I had the chance to stop by and see the event since it was on the way home from a long Thanksgiving weekend in Auburn, Alabama with my fiance's family.
Chambliss may have had top billing at the campaign stop for his run-off election against Democrat Jim Martin, but there was no doubt the crowd was there for his stumping partner Palin. Even Sen. Chambliss seemed a little amazed at the size. He relished the attention, waving both arms in the air to greet everyone.
Hundreds of young girls came to the arena. Many carriied news magazines with Palin on the cover for her autograph after the event. "Sarah 2012!" was a common refrain and a popular sign. One girl even dressed in a pageant sash and tiara, a nod to the former beauty queen on stage. The young Palin fan held a huge poster that read "Gov. Palin, can I please have photo op?"
In her speech, Palin stuck to red meat themes: reform, energy independence, the war on terror, guns and life. And, she was gracious to her former running mate, John McCain, praising him repeatedly.
Palin reassured the crowd "commensense, pro-working class, conservative values" were still strong in America despite the McCain-Palin 2008 loss. "Losing an election does not mean losing our way," she said.
The Alaskan Governor did not attack Democratic President-elect Barack Obama as she often did on the campaign trail. She did emphasize at one point, however, it would be "ludicous" to raise taxes given the current economic environment that had been officially labeled a recession by economists earlier that afternoon.
The entire event lasted roughly 50 minutes, including the prayer and Pledge of Allegience. Palin was mobbed by the crowd after it closed.
As this reporter was walking out, a man drove up to me who had rushed home from work to catch the event. He asked if everything was over. I said yes it had ended, but Palin was signing autographs when I walked out. Before I could finish my sentence he gave me a brisk "Thank you!" and zoomed towards the arena.
Update: I added some (very rough) video of the event HERE.
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