From NBC/NJ's Matthew Berger
LAKEWOOD, Ohio – It was not the best of beginnings for Palin Monday morning.
At the first of the Alaska governor's six rallies of the day, there was plenty of room to spare. The crowd at Lakewood Park was sparse, to say the least, perhaps one of the smallest she has seen in weeks.
And then, speaking of Obama's views on coal, she repeatedly stumbled on the word "bankrupting," calling it "bankruptcing." But she recovered to offer a stinging attack on Obama's double speak, suggesting the city of San Francisco has a truth-telling effect on the Democratic presidential candidate.
"There must be something about San Francisco," she said. "I heard on Fox News today, it's like a truth serum where when he's there, he seems to be more candid."
It was at a San Francisco fundraiser earlier this year that Obama got into trouble, suggesting rural voters "cling to religion and guns" because jobs were being lost. Palin referred to them Monday as "bitter clingers" and "cling-ons." (There goes the Star Trek vote?)
And it was Obama's comments to the San Francisco Chronicle on fees for coal emissions that brought on Palin's most recent attacks.
"So he's talking to the San Francisco Chronicle, and he says that sure, if industry wants to try to build these coal-fired power plants, they can go ahead and try, but they're only gonna be able to do it in a way that bankruptcies the whole industry, the coal industry," she said. "Now he's comfortable with this happening."
Palin has drawn strong applause in recent days by evoking fear of a Democratic-controlled White House and Congress, and suggesting they will cut defense spending by 25 percent. But she took the charge a step farther Monday.
"This in a time of multiple conflicts and obvious danger still to the homeland," she said. "What do they think? That the terrorists have suddenly changed their minds and no longer do they seek to destroy America and her allies and all that it is that we stand for – freedom, democracy, equal rights, tolerance all those things that we stand for? Do they thing the terrorists have changed their minds?"
Throughout the rally, Palin fed off the "we will win" chants from the audience, at one point adding "We must win" because of the "far left wing of the Democrat party."
Palin has six rallies in five states planned for the final day of campaigning. After midnight on the West Coast, she will begin an overnight flight to Alaska. She is expected to touch down before sunrise in Anchorage and travel the hour to her hometown of Wasilla, with just enough time to vote before traveling back to join McCain in Phoenix Tuesday night.
"I'll tell ya, this is the right place to be for us to kick off this final day of campaigning," she told the suburban Cleveland crowd. "This is the right place to be. You can just feel it here, you can just feel it here in Ohio, victory's coming, we can do this, we can win, we can win Ohio. And we must win for you."