[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/03/palin.fundraiser.jpg caption="Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin before boarding her campaign plane in Dallas. " width=292 height=320]
The New York Times
Palin called the debate "fun," but expressed some frustration with only being able to give 90 second answers, kept up her blaming of "the mainstream media," called Obama and Biden too liberal and "out of the mainstream." And talked, again, of shakin' up Washington DC. She also told her own story about the events here in Texas leading up to the birth of Trig five months ago.
Guests had paid $1,000 a plate, or up to $57,000 for bundlers, to attend the fundraiser. About 1,000 people - many tables seemed to be predominantly women - ate chicken salads and pecan pie and sipped at iced tea in a hotel ballroom at the Fairmont Hotel in Dallas. While Palin snapped pictures with donors backstage, her parents, Sally and Chuck Heath, and her three youngest children mingled with guests in the hallway outside the ballroom. Sally cuddled baby Trig as donors looked on cooing.
Dan Grant, who represents the area in the TX legislature, opened the remarks introducing himself as the husband of a hockey mom and mother of five. He welcomed Gov. Rick Perry, James Huff Hines, the co-chair of the McCain Palin campaign in TX, and Tom Hicks, the co-chairman of the campaign in Texas and the owner of the Dallas Stars and Texas Rangers and the Liverpool Football Club, as well as Fmr. Secretary of Commerce Robert Mosbacher, a general chairman of the campaign. Mr. Grant said the governor would have a "surprise," but first welcomed Palin and Todd and Piper and Willow, carrying a sleeping Trig, on stage.
Perry introduced Palin to enthusiastic applause, "Sarah, I think they love ya in Texas."
He then introduced Hicks who introduced the surprise: "on behalf of the 10,000 registered hockey moms and more than a milion hockey fans," he handed her a Dallas Jersey with the Number 2 and her name on the back, saying he wanted her to watch the Dallas Stars win the Stanley Cup from the VP residence next June.
Perry then introduced Palin. "I bet there were a lot of Democrats who woke up yesterday morning kinda looking forward to the debate, thinking that they were going to watch our candidate get steamrolled by their guy. I bet a lot of 'em woke up this morning a little bit scared, scared, yep, because they realize they got a fight on their hands."
"The liberal left and their friends in the media forgot one thing when they waged their war of deceit and gotcha journalism. They forgot that they're dealing with a strong American woman who's not going to back down, period. We’re dealing with a woman whos principled, experienced, laser-focused on the things that make a difference in this world."
Palin was welcomed with a standing ovation.
"It is good to be visiting here in Alaska's little sister state, Texas." She described fond memories of attending high school basketball camp here.
Most recently, of course, she was here 5 months ago, giving a speech on energy, when she was 8 months pregnant.
"Governor Perry had introduced me, and during the speech I was quite pregnant. I told Governor Perry, can you make this quick because I'm quite pregnant. He teased me as I left the podium, 'What are you going to do, go off and have your baby? And about 18 hours later, yes, I had my baby."
"Let's hope because I think good things happen in Texas that we can produce something good for that our country and that is change in Washington, DC, and I know that's why you're here."
She described the debate as "fun."
"Last night that debate, it was fun and I was really proud to get to make the case for the election of John McCain."
She repeated her charge that Obama and Biden are the first and third most liberal members of the Senate, and called their views "so far out of the mainstream of America."
"You never hear them utter the word victory."
She introduced Todd, who had gone backstage again, "My right hand man, Alaska’s first dude, Todd Palin." She asked that he come back on stage, but apparently he did not hear. "He’s either breaking up a little squabble between the girls or he’s changing Trig's diaper, he’s doing something that's very very helpful. It is helpful, too," she added, as the audience laughed.
She noted that her parents had gone to St. Louis and were traveling with her, and said they had been startled by what they had read about their daughter since she was named VP nominee. "They're saying, 'That's not our daughter, she didn’t do that, she doesn’t stand for that."
"It's kind of a rude awakening to what happens in mainstream media."
"I want to get to Washington, DC, with John McCain, never forgetting the people who hire us, we will be working for you every day in the White House. It's not just in Alaska, it's all over the country, this hunger for reform and new energy and new ideas and new vision and living out that world view that John McCain and I have, that says that America is a nation of exceptionalism, and we are, and can be even further, that beacon of hope across the world for people who are seeking democratic values and freedom."
Palin said that her mission would be energy independence. "I tried to explain this in 90 seconds last night, these foreign sources of energy, we’re importing them, we’re circulating $700 billion a year into foreign countries."
She said Todd asked her this morning, "Did ya see Obama, he’s already out there this morning talking about energy independence?"
"I'm like, man, where have they been all these years? The month before the electoin and all of a sudden they're finally going to get it?"
"Achieving energy security, it's going to require clean coal, whether Joe Biden approves of it or not."
Speaking about another portfolio item she wants, supporting children with special needs, she quoted former Democratic governor of PA, Robert Casey, when asked how society should treat the most vulnerable among us. "It's simple, you put them first in line."
"Governor Casey reminded us that these beautiful children can inspire a special love and it’s a love that our world needs more of. These children are not a problem, they are a priority and a promise." This line got huge applause.
About the next month: "It's going to be tough on John McCain and on me and on our families. There are a lot of folks who do not want to see us progress there to the White House. This is going to be a tough campaign."
"You're going to hear our opponents go on and on about how they're going to quote, fight for you. But there is only one man in this race who has ever really fought for you."
"He knows what side to be on, he knows what it takes to win a war, and how to overcome challenges, not just with national security but with our economy as well."
Palin's motorcade then proceeded to the offices of BP Capital, the firm of Texas oil billionaire T. Boone Pickens, where they posed for photographs and then dismissed reporters.
"We're going to work," Pickens said.
"Do you have a white board?" Palin said. "We're going to work."