It should be an interesting convergence of forces on the Capitol Square today, as the first farmer's market of the year plays host to Sarah Palin and a crowd of Tea Party demonstrators. To make things even more exciting, liberal groups are planning a counter-protest on the King St. side of the Capitol. All of this will take place in miserably wet, cold weather.
I had doubts about the Tea Party's ability to field a big crowd until I saw that Palin was coming to town. If the presence of a large, friendly crowd isn't written into her speaking contract along with demands for two bottles of water with bendy straws it's certainly a prerequisite for her appearance.
The counter-protest should be sizable as well. Although many of the thousands who came out to the Capitol over the past couple months are probably suffering from protest fatigue, there are enough dedicated Walker opponents, especially in Madison, to give the Tea Party some competition. Maybe even outnumber it.
Which leads me to the question: Will Sarah Palin end up speaking to a hostile audience?
A negative response to Palin would be especially significant if it came from the largely working-class crowd that turned out to the Capitol in the first weeks of the protests, since Palin's populist persona is based so heavily on representing average Americans. Her reality TV show was nothing but a stream of platitudes about what it means to be a "real American," which in Palinland means loving guns, listening to country music and working hard.
Yesterday on Sly in the Morning, Alaska radio personality Shannyn Moore discussed Palin's past support for unions as governor. According to Moore, Sarahcuda was a protector of organized labor before her vice-presidential campaign. "Sarah loves Sarah," said Moore. "She'll go where the wind blows her."
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