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Republican firebrand Sarah Palin is rarely at a loss for words but became unmoored on Saturday in Iowa after her teleprompter froze and left her without portions of her prepared speech.
The 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee flipped through a binder of notes and strung together a series of one-liners – and some of them made little sense.
'The man can only ride you when your back is bent,' she said, as audience members looked at each other quizzically.
'So strengthen it! Then the man can't ride you, America won't get taken for a ride, because so much is at stake.'
Addressing the controversy over the virtues of the late Navy SEAL Chris Kyle and the 'American Sniper' film that tells his life story, she shouted: “Screw the left in Hollywood!'
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TELEPROMPTER MALFUNCTION: Longtime Sarah Palin-watchers said in Iowa on Saturday that they were baffled by how untethered the former governor's speech sounded
BEWILDERED: Palin's audience often seemed unsure what to make of her rambling speech
And she carped about Democrats' view of Obamacare.
'What will they do to stop causing our pain, and start feeling it again? Well, in other words, um – Is Hillary a New Democrat or an old one?'
'Now the press asks, the press asks, "Can anyone stop Hillary?" Again, this is to forego a conclusion, right? It's to scare us off, to convince us that – a pantsuit can crush patriots?'
Democratic National Committee Communications Director Mo Elleithee issued a terse reaction to the Republican's embarrassing 35-minute meltdown: 'Thank you!'
Palin's more lucid moments included a hint that she might actually launch a White House campaign.
'If you want something said, you ask a man,' Palin boomed. 'If you want something done, you ask a woman.'
Then, waving a 'Ready For Hillary' sticker, she mocked former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
'Now I'm ready for Hillary,' she told her uneasy audience 'Are you? Are you coming?'
Eventually Palin returned to one of her time-worn themes: 'lame-stream media' journalists who haev classed her as a low-grade intellect selling weak sauce since Arizona Senator John McCain tapped her as his running mate nearly 8 years ago.
And in a fit of pique, she seemed to be blaming her fellow Republicans for letting her get clobbered.
The 2016 election, she said, 'is war for the sovereignty of the United States of America. We don’t sit on our thumbs next time when one of our own is being crucified, and falsely accused of whatever the hit accusation of the day happens to be: racism, sexism, whatever.'
Her appearance at the gathering of grandees came not long after telling the Washington Post she is 'seriously interested' in a Presidential bid come the 2016 race.
In a different interview the previous day she also said she was especially keen on running to make sure a woman is on the slate, saying 'America has had enough of seeing that ... sign on the Oval Office door saying, "No Girls Allowed".'
But days earlier she told a different interviewer that 'I don't give a flying flip' if a woman is elected president.
HATERS GONNA HATE HATE HATE: Palin, speaking at the Iowa Freedom Summit in Des Moines alongside a raft of other Republican big-hitters, entered to the Taylor Swift song 'Shake it Off' and claimed to be 'ready' to take on Hillary Clinton
THANK YOU , AND THANK YOU, AND THANK YOU: Almost sixteen minutes into a 35-minute speech meant to be a 20-minute slot, Palin had thanked half of Iowa for hosting her
Palin spoke at the Iowa event alongside a host of others whose names have been floated as potential GOP candidates, including Ted Cruz, Chris Christie and Mike Huckabee.
Her position near the end of the lineup indicated that the event's hosts, Citizens United and Iowa Congressman Steve King, hoped the Alaskan would be a showstopper.
She nearly stopped the entire show as Saturday brought something progressives have waited nearly a decade for: the moment when conservatives stopped laughing with Palin and started laughing at her.
When the substance of her speech arrived, she hit Obama over his executive order mainstraiming millions of illegal immigrants, and claimed Democrats have a worse record for waging a 'war on women' than conservatives.
Despite frequent references to 'real solutions' she would propose to solve America's problems – which she said include a bloated government and a president who refuses to listen to Congress – Palin did not elaborate on what those fixes might be.
But 'we get honest on national security,' she riffed. 'We give hope to the people that we need not – we will not – succumb to evil, and we call it as it is, we address it.'
'That must be, by the way, that 800-pound elephant in the room of the White House that the radical left won't even name.'
Palin, however, named it.
'It is any Muslim who would choose evil, whose loyalty to a death-cult perversion is so darkened and has deceived their soul that they actually think they're welcome here to transform here. No!'
'What we do is strengthen our military,' she said. 'We respect our troops and let them – our troops as our gatekeepers – we let them tell jihadists, "Uh-uh, this is our house! Get the hell out".'