Correction: Due to a transcription error, the original version of this article misconstrued Palin’s remarks about conservative rhetoric. The article has been updated. We apologize for the error.
Sarah Palin’s speech to CPAC was intended to rouse conservatives and hearten them about their movement.
And it succeeded. But it also unintentionally revealed how difficult it will be for conservatives to make even cosmetic changes in the wake of a Democratic victory in the 2012 election.
“It’s imperative to reach out and to share that conservative message of liberty and less government and lower taxes and individual responsibility,” Palin said. “It’s time we all stopped preaching to the choir and let’s grow.”
But the very same speech overflowed with familiar conservative tropes that have helped cement the movement’s unpopularity.
“Background checks: A dandy idea Mr. President,” she said, before drifting into birther territory. “[You] should have started with yours.”
“Bloomberg’s not around,” Palin joked as she slurped on a giant soda, “our Big Gulps are safe.”
She called on conservatives to elect more far-right members who “chew barbed wire and spit out rust.”
“Mr. President, we admit it. You won,” she wrote. “Accept it. Now step away from the teleprompter and do your job.”