he first rally in the Tea Party Express III tour attracted at least 8000 people to the Nevada desert this weekend, where the star attraction was former Alaska governor Sarah Palin. Billed as a "conservative Woodstock," the event was held in Searchlight, the hometown of Democratic Senate majority leader Harry Reid, and intended to drum up opposition to his November re-election bid. "The big-government, big-debt, Obama-Pelosi-Reid spending spree is over," Palin told the crowd. Addressing the Democratic leadership directly, she said, "You're fired." Palin's stump-like appearance showed off her "folksy brand of full-throated opposition," says Mark Halperin at Time, and proved again that "within the conservative movement she has unmatched national appeal." It's true she's the "Godmother of Tea Party soul," says Bob Franken at True Slant, but she's also "the symbol of mindlessness over matter." Watch some of Palin's speech here:
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