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Sarah Palin at the Gridiron Dinner. Excerpts, Photos

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IMG_0899.jpg Rep. Barney Frank and Sarah Palin at the winter Gridiron Club dinner. (photo by Lynn Sweet)

palin purse.JPG That's Sarah Palin's otter purse (photo by Lynn Sweet)

todd palin.JPG

Below, Todd Palin's cummerbund is modeled after the Alaskan flag. (photo by Lynn Sweet)


Palin faces 'death panel' and leaves 'em laughing

GRIDIRON CLUB | She lightheartedly roasts journalists at their annual dinner

WASHINGTON -- "Sometimes you just got to trust your instincts. And when you don't, you end up in places like this," joked former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin at the Gridiron Club winter dinner. She was speaking to an unfamiliar audience Saturday night -- an exclusive gathering of journalists.

"At least now I can put a face to all the newspapers that I do read," Palin continued, spoofing that Katie Couric question to her during the campaign about what she reads.

Palin mocked herself -- and the reporters -- all in the spirit of the evening, which called for heavy doses of self-deprecating humor and gentle barbs: "It's good to be here though, really, in front of this audience of leading journalists and intellectuals, or as I like to call it, a death panel."

Palin shared the bill at the black-tie dinner of the 124-year old club with Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.). She was joined by her husband, Todd Palin, and her parents.

Palin -- a potential 2012 presidential candidate -- is touring the nation promoting her memoir, Going Rogue: An American Life. Frank, the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, just published a biography titled Barney Frank: The Story of America's Only Left-Handed, Gay, Jewish Congressman.

At the reception, Palin mingled and posed for pictures. She told me, when I asked, that her purse was made from otter. Todd Palin explained to me his cummerbund was based on the Big Dipper and North Star in the Alaskan flag.

Palin's speech was loaded with zingers -- aimed at her and the journalists. Palin, John McCain's running mate, had some interesting help in crafting her speech, enlisting Eric Schnure, a former speechwriter for former Vice President Al Gore.

Other good Palin lines:

• She almost had another title for her book. "Somebody suggested that I go with How to Look Like a Million Bucks for Only $150,000. Todd liked The Audacity of North Slope. I considered not having a title at all. I said it before, but some of the Beltway Boys just don't get it: that you don't need a title to make an impact." That was a dig at critics who slammed her for quitting as Alaska governor.

• Her book did not have an index, so she made one up: "So under A, we have Alaska, media not understanding, pages 1 through 432. Under B. Biased media; pages 1 though 432. And under C, conservative media, got to see acknowledgments for that."

• After her book came out, a cadre of former McCain staffers trashed Palin. Without using his name, she slammed Steve Schmidt, McCain's bald campaign manager. "Normally the Democrat speaker would deliver a speech after me. But instead, I hear the McCain campaign staff asked if they could use that time for a rebuttal. . . . Suffice it to say, that if ever I need a bald campaign manager, it appears all that I am left with is James Carville."

• On Vice President Biden: "I can't help think of what might have been. I can be the vice president overseeing the signing of bail-out checks and Joe Biden could be on the road selling his new book, Going Rogaine."

• Before Frank spoke, the Gridiron chorus sang a song about Frank to the tune of "We Three Kings." Retorted Frank, "I'm very flattered to be the second Jew to have that tune dedicated to."

20 Comments

Barney Frank is as big as a Tank. What has he been eating; problably too much meast alongside the potatoes, as Sarah is fond of saying. Love Sarah for her common sense, patriotic, humble, and God fearing approach to life. She has our vote.

God give us people like the Palins to humor us so we can realize our lives is not that pitiful.

Thanks so much for this lovely article with photos. Todd & Sarah really are an attractive power couple.

A nice light hearted political piece without partisan hatred and venom. Nice job.

'What has he been eating;" Foot long hot dogs.

Poor Sarah Palin, having to stand so close to Barney Frank. It must have been scarey, but she is a brave lady and up to any task!

The shame of this is that Frank SHOULD be shunned by society for his role in the financial collapse along with , well ..., just who he is.
Palin is a true American success story who puts country before herself. Something we nedd more of.

When will S'error Palin's 15 minutes of shame be over? When will a conservative woman with a working brain and an ability to string 4 words into a sentence step forward?

oh my goodness that is the tackiest evening bag ever! And draped to hang beneath her rump?? Look at the expression on the face of the woman behind her in the top picture, she's thinking what I'm thinking: "This nutty woman is so out of her league in so many ways!" And poor Todd, just not a black-tie kinda guy -- back to the Arctic Cat outfit, that's workin' for him.

@trueliberal, She put Country First? How?

She made an oath to serve the state of Alaksa, and then she walked out on them for the money and fame. Seems pretty obvious that she put money first.

Please do tell how she has put "Country First"?

On another note, Palin is just a mean person.

Do you guys ever stop hating? Nah. Guess what, it's not that attractive. Look at the polls if you don't believe me.

Sarah's outfit blends in with the elitist crowd-
You know what they say "When in Rome, do as the Romanians". That otter purse with pink accents is perfect!- how she's wearing it- not so much

See what happens when the RNC is no longer dressing her? A tacky seal skin purse? She is all pro-life, but I guess that does not apply to baby seals. And check out the size of that cumberbund! Better ballsy for a guy who was a member of the Independence Party not long ago. Maybe he has a big dipper?

I think Sarah Palin would make a great president. OK, I'm not into hunting, but then, I wasn't raised in Alaska. I think that would make a difference.

She's a good, decent, Christian woman who seems to have a warm heart. She is also very intelligent. People who claim she's stupid and who try to make a fool out of her are into a name it and claim it ideology, plus the hope of destroying someone's reputation. The people who tell vicious lies about her are going to have to face God some day, and it won't be pretty.

I have also seen the dispicable attacks on her children. The fact that she had her children on stage with her is no excuse. These people must be desparate for an excuse. There's obviously something wrong with them, or they wouldn't even want to go after Sarah's children. They have hateful hearts and it shows very clearly.

Whether Sarah becomes the first woman president of the United States will depend on people seeing through the lies that are told about her. If they see through it, they will vote for her. If they don't see through it, then she doesn't have a chance. That's what her enemies are banking on.

I hope she wins. Go, Sarah, go.

Go girl, we are all for you.

### A tacky seal skin purse? She is all pro-life, but I guess that does not apply to baby seals ###

Oh boo, you city person. Not big on knowing about animals never featured on PETA ads. You think the purse was made from a baby seal named "Otto"

Fur lined jacket - Liberal heads begin to spin. Otter skin bag - Liberal heads explode.
Sarah Palin - priceless!!!

YOU MAY BE FOR HER, BUT YOU WOULDN'T VOTE FOR HER!
THE GOP IS IN BIG TROUBLE IF THEY LET THIS POOR
LADY REPRESENT THEM IN 2012!
SHE NEEDS TO KEEP EARNING BOOK MONEY AND SPEAKING
ENGAGEMENT MONEY AND CALL IT A DAY!
HOW IS THE PRIVATE JET YOU FLY ON, WHILE YOUR
STAFF MEMBERS ARE ON THE BUS?

Thank you Lynn Sweet for this excellent write-up. Here are a few of my thoughts on some of the comments here ...

1. Sarah Palin has earned far more than 15 minutes of "fame." She is not a celebrity; she is an American original, and born leader. Why do "elite" journalists want to know her opinion on anything and everything? Because she's honest. Her views are refreshing. She doesn't speak politician. Those of you wanting her to go away, be prepared to be disappointed. She couldn't go away even if she wanted to. She is fundamentally relevant, and millions of people care about her and respect her views, including the Rev. Billy Graham.

2. Sarah, unlike most politicians, actually took her oath to "serve" Alaskans literally. When she came home from the campaign trail to the "new normal" and 80% of her time was spent on junk lawsuits and frivolous charges, she wasn't serving the best interests of her state anymore. Her newfound "fame" was actually harming her state, so she did the right thing and stepped aside, even though it hurts her chances for national office. The national level politics followed her to Alaska, so she decided to confront the challenge on the national level where she could be more effective.

I wish there were more public servants like Sarah Palin.

Who is carrying the purse? Sarah is wearing black and the person in the picture with the purse is wearing gray.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on December 9, 2009 9:25 AM.

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