Former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin charmed a large crowd Saturday (July 14) at the Wayne County Fairgrounds in temperatures hovering in the 90s.
The Patriots in the Park rally started at noon. Palin arrived at the microphone at around 4 p.m. and spoke for about half an hour, bringing the crowd to its feet many times with cheers and applause.
Former Alaska Gov. Palin was the keynote speaker at the event put on by the Willow Run Tea Party Caucus and Americans for Prosperity with all proceeds for the $5 per car parking fee going to the Fallen and Wounded Warriors Fund. Lynn Phillips said the fund has distributed nearly $1 million to veterans in need of help for food, housing, and the other basics of life.
A banner near the speakers’ platform on the fairgrounds identified a list of other supporters including Van Buren Township activist John Delaney and Democratic candidate for VBT Supervisor Larry Fix.
Master of Ceremonies was Thayrone X, the popular owner and host of a talk show on WAAM radio. But it was Scott Hagerstrom, State Director of Americans for Prosperity, who introduced Palin.
When Palin bounced out of an air-conditioned travel trailer, the crowd that had been patiently waiting for her greeted her with open arms. She complimented them for coming out in the heat to the Tea Party rally when they could have been spending time at home with their families.
The crowd responded to her comments with boos, when President Barack Obama’s programs were mentioned, and with cheers when she spoke of America’s exceptionalism and love of freedom.
Speaking of joblessness, she called out, “President Obama, if that’s what you call hope, we want change,” and the crowd jumped to its feet cheering. She claimed Obama’s “hopey-changey agenda wiped out a whole generation of prosperity.”
Palin asked the crowd if they can afford four more years of this and people roared, “No.” She asked them to chant “Four more months” and they did. She noted the November Presidential Election is not far away.
Palin referred to Willow Run and the Liberator Bombers constructed there that made it the Arsenal of Democracy and help save the free world.
She spoke on behalf of limited government and promised, “So help us, God, we will succeed” in saving the country from European-style socialism.
“Freedom is a God-given right and freedom is worth fighting for,” she said and the crowd again jumped to its feet cheering.
“Don’t be bummed and lose courage though the opposition looks daunting,” she said, urging them to move forward in honor of those who fought and died to make the U.S.A. the strongest and best country in the world.
“Are you willing to do it again?” she asked and the crowd, again, stood up and cheered.
A long line of speakers took to the microphone before Palin arrived, including Jeff Fitzgerald, Speaker of the Wisconsin House of Representatives, who told of his experiences in passing tough legislation in his state and his disbelief when Democrats fled the state to head off votes on legislation.
Troy Mayor Janice Daniels, a Tea Party member, told of how she is under assault for voting the way she said she would during her election campaign and using her freedom of speech to express her opinions. She is facing a recall election.
Mickey Blashfield told of The People Should Decide ballot initiative that collected 609,220 signatures seeking to let voters decide on building a new bridge to Canada.
A Van Buren Township Fire/Rescue team on bicycles made their way through the crowd checking on the welfare of members of the audience, who were spread out on the grass over a large area, some under umbrellas and shelters and others in the broiling sun.
After Palin’s comments were ended, audience members headed for their air conditioned vehicles and then out of the fairgrounds. As they walked to their vehicles, Tea Party leader Daniel Benefiel asked the crowd to remember the Occupiers who destroyed, burned and trashed the areas they used. He said those present should clean up after themselves and leave the fairgrounds in good shape.
Van Buren Township Police and Michigan State Police directed traffic from the fairground’s south exit to the North I-94 Service Drive and then west to Rawsonville Road. Those exiting the northern fairgrounds driveway were sent north on Quirk Road by police.
Shortly after the crowd was out on the streets from the Tea Party event, a group of more than 200 motorcycles roared through the township in a benefit run starting and ending in Taylor to earn funds for charity.