State News

Casual Palin says Obama already cutting down nets

Posted October 26, 2008
Updated October 27, 2008

— Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin brought some casual appeal to Asheville on Sunday night, wearing jeans and singing "Redneck Woman" as she implored voters to hire the ticket to fix the nation's capital.

While the Alaska governor said the election was going down to the wire, she said Democratic presidential rival Barack Obama has been acting as if he's already won.

"Barack Obama and I both have spent quite some time on the basketball court," Palin told a raucous crowd of several thousand at the Asheville Civic Center, 87 Haywood St. "But where I come from, you have to win the game before you start cutting down the nets."

Palin said the GOP ticket isn't assuming that it has voters' support, and is respectfully asking those in North Carolina to support her and running mate John McCain.

"We believe the virtues of freedom are worth fighting for," Palin told the crowd. "And we believe the best of America is not all gathered in Washington, D.C. It is here, it is in the kindness, and the goodness and the courage of everyday, hardworking Americans."

Among her criticisms, which she also aired during rallies in Florida earlier in the day: She said Obama already has an inaugural address to give.

Obama's campaign said it isn't so. Spokesman Bill Burton said the accusation comes from a report that White House chief of staff John D. Podesta had written a draft inaugural speech for Obama and included it in a recent book. Burton said Podesta wrote it as a sample address, not for Obama but for whoever became the nominee.

Palin came dressed in jeans and a black blouse, to appeal to the rural conservatives in western North Carolina's mountains. She has been battling criticism after revelations that the Republican National Committee purchased $150,000 in clothes and accessories for her.

Palin said in Florida that the fancy wardrobe doesn't belong to her.

But the jeans fit her message in North Carolina's mountains. Before giving the crowd her full speech, she asked country artist Gretchen Wilson to sing her song, "Redneck Woman." On stage, Palin sang along – though not into a microphone – and clapped her hands.

"I am a little nervous about it (the election). But being a small business owner, of course, we are watching our pennies. And we don't want to spread that wealth unless those people are working hard for it," Palin supporter Gretchens Rivers said.

"I am just very worried about Obama getting in there (the White House). What is going to happen to small business owners, such as myself," Palin supporter Palin supporter Will Rivers said.

Palin tried to reassure the small business owners in the audience.

"We will bring tax relief to every American and every business. Because small businesses, you here who own small businesses or work for one in North Carolina, you are the backbone of the state's economy," she said.

Palin also called her mother on a cell phone and led the crowd in singing "Happy Birthday."

"You are such a welcoming, unique and fun and patriotic state," Palin said. "I love you guys."

But not everyone was loving her back. Before the event, Obama supporters clashed with a Palin crowd. The faceoff along a downtown road included loud arguments, vulgar signs and heated chants. Authorities stood between the crowds, although a couple of arguments turned into minor shoving.

A few protesters were also shown the door while Palin was on stage.

Palin's speech kicked off a wild and historic week of campaigning across North Carolina that will put all four major candidates on the trail in the state.

All the events indicate the urgency of winning North Carolina and its 15 electoral votes. Palin will be followed by her Democratic counterpart, Joe Biden, on Monday. He has two scheduled campaign stops just a few days after finishing a three-city bus tour of the state.

The two presidential hopefuls have also scheduled events of their own. Republican John McCain will be in Fayetteville on Tuesday. Democrat Barack Obama will come on Wednesday to a yet-to-be-determined location. His wife, Michelle, will hold a separate event in the state.

The heavy focus on North Carolina in the final days of the race indicates just how valuable the state is as the election approaches and polls narrow. North Carolina hasn't voted for a Democrat since 1976, but Obama has moved the polls with a heavy investment in the state and the aid of changing demographics and a large bloc of black voters.

Both parties have focused on getting supporters to the polls before Election Day. Early voting began Oct. 16, and already more than 1 million voters have cast a ballot at one-stop sites.


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  • Dr. Dataclerk Oct 30, 2008

    $900 spray-on tan job during the convention. I

    Boy, she is really spending the tax-payers money in Alaska. I am so glad she is not in North Carolina.

  • Dr. Dataclerk Oct 30, 2008

    I support Obama and Biden all the way. Palin just needs to sit down and keep her mouth shut. She has been very rude and shows no respect during this election. McCain made a huge mistake in choosing her. Now he regrets it. Oh, well, live with it. McCain made the choice.

  • Adelinthe Oct 27, 2008

    Well I like Sarah a lot; but just heard Obama on tv encouraging voters not to relax, that the election wasn't in the bag yet.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • familyfour Oct 27, 2008

    None of them are perfect. They all are hoochied up for the camera. They all have to say things that come from the pens of others. In the end we never get what any of them say we will. They can only do so much, nut they promise the impossible. Frankly, I will be glad when the whole thing is over. The last eight years haven't been THAT bad....considering what all our country is involved in. At least I didn't have to hear about the ole Pres getting an oval job in the head office....they all are flawed...they are, after all, only human.

  • notsosimple Oct 27, 2008

    Mr. Vet: the reparations comment was just a way to dance around an otherwise bigoted, hate-filled bit of delusional garbage previously posted.

  • Vietnam Vet Oct 27, 2008

    Reparations to whom??? I don't believe that there is anyone alive today that was unjustly enslaved. I also don't believe that there is anyone alive today that unjustly owned slaves. So where does this reparation money come from and to whom is it to be paid?? Slavery by anyone is absolutely wrong and it is a sad and embarassing time in our history. But it is over and done people...move on...get over it!!! Stop blaming that period in our history for all your current woes!!!

  • Quagmire Oct 27, 2008

    So Im hearing now that Palin got a $900 spray-on tan job during the convention. I guess that doesn't belong to her either and she will donate it to charity after the election.

  • notsosimple Oct 27, 2008

    Well, it's comforting to read here that the observation I heard today is accurate- that Palin was selected to appeal to the republican "brain dead base." An examination of the educational level of voters of the two primary parties is indeed enlightening.

  • RevD Oct 27, 2008

    Mr. Tarheelsdontlikeedwards, what is it with you and Black/African Americans? Each one of your posts in some way attack them. DId they do something to you or hurt you in some way. I am curious.

  • RebelRabbi Oct 27, 2008

    I don't Support Obama but I do support the truth so here;

    "I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction."-Fiction!

    This is a corruption of a quote from Obama's book The Audacity
    Here is the accurate and more complete quote:

    "Of course, not all my conversations in immigrant communities follow this easy pattern. In the wake of 9/11, my meetings with Arab and Pakistani Americans, for example, have a more urgent quality, for the stories of detentions and FBI questioning and hard stares from neighbors have shaken their sense of security and belonging. They have been reminded that the history of immigration in this country has a dark underbelly; they need specific assurances that their citizenship really means something, that America has learned the right lessons from the Japanese internments during World War II, and that I will stand with them should the political winds shift in an ugly direction."