My impression of the Alaska Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner

I had posted this as a reply in another thread, but I think it was a… dead thread.

There was a big crowd. The introductions were done by alternating Lt. Governors, Lehman, and Parnell. Lehman wore the Lincoln Hat and gave the “Gettysburg Address intro” of Gov. He shouldn’t give up his day job. Both Don Young’s and Lisa Murkowski’s speeches were pre recorded, I thought both were quite good, Rep. Young was especially sharp. The old guy ain’t dead yet. Ralph Seekins did the auction stuff. As I’m sure you know, it is what he was born to do.

Gov. Palin’s keynote was …all over the place. It went way too long, I’m guessing close to an hour. For the first 30 minutes or so, I thought she hit a home run. She hit the Dems hard, had great timing, looked like she was enjoying herself. She hit a lot of good themes both local and national. If she stopped then she would have had an almost perfect “HELLO 2010? launch. Then it got weird. She started on a riff about needing party unity, about needing to heal from some of the stuff that went on, then went on what had to be a 15 minute tirade about “Tasergate”, having to pay hundreds of thousand of dollars of her own money fighting off frivolous ethics complaints many of which she said quite directly “were probably filed by people in this room”, the treatment her family was getting etc. It was strange since during that earlier 30 minutes, one of the things she pounded on is that we have to be optimistic, not whine. The folks at my table were just looking at each other, unsure what to think. I’m just wondering if this was scripted, or if she lost it when she saw someone in the crowd. She then went to a pretty standard boilerplate closing, which she struggled to get through. I’ll be curious how it gets played by the Media tomorrow. I’m not quite sure what I’d write myself, if I were in their shoes.

One thing I do have to say is Gov. Palin probably did the best Reaganesque defense I’ve ever seen; of how you grow the party, not by moderating, but by welcoming independents and even Dems who don’t have a home anymore in such a Leftist party. If anyone videoed tonight, they need to send out to the State Party Chairs and make them memorize it.

My other impressions were
– it was an older crowd. Other than the College Repub crowd, I was on the youngish side.
-A lot of the folks were real friendly and talkative to this unknown newbie.
-I think it sucks that Ted Stevens wasn’t there at least by video if not in person. They had better getter over that distancing act soon. There are still a lot of people who will be a lot more inclined to open their checkbooks, if they think that is what Uncle Ted wants.
-It was another reminder that Alaska continues to be proud of its tradition of bringing in mail order and imported brides
-I’d really be happy with Sean Parnell as Governor