From NBC Chicago's Ward Room blog:
A packed house roared with cheers as GOP superstar Sarah Palin took the stage Wednesday night at the Rosemont Theatre.Earlier today, Gov. Palin appeared at a fundraiser for the Illinois Republican party at the Westin O'Hare.
Introduced to a video with a narrator that said "she's right here in Barack Obama's hometown," Palin stood before an American flag and took on Illinois and its native son.
"This 'hopey-changey' thing isn't what we bargained for," the former Alaskan governor told the supportive crowd, adding that she was "glad to be here on the president's home turf."
"I almost feel a little bit sorry for the president," she said. "They expected us to welcome the change. Come November we're going to show them just how grateful we are."
She spoke of one of the day's biggest news stories: the cancellation of the Highland Park High School girl's basketball trip to Arizona by a superintendent who felt that state's anti-immigration law was not "aligned with our beliefs and values."
Update: Here are some excerpts from the Sun-Times' coverage of the evening event:
With 4,000 Chicago area fans cheering her on, former Republican Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin trained her sights Wednesday night on Highland Park High School, which conservative talk radio has targeted for canceling the girl's' basketball team's trip to the play-offs in Arizona.The event was also reported on by the Chicago Tribune, the Rockford Register Star, and the Associated Press, among other legacy media outlets.
"I said, 'Wait, I thought it was already a crime for an illegal alien [to be here]," Palin said to raucous cheers at the Rosemont Theatre.
For 70 minutes, Palin optimistically preached patriotism, praised Illinois for giving the world Ronald Reagan and the Tea Party movement; slammed President Obama, moderation and Illinois' corrupt politicians -- who she said reminded her of the people she kicked out of office back home in "Alaahhhska."
She urged her enthusiastic fans not to settle for moderates to represent them: "Some Republicans apparently thought they'd have to move to the middle to win. I said, 'No, no, no, no, no. You win by letting the middle move to you. You let the folks in the middle of the road know that your ideas are the right ones."
This Palin-loving crowd loved it when Palin bashed the "Lamestream media."
"Somebody told me, 'You know you're going into enemy territory.' I said, 'It's Chicago -- it's not MSNBC."
Palin said the mainstream media demonized members of the Tea Party movement - which includes Palin, and, judging from the cheers, many members of this audience.
"We're being called 'racist' and 'seditious' and 'redneck,'" she said. "I really don't mind the 'redneck' part. I'm fine with that one. It's no mystery who we are: We're Americans; everyday hard-working patriotic Americans. The 21st Century Tea Party movement, it starts right here in Chicago. This is where it starts. So Illinois, your place in the history of this grass movement has been instrumental."
Some blogs covering the event include The Sweeney Report, Hot Air and Hillbuzz.