poll) "The majority of Americans do identify as pro-life, and I thank God for that trend."
(talking about Wisconsin right to life and others in the rank and file) "You didn't sit down and shut up - you went rogue!"
"Some politicians did not support providing care to botched abortion survivors...one is now in the White House."
"They call our position extremist; it is not....(she talked about Roe vs. Wade defining abortion as a right and our position is now seen as anti-liberty, anti-freedom...)
"We're not anti-anything; we're for the very best of life."
"Just simply affirm life."
"A baby is a baby, regardless of the circumstances of her conception."
She called out Nancy Pelosi, talked about how the federal government is looking to fund abortion on demand in healthcare bill. She demanded that Nancy Pelosi live up to her promises and allow transparency in the healthcare bill. She mentioned some Democrats that are fighting these provisions, and said that at the very least Pelosi should allow them their say and a vote.
"I appreciate the Democrats that are fighting abortion on demand in the healthcare bill."
She talked about how we need to help and not be afraid of getting our hands dirty. Too often we shove these things off on the government so we don't have to worry about them: "Don't look to government to walk the walk for us.....Life happens. Don't just hand the government our pregnant teens." She said that beauty could come from less than ideal circumstances.
"I feel a real change is coming, and we can't give up now."
She talked about some feminists of today who "claim to speak for all women. The earliest feminists were pro-life."
She mentioned some of those feminists and what they said. "More young women today agree with our feminist foremothers." (Young women today, the Millennials, are more pro-life than their parents' generation.)
"Don't wait for the government." (talking about how laws have their own process and take time, we just need to get out there and promote life, even if nothing is moving politically.)
She talked briefly about how the danger of judging human life based on utilitarianism. She said that if you judge by utilitarian standards, and the government has to cut costs (under new healthcare bill), our elderly would not be first in line for care, neither would our special needs children.
She said it was funny to see the media's heads spin when she boiled it down to simple terms of truth. She said, "I don't think they can handle the truth yet, but...."
And then finally: "If you feel like you've been pushed out on the edge, come back in; you're not alone; come in and fight with us."
She repeated some of the things she'd said in Evansville. She recounted the ultrasound she got at around 12 weeks. "The technician told me that she saw boy parts!" And, of course, the tests later revealed an extra chromosome.
Sarah talked about her fear, and how she had to cling to just that seed of faith that she had gotten from pro-life proponents. She said it's easy to stand on the side and do the preaching; it's another thing to be asked to walk the walk. She said that she asked Todd and God, "Why us?" And Todd said, "Why not us?"
She talked briefly about Bristol too, and how both her and Bristol understand what you go through in those situations and the temptation to just make it all go away. She then said that she was thankful for all that her family had gone through in the last two years, and that she wouldn't trade it, nor Trig, nor his extra chromosome for anything in the world.
Near the end of her speech she talked about how politicians who resisted the partial birth abortion ban were either heartless or cowards. She said she would call it like she saw it and that partial birth abortion was killing a baby.
She talked about Pope John Paul II and his passion for life. There were a few other things. I'm sure I'm not the only one who was taking notes.
After she was done, the lady from RTL came back and they brought out a check for a $1,000 that Sarah was giving to help fund their tv ad campaign. Everyone who attended got a kind of postcard and a pen. Basically if you would match Sarah's donation for a $1,000, then you will become one of Sarah's "Rogues" and will be shipped an autographed copy of her book when it comes out. Unfortunately, I don't have that kind of money. I guess I'll have to try for a book signing.
The lady also mentioned, "As you know, Jim Doyle is our Governor." Boooos filled the hall, mine included (boos also rang out when Sarah mentioned Nancy Pelosi earlier on). The lady said we'd elect a pro-life Governor next time around. Too early to call that, but I admire her enthusiasm. Truth be told, I know nothing about Scott Walker; I've been focused on other things.
When it was all over, a bunch of people surged forward to get autographs. A couple of guys were there in their Packers jerseys and cheeseheads. They were shoving their cheeseheads forward trying to get them signed. We hightailed it so we could make it out of there. Got home at around 2:00 in the morning.
So, that's the rundown. If I remember anything else I'll mention it later. Good night:)