From NBC's Domenico Montanaro
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Sarah Palin's speech Saturday night sounded like a pretty good preview of what a candidate Palin might sound like -- in 2010 and possibly, 2012.
She sought to channel some of the anger in the country -- at banks, at Wall Street, at spending, and for those that disagree with this administration's approach, at President Obama.
It all "makes us less free and should tick us all off," said Palin, who spoke for 42 minutes and then took nine pre-screened, pre-selected questions.
It was hit after hit on the Obama administration on the stimulus, unemployment, debt, health-care reform, and foreign policy.
"How's that hopey, changey thing working out for you," Palin said.
Though Palin said people "don't need an office or a title" to make a difference, she didn't dissuade the possibility of running for higher office. (Palin is herself without an office or a title currently. She resigned as Alaska governor in the middle of her term last year.)
There are "two words that scare liberals," organizer Judson Phillips said to Palin during the question-and-answer session -- "President Palin."
That was greeted with chants from the crowd of "Run, Sarah, Run."
Phillips stopped short of asking directly if she would run for president. He instead asked what her priorities would be if she were president.
"If I were in that position," she began, and then laid out three priorities: (1) Energy (an all of the above approach); (2) reduce spending; and (3) no promises of false bipartisanship.
The no promises of bipartisanship and her overt invoking of religion were perhaps the two most eyebrow-raising moments.
When asked to lay out the priorities for a potentially GOP-controlled Congress after 2010, Palin said, (1) spending; (2) energy projects (oil, gas coal); and (3) not being "afraid to go back to our roots as a God-fearing nation" and "start seeking some divine intervention" and to "proclaim your alliance with our creator."
She noted she would hit the campaign trail this year in Republican primary politics -- and that her endorsements would probably upset some. She's stumping with Rick Perry today in Texas. Perry has a gubernatorial primary against Bush-Cheney endorsed Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. Palin will also campaign next month for her former running mate John McCain, who faces a primary from the conservative J.D. Hayworth. There was no love lost at this convention for McCain, by the way.
She laid out a three-point litmus test for candidates to endorse: (1) Ask if they believe if they're taxed enough; (2) that they'd be committed to doing something about it; and (3) that they believe in limited government.
She also invoked some of the anti-intellectualism (anti-"elite") that has come to be a part of her rhetoric and the Tea Party movement's, generally. Palin said that a resume isn't what's important in a candidate, that she'd rather see average, everyday people run for office who may or not have ever been involved in politics.
One thing is for certain, with a schedule that is quickly filling up in the next few months, we are going to hear a lot more politics from Palin as Election Day 2010 nears. Saturday night's speech was the kickoff.
Here's a brief clip: