Gerston said this is a good time for Palin, a "great communicator" skilled at tapping into public anger, to be speaking anywhere, given the national mood.
"Where I come from," she said, "we call that bait."
Palin was one in a string of high profile speakers visiting the Bay Area this week. The Dalai Lama drew a reported 12,000 fans at the San Jose Convention Center on Tuesday, and the ultraliberal, Oscar winning documentarian Michael Moore was to receive the John Steinbeck Award at San Jose State on Thursday.
Not filled to capacity
Palin, the conservative icon and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, first drew cheers by saluting the San Francisco Giants, then said she was delighted to be in a "state that puts a mama grizzly on its flag."
Despite such sentiments, nearly 6 in 10 Californians have an unfavorable opinion of Palin, according to a recent Field Poll. Flyknit Nike Roshe
Sarah Palin finds a receptive crowd of conservatives in heavily Democratic San Jose
"There is a Republican base here, but it's fairly small," San Jose Nike Flyknit Air Max 2014 Review State political science professor Larry Gerston said. "There are a number of conservative Democrats, however, who might be persuaded to some degree, or at least interested in what someone like Palin would have to say.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is speaking today at San Francisco's Commonwealth Club, and her husband, ex President Bill Clinton, is scheduled to campaign at San Jose State on Sunday for gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown.
At a VIP reception at the Marriott Hotel afterward, fans got a chance to meet Palin and have pictures taken with her for $500. That was followed by a $350 dinner that included herb roasted chicken breast and cr br cheesecake.
In a speech tailored to California interests, Palin also lambasted the cutoff of water affecting millions of state residents because of "a two inch fish," the threatened delta smelt.
and elect candidates who embrace the conservative values of lower taxes, less spending and smaller government.
Palin is widely thought to be considering a run for president in 2012, and one person attending the event Darali Phillips, 67, of Los Gatos said Palin has her vote. "We just don't like what's going on in Washington," Phillips said, "and we want to change the tide" of "big government taking more and more control of everything."
"But in general," he added, "this is not friendly territory for Sarah Palin."
Sarah Palin answers questions from the audience read by Victor Cocchia, executive director of The Liberty Freedom Foundation, at the Center for the Performing Arts in San Jose, Calif. on Thursday, October 14, 2010. (Nhat V. Meyer/Mercury News)When Sarah Palin, possibly America's most polarizing political figure, stepped into the lion's den of heavily Democratic San Jose on Thursday, was a raucous crowd of tea party fans waiting to welcome her?
'Not friendly territory'
Negative views of Palin are probably even stronger in San Jose, where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans 2 to 1.
$199 for the two hour forum, during which Cocchia and conservative KSFO commentator Brian Sussman also spoke. Sussman led the crowd in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, and a girls' quintet called Celestial City sang "God Bless America" and the national anthem.
"Now we know what they were shoveling, and it wasn't asphalt," she quipped.
Terry Christensen, also a political science professor at San Jose State, said he couldn't recall such a "polarizing" figure as Palin appearing here since President Richard Nixon came to the Civic Auditorium in 1970; he was met by stone throwing protesters. But Christensen said there are enough Republicans here to turn out in decent numbers for a "political megastar" like Palin.
"I can think of only a handful of current politicians who have her celebrity status and star quality just Palin, Obama and the Clintons," he said.
Appearing at the downtown Center for the Performing Arts her first visit to San Jose and first public event in the Bay Area Palin rallied the faithful to dump the Democrats Nike Flyknit Shoes India
People in the crowd shouted in agreement. When one man hollered, "Throw the bums out!" Palin replied, "Amen, brother. You betcha."
An organizer said about 1,400 people (not enough to fill the 2,665 seat auditorium) paid from $25 to Nike Flyknit Racer Unisex Running Shoe
Pollsters found that 53 percent of registered voters would be less likely to vote for a candidate because of Palin's endorsement; only 21 percent said they would be more likely.
The public forum was sponsored by the conservative Liberty Freedom Foundation, whose executive director, Victor Cocchia, asked: "What better place to come to educate people as to the conservative message than the Bay Area, where conservatives are marginalized and not heard very often?"Palin, who last year resigned as Alaska governor with 18 months left in her first term, attacked "Obamacare," President Barack Obama's landmark heath reform package, as "the mother of all unfunded mandates." And she assailed the 2009 stimulus bill and all the "shovel ready projects" it was supposed to fund.
Speaking in a rapid fire, sometimes chirpy voice, Palin parodied "Saturday Night Live" by saying, "Nov. 2 is right around the corner. I can see it from my house!"
"Are you ready to take it back," she asked, "and put government back on the side of the little guy and have government work for you instead of you having to work for government?"
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