Sarah Palin visits liberal Eugene, Oregon today where she will be speaking to the Lane County GOP. Here are some excerpts from Jeff Barnard's Associated Press writeup:
"She's a pretty brave woman, I think," said Bill Young, a Eugene veterinarian and chairman of the Lane County Republican Party.Read the full AP story here.
"I think that everybody is concerned that it doesn't seem to fit the mold," he said. "Yet you have to realize there are a lot of Republicans and conservatives who live in this area. I'm just thankful she agreed to come, and put Eugene on the map, so to speak."
Palin's appearance will mark a detour from conservative enclaves like Orange County, Calif., Orlando, Fla., and Redding, Calif.
Eugene is a Democratic stronghold in a blue state. Lane County registers nearly twice as many Democrats as Republicans. The county sheriff is a Republican, and so is one county commissioner, but not one state legislator identifies with the GOP.
And that is the point of recruiting Palin, even at her hefty speaking fee - which Young wouldn't disclose - to rally the faithful here.
"She is somebody who can energize the party - make Republicans more visible in Lane County specifically and Oregon in general," Young said. "This will let people know we are trying to do things to help the state. And try to empower more people to get involved."
At $250 a head, the party has sold out the Eugene Hilton hall where Palin will speak. The hall seats about 800, and the party has also sold most of the $100 seats in an overflow room with a video feed, Young said.
Seventy people who donated $1,000 will get a photo with Palin and a signed copy of her book. Reporters can watch on video, but can't use recording devices.
Update: Eugene's News Source 16 (KTMR-TV) reports that extra security for the event will be furnished by the Eugene Police Department and paid for by the Lane County GOP.