Ok...someone tell me what is going on here. The Democrats want Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh et al to be speakers at some steak fry? What are the DemLibs up to now, exactly?
I was skimming through the articles in the New York Times and saw this title, and read the article. I decided to post the article here so that maybe someone could possibly help shed some light on this for me, because honestly, I ama just a little bit more than confused right now.
Democrats Invoking Palin to Stir Base
By JEFF ZELENY
Published: September 13, 2010
INDIANOLA, Iowa — Gone are the days when President Obama was the biggest source of motivation for Democrats.
The role now belongs to Sarah Palin.
That, at least, was the argument from David Plouffe, the architect of Mr. Obama’s presidential campaign, who appeared here on Sunday to deliver a fresh sense of urgency to Democrats in the final 50 days of the midterm election campaign.
“You have a good opportunity to remind your neighbors, your friends and your family members about who the real Republican Party is,” Mr. Plouffe said. “The very best organizer and fund-raiser in the Democratic Party is going to be here in Iowa — Sarah Palin.”
It was a telling moment at Senator Tom Harkin’s 33rd annual steak fry, where Mr. Plouffe, along with David Axelrod, a senior adviser to the president, came to try to dispel the predictions of a dismal November for Democrats. They promoted the party’s accomplishments, but they suggested that if members needed more enticement for Election Day, they should keep Ms. Palin and other Republicans at the forefront of the conversation.
“Mitch McConnell and John Boehner are bad enough, but they’re not the real Republican Party,” Mr. Plouffe said. “It is Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. That is the power. All of these Republican candidates have to pledge allegiance to them, their intolerance and their backwards thinking.”
For months, Democratic leaders have tried several ways to rally their voters in hopes of closing the enthusiasm gap with Republicans. But as they head into the closing weeks of the midterm elections, hoping to shake Democrats into action, it’s clear that invoking the name of Ms. Palin has now become a central part of the party’s strategy.
“Right now, Republicans are coming out in big numbers,” Mr. Plouffe said. “We need to get Democrats excited.”
That was the point of the David-and-David show here on Sunday at one of Iowa’s premiere political events, where hundreds of Democrats gathered at the Warren County Fairgrounds about 20 miles south of Des Moines for an afternoon of steak and chicken, washed down by beer and lemonade. It was a rare back-to-back appearance by two men who built Mr. Obama’s presidential campaign and now are trying to save his presidency.
This year, Ms. Palin’s name came up again and again. She is set to make her first trip of the year to Iowa on Friday as the marquee speaker at the Republican Party’s annual Ronald Reagan Dinner, an appearance that will undoubtedly fuel a round of speculation — founded or not — about whether she intends to run for president in 2012.
The Democrats, starting with Mr. Harkin, practically salivated at the idea of it.
“We asked Glenn Beck to estimate the size of the crowd. He said 500,000,” Mr. Harkin said, taking a swipe at the conservative television host who held a large rally last month in Washington. “We asked Sarah Palin. She said it was so big that she could see it from Wasilla.”
It was four years ago that Mr. Harkin invited Mr. Obama, a junior senator from Illinois, to be the keynote speaker at the annual steak fry here. The response from the Democratic crowd back in 2006 was so overwhelming that one month later Mr. Obama disclosed publicly that he was considering running for president.
At the time, his candidacy was seen as a long shot, a historical point that Mr. Axelrod and Mr. Plouffe reminded the crowd of as they argued that this year’s crop of Democratic candidates can overcome their own challenging odds, too, and keep control of the House and Senate.
“It’s tougher when you got some headwinds, when the political situation is not as favorable, but that’s when we need you even more,” said Mr. Plouffe, who asked every person in the crowd to find 10 more Democrats who might not be planning to vote.
Their argument sounded reminiscent to one they often delivered in the months leading up to the Iowa caucuses in 2008, where they warned against a rush to the judgment that Mr. Obama’s campaign could never survive the juggernaut of Hillary Rodham Clinton. Mr. Obama, of course, ultimately won.
“I’m asking you to do what you’ve done before. Ignore the pollsters and the punsters and the purveyors of gloom,” Mr. Axelrod said. “Go out and tell our story and tell it proudly. Make sure people understand what the choice is.”
By the time Mr. Axelrod arrived at the fairgrounds, he had changed out of the suit and tie that he had worn during a morning interview on NBC’s “Meet The Press,” and into a red plaid shirt, complete with country western snaps, and jeans. He joined Mr. Plouffe in flipping a few steaks for a photo opportunity with Mr. Harkin and other Democrats.
“I know what the conventional wisdom is today, but we’ve made a good living betting against the conventional wisdom,” Mr. Axelrod said. “This election is not a referendum. This election is a choice between two very distinct paths.”
The weekend presence of both men here in Iowa — front and center, rather than in their usual roles of behind the scenes — suggested one thing: the next election, when Mr. Obama is on the ballot in 2012, is just around the bend.
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