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O'Donnell hits the 'ruling class'

From msnbc.com's Carrie Dann:

Three days after she astounded political observers by upsetting a longtime Republican lawmaker in Delaware's Senate primary, Christine O'Donnell made her national debut to the conservative base Friday, delivering anti-"elitism" zingers and channeling backer Sarah Palin in a rousingly-received address to a conservative gathering in Washington D.C.

O'Donnell, who has full-throatedly endorsed the Tea Party and been flatly declared unelectable by establishment Republicans, told attendees at the Family Research Council's Values Voters Summit that Washington insiders have marginalized the conservative political movement because "they don't get us."

"They call us wacky. They call us wingnuts," she said.

"We call us we the people," she added to thundrous applause.

The Tea Party movement's simple message to big government, O'Donnell said: "You are not the boss of me."

O'Donnell's address, punctuated by frequenct dinging of the "DC cocktail crowd," the "ruling class," and the "green police," drew a sharp contrast between an activist "us" and an establishment "them" -- the same sentiment that endeared her most prominent endorser - Sarah Palin - to many Republicans. "There are more of us than there are of them," she declared.

Attendees at the gathering of social conservatives received O'Donnell with a standing ovation as members of the press hurried to the filing area in time to hear her address. She won hearty applause for one-liners like this one skewering the political left: "They'll buy your teenaged daughter an abortion, but they wont let her buy a sugary soda in her school's vending machine."

Unlike some of the day's previous Republican speakers, O'Donnell has blurred no lines about her affiliation with the Tea Party. On Friday, she noted that the movement can seem disorganized and strident. "We're loud, we're rowdy, [and] we're passionate," she said, adding that while it "isn't tame ... boy, it sure is good."

The Delaware Republican's chances of winning the general election the same state that sent Joe Biden to Capitol Hill are considered very low in light of her conservative views and a torrent of opposition research detailing controversial statements she has made in the past. But her debut today likely ensures that - even six weeks from now - we'll be far from seeing the last of her.