CPAC Day 2: Slurps, Slaps, and Slingbacks [Updated]
We’re not here to re-brand a party, we’re here to rebuild a country. We’re here to restore America and the rest is just theatrics. The rest is sound and fury. It’s just making noise.
The next 37 long minutes were indeed taken up with sound and fury—the familiar gurns, squawks, shrieks, and dribbling, punctuated by the novel sound of slurping, to rapturous applause. It’s 2013. It’s CPAC. And it’s Sarah Palin.
Yep, the Grifta from Wasilla, having added Fox News pundit (failed) to her résumé, is BACK. And she’s still totally bonkers. And not in a good way.
Lord knows, when the éminences grises behind CPAC booked her, they knew what to expect. It’s an easy call, because whatever else she’s been doing in her copious spare time since bombing out of the ‘08 election in tears, in between lush speaking gigs and boring the pants off Greta van Susteren she hasn’t come up with much new material.
I’m very grateful to Jim Newell, now liveblogging in the unlikely environment of The Guardian, for keeping tabs on the parade of fail at this year’s Gathering of the Indescribables as I really wasn’t feeling up to it. Also to my co-bloggers marindenver and Vixen Strangely, who’ve been taking up the slack. However, when somebody as absolutely desperate for attention as Sarah Palin bobbles along, it would be downright cruel of me not to indulge her at least a little, so here goes.
Her turn wasn’t totally lacking in some semblance of political gravitas, as she insisted that enough with the navel-gazing already, Republicans just need to hit the streets and get persuadin’:
They’re not our enemies. They’re our sisters and our brothers. They’re our neighbors, they’re our friends. It’s imperative to reach out and to share that conservative message of liberty and less government and lower taxes.
So double-bolt your doors and bar your windows before you turn in tonight, just in case.
Boob jokes. They featured, as Jim notes:
Palin sets up a quite extraordinary breasts-and-ammo joke by telling the crowd that for Christmas, her husband had bought her a rack to hold guns on the back of her truck. Then comes the sexy punchline:
He’s got the rifle, I’ve got the rack!
As attendants carried the coronary casualties in the audience out to the waiting fleet of ambulances, as an example of “less government” Palin chose Mayor Bloomberg’s War on Soda (this is where the slurping comes in), ostentatiously sucking on a mammoth serving through a straw in a manner which suggested that if there was a baseball in there, goshdarn she was havin’ it. If she followed it up with a burp, the networks cut it and the written record is silent. But it did lead to a new party game:
Strabismus or Sloshed?
To add a dash of controversy, she slapped Karl Rove (not literally, at least not yet, as far as I’ve heard), but in the post-2012 Republican Party, that’s kinda expected. Then it was encore time, as she combined the wingnut fixation with public speaking aids with the traditional gobsmacking lack of self-insight that is the Palin trademark:
Leaders take risks for the good of our country. Campaigners make promises they can’t keep. Leaders reach across political differences, campaigners double down on those differences. Leaders seek to bring Americans together to confront our challenges and campaigners seek to divide and to conquer and to orchestrate crisis after crisis after crisis to exploit. Mr. President, we admit it, you won. Accept it. Now step away from the teleprompter and do your job.
There are dark rumblings that, all other avenues for gainful employment now seemingly closed to her, Palin may fancy her chances for at least a feigned run at POTUS in 2016, with all the PAC-y malarkey that would allow. I can hardly wait. Look: She’s even been practicing her Mittens impersonation.
Watch this space.
Update: For those of you who were waiting with bated breath, here’s the results of the CPAC Straw Poll (unskewed). Jeb Bush asked to be excused, and Chris Christie did OK even though he wasn’t invited, but see who’s tied with Bobby Jindal down there?