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Monday, August 27, 2012

Palin Spends First Day of Republican Convention in Arizona


GILBERT, Ariz. - Sarah Palin spent the first day of the Republican National Convention serving baked beans and sliders at a barbecue joint here, in a last-minute campaign stop for Kirk Adams, a former state legislator who is vying for the Republican nomination in Arizona's Fifth Congressional District race.

Not that it mattered why she was visiting.

“I don't know who this Kirk person is,” said Jessica Flowers Cuff, 31, who lives in Gilbert. “It's my day off; I wanted to see Sarah.”

Ms. Palin picked the location: Joe's Farm Grill, which serves grilled American grub not far from an interstate highway. She had seen it featured on the Food Network series “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” said one of its owners, Tim Peelen.

The Adams campaign ordered food for 500 people: chicken, sliders, beans, but no dessert. There were Adams signs all around and T-shirts that read, “ O.M.G.: Obama Must Go.” His primary opponent, Matt Salmon, a former congressman, has been endorsed by Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida, and Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona, among others.

Ms. Palin walked onto the stage to Roy Orbison's “Oh, Pretty Woman,” and fired up the crowd by saying, “This election, folks, is not just about replacing the party that's in power. It's about who and what we'll replace it with.”

“Kirk Adams will fight for you,” she continued. “He'll fight for America; he'll fight for our kids' future.”

Ms. Palin has been fairly successful in her endorsements, which usually cut against the choices of the Republican Party establishment to support many of the same insurgent candidates embraced by her adoring base.

For Mr. Adams, her visit was “a huge deal,” and could not have come at a better time: a day before the state's primaries.