- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 8, 2014

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin called on conservatives Saturday to strengthen their limited government ranks in the midterm election - even if it means replacing GOP lawmakers that have been reluctant to take a more aggressive stance against the Obama administration.

Mrs. Palin said that there has been a “great awakening” in American politics, fueled by the rise of conservatives like Sen. Ted Cruz and the follies of Presidents Obama, whose “yes we can” campaign slogan, she said, has turned into “no you can’t.”

“No can’t log onto the website,” Mrs. Palin said, alluding to last year’s failed rollout of Obamacare. “No you can’t keep your health care. No, you can’t make a phone call without Michelle Obama knowing this is the third time this week you dialed Pizza Hut delivery.”

Mrs. Palin showered Mr. Cruz and Mike Lee of Utah with praise, saying the tea party favorites need help on Capitol Hill.

“It is time that we send them reinforcements,” she said. “The best is yet to come. This is a great awakening. The age of Obama is almost over…the end of an error. He is the lamest of lame ducks.”

The speech capped the three-day Conservative Political Action Conference, which saw Sen. Rand Paul win the Washington Times sponsored presidential preference straw poll for the second year in a row.

Mr. Cruz finished a distance second, neurosurgeon Ben Carson finished third and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie finished fourth.

Mrs. Palin finished tied for tenth with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Mrs. Palin exploded onto the scene in the 2008 presidential election when Arizona Sen. John McCain plucked her out of political obscurity to serve as his running mate.

Her folksy style and defense of the Second Amendment helped make her a rock star among the party’s grassroots, and also made her a favorite target of Democrats.

After the 2008 election, Mrs. Palin returned home to Alaska and months later quit her job, citing “frivolous” ethics probes and the legal costs associated with it.

Mrs. Palin has remained popular in some conservative circles, and she brought down the house at 2013 CPAC, where she sipped on a Big Gulp, mocking New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s campaign to decrease obesity by reducing the availability of sugary drinks.

She received a massive ovation from the standing room only crowd here on Saturday and served up the conservative red meat that the thousands had come to here.

She slammed Secretary of State John Kerry and suggested she correctly predicted in 2008 that Mr. Obama’s weak response to Russia’s invasion of Georgia could encourage the nation to invade Ukraine.

“After all, who could have seen this coming,” she said.

She also said that Mr. Cruz’s 21-hour filibuster - in which he read from the Dr. Seuss book “Green Eggs and Ham” - has inspired her to come up with some rhymes of her own that she tells in bedtime stories to her son Trig.

“I do not like this Uncle Sam, I do not like his health care scam,” Mrs. Palin said, whipping the crowd into a frenzy.

Mrs. Palin also took direct aim at what Democrats have called Republicans’ “War on Women” the past few years for, among other things, opposing federal policies that provide women free access to birth control.

“Girls, we know better than to fall for that victimization line from the president and his party - I know you know better,” she said.

“Women, don’t let them use you unless you [would] choose to be their political pawn or just piece of accessory on their arm,” she continued. “That’s not liberation; that’s subjugation.”

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