Sarah Palin—the 2008 vice-presidential nominee, self-proclaimed Mama Grizzly and unofficial Queen of the Tea Party—brings her political circus into the heart of Silicon Valley this week with a trio of events slated for downtown San Jose on Thursday.
Palin, who, depending on one’s point of view, is either “the most polarizing force” in American politics or “the most electrifying figure” in the Republican party (and the truth of the matter is that she may be both), will be making her first major public appearance in the Bay Area since her Cinderella debut as John McCain’s running mate in the 2008 presidential campaign.
Palin will be speaking at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts at 3pm, followed by a reception (6pm) and a sit-down dinner (7pm) at the San Jose Marriott.
Palin has previously limited her activities in California to the more-friendly confines of conservative bastions like Redding, Bakersfield and San Diego, but according to event promoter Victor Cocchia, the executive director of the fledgling Liberty & Freedom Foundation, (based, according to its website, Washington, D.C.), Palin “is excited about bringing her conservative message and conservative values into traditionally ‘blue’ areas. There are a lot of conservatives here as well.”
Cocchia, who was raised in the Bay Area, says one of the primary directives of his organization is to reach out to “youth and Hispanics,” two demographics that have been “traditionally overlooked by the party.” Cocchia asserts that his organization—and Palin— are “not afraid to represent conservative values in what are viewed as ‘blue’ regions. We believe in a healthy dialogue of ideas.”
Immediately after the event, Palin will be heading off to more red-meat territory in Orange County, where she will appear Saturday Oct. 16 in Anaheim with controversial Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele for the first of a pair of national “victory rallies” sponsored by the RNC and both featuring Palin.
On her Facebook page this week the ubiquitous former governor of Alaska referenced her California tour, declaring that: “California is at a major crossroad in this election, and the eyes of the nation are on this state because the Golden State has unfortunately become a case study in failed liberal policies. This is still Reagan Country!”
Neither Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman nor GOP Senate candidate Carly Fiorina will be appearing with Palin in any these California events, although Palin has endorsed Fiorina in her battle with Sen. Barbara Boxer.