In a heavily Republican-leaning area of Florida north of Orlando, Gov. Palin drew a crowd nearing 60,000 people turning out for a rally. Clearly the media has to think twice if the excitement over Palin among conservatives is fading or not. No doubt the conservative Republican retirement community she visited also helped. As reported back in May, Barack Obama drew a crowd of 80,000 or so in Portland, Oregon, a very Democratic area in a blue state.
Report on Palin’s crowd from Fox News:
THE VILLAGES, Fla. â€” Sarah Palin played it safe Sunday on her first trip as John McCainâ€™s running mate to the battleground state of Florida, drawing a massive crowd of 60,000 people.
She went to perhaps the easiest place in Florida to get a large Republican turnout, stuck mostly to the themes sheâ€™s hit since the Republican convention and took no questions from reporters or the crowd.
But she was welcomed like a star, with tens of thousands cramming into a plaza and nearby streets in this enormous retirement community about an hour north of Orlando. Some waited more than five hours in 92-degree heat to see her speak for 23 minutes.
Palin arrived in Florida on Friday and had no public events Saturday, though she told the crowd her daughters Piper and Willow got to go to Disney World.
After some jokes about the difference between golfing in Florida and Alaska, her remarks hit most of the same points sheâ€™s made since McCain chose her as the first woman to run as a Republican vice presidential nominee. She did, however, update the stump speech to reflect last weekâ€™s turmoil in the financial markets.
â€œWe need serious reform on Wall Street. We need better regulation. Itâ€™s like Senator McCain said just yesterday â€” we donâ€™t need a dozen federal agencies doing the job badly, we need the best agencies doing the job right,â€ she said.
She said McCain had warned about the problems affecting financial institutions, and attacked Democrat Barack Obama on the issue.
â€œThis week when the economic crisis threatened the livelihood of millions of Americans, John McCain took a clear stand and he offered his own recovery plan. Our opponent refused to even take a stand on the position,â€ Palin said.
As I was labeling in “Obama-mania” back then, perhaps “Palin-mania” is still going strong with the Republican base.