Palin speaks at rally in Tampa listen10/27/08 Mitch E. Perry
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With just a little over a week to go before the election, Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin made a campaign appearance in Tampa yesterday morning.
A crowd estimated at around 5,000 showed up for the rally, which began shortly before noon. Among the local politicians that warmed up the partisan crowd was Hillsborough County Commissioner Mark Sharpe.
Palin was then introduced by Elizabeth Hasselback, the conservative member of the ABC talk show, The View. Hasselback bashed the mediaâ€™s coverage of the Republican National Committee spending more than $150,000 on clothing and accessories to dress the GOP vice presidential nominee after she was selected by John McCain in late August.
Sarah Palin then diverted from her prepared remarks also to comment on the clothing story. Palin also took a few opportunites to bash the Obama campaign for assuming that they think theyâ€™ve already won the election. A story in the New York Times reported on Saturday that an inauguration speech has already been written, but the Obama campaign called that report "nonsense.â€
Much of Palinâ€™s speech centered around tax policies. She made much of Obamaâ€™s remarks two weeks ago captured on camera with the man now known as â€œJoe The Plumber,â€ Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher from Holland Ohio. Obama explained his tax policy by saying he wanted to "spread the wealth," a comment McCain and Palin have seized upon ever since.
Another argument McCain and Palin have begun aiming at Independents in the last few weeks is a fear of Democrats running all the branches of government in Washington. Democrats are expected to gain in both the House and Senate next week.
When Palin appeared in Clearwater earlier this month, former Weather Underground member Bill Ayres was a featured player in her speech. Ayres was absent this time, but ACORN was indirectly referenced.
WMNF spoke with several members of the audience both before and after Palinâ€™s remarks. None of those interviewed said they believed the polls that show Barack Obama leading John McCain, both nationally and in many of the critical battleground states.
But we did find some who are critical of John McCain for not hitting Obama harder on a number of character issues. Tampa resident Brent Marshall was in that camp.
Carolyn Carney from Tampa also says McCain has not been aggressive enough. And Carney, who was chastising reporters who were separated from the crowd in the back of the hall, said the election has been fixed.