Palin Rally in Indiana Draws Thousands

Palin went straight for the heart of Obama’s socialist platform.

NOBLESVILLE – After watching Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin from afar for months, nearly 20,000 Hoosiers got their first glimpse of the stylish and feisty vice presidential nominee at the Verizon Wireless Music Center on a perfect fall Friday night.

And she didn’t disappoint.

“Indiana, soon the choice will be yours to make, and are you ready to help carry this state to victory? Are you ready to make John McCain the next president of the United States of America? Are you ready to send us to Washington, D.C., to shake things up?” she asked.

She said the choice for Hoosiers is between a politician who puts his faith in government and a leader who puts his faith in the citizens.

“It’s the choice between a politician who wants to raise taxes and redistribute your hard-earned money according to his priorities, versus a true reformer who wants to lower taxes and create jobs and get this economy going,” Palin said.

It was her first visit to Indiana as GOP presidential nominee Sen. John McCain tries to hold onto a state Republicans usually can afford to take for granted.

……The atmosphere was more rock concert than political rally, as students from Ball State University painted “Maverick” on their bare chests and supporters bought pretzels and nachos from the concession stands.

Country music artist Aaron Tippin entertained the crowd with a few songs, including “Kiss This,” which he dedicated to Obama.

The gates opened more than five hours before the program began and a line of people snaked as far as one could see, filing into the venue. All 6,000 pavilion seats were filled and thousands more perched on the lawn.

There was no official crowd estimate, but capacity is 24,000 and there were some empty spots on the lawn.

Once Palin took the stage, no one in the crowd sat down for the length of her 30-minute speech.

……Palin’s speech included a rebuke for Obama’s ties to ACORN, a national reform-minded community organization under investigation in a dozen states including Indiana for possible voter registration fraud.

……”We have to talk about this. It is not mean-spirited and it is not negative campaigning when we talk about someone’s record,” Palin said. “Americans are entitled to answers before Election Day. We need a little straight talk. These associations are important and they go to the heart of someone’s judgment and truthfulness.

“On Election Day you are going to be asked to choose between a candidate who will not disavow a group committing voter fraud and a leader who will not tolerate it.”

……Palin also invoked “Joe the plumber” – an unlicensed plumber from Ohio who took center stage during this week’s presidential debate, when McCain used him as an example of a citizen who could be hurt by Obama’s plan to raise taxes on wealthy Americans.

……”You’ve really got to hand it to Joe the Plumber. Somehow he succeeded in getting Barack Obama to finally state his true intentions,” Palin said. “He wants the government to take more of your money and decide how best to redistribute it.

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