It's Her Party: The Brilliance of Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin, who gave the keynote address to the Tea Party convention, is clever, deceptive and infuriating — which makes her the Republicans' most potent force

Josh Anderson / Reuters

Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin spoke at the National Tea Party Convention in Nashville, Tenn., Saturday, Feb. 6, 2010.

"How's that hopey-changey stuff workin' out for ya?" Sarah Palin asked the anti-élitist Tea Party élites — those who could pay $549 for a ticket — gathered in suffocating self-righteousness at the Opryland Hotel on the first weekend of February. It was classic Palin, a brilliant line, brilliantly delivered: she does folksy far better than George W. Bush or any of the other Republican focus-group populists ever did. It was the signature line of her speech, which rocked the joint — and then, slowly, began to rock the national political community. The speech was inspired drivel, a series of distortions and...

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