The Morning Joe crew were visibly horrified at Sarah Palin's speech for Donald Trump last Friday night, when she spoke on behalf of the Donald at the Milwaukee County GOP's fundraising dinner.
The speech came as Wisconsin is turning into the Republican establishment's major stand against Trump, with Gov. Scott Walker endorsing Ted Cruz, as well as the state's right-wing talk radio hosts speaking out vociferously against Trump.
And in that environment, Palin and her usual "word salad" (as Joe and company referred to it) didn't get their usual cheering crowd. Instead, it was just the half-term governor, a microphone — and crushing silence.
"Can I ask you," Joe Scarborough asked of John Heilemann, who had actually been there for the event, "halfway through her speech did you ask if you had stumbled into some bad acid?"
Heilemann responded: "Well the question was, 'Who has taken the bad acid?'"
"Oh, so you thought that maybe it appeared that—" Joe began.
"She was not fully — if the opposite of 'dissociative' is 'associative,' she was not fully associative," Heilemann responded. "Let's say that it was not a fully coherent speech, let's put it that way.
"So maybe we're wrong," Mika Brzezinski said, in a deadpan tone. "Maybe she should listen again, and maybe we should not be so condescending. Because this could be the most articulate moment of the campaign."
Joe introduced the montage clip: "Ladies and gentlemen, Winston Churchill, 1940."
.@morningmika on Sarah Palin's speech in Wisconsin: It was word salad https://t.co/v7Uw9VtNDJ
— Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) April 4, 2016
The quotes from the woman who almost became vice president of the United States:
- "Illegal immigrants, welcoming them in, even inducing and seducing them with gift baskets. 'Come on over the border, and we'll — here's a gift basket of teddy bears and soccer balls.'"
- "Our kids, and our grandkids, they'll never know then what it is to be rewarded for that entrepreneurial spirit that God creates within us, in order to work and to produce and to strive and to the thrive — and to really be alive."
- "Wisconsin, Reagan saved the hog — here, near Harley-Davidson. It was Reagan who saved that." (Note: This particular serving of word salad actually referred to when President Reagan, in a very non-free market move, increased by tenfold the tariff on Japanese motorcycles, in order to protect the Harley-Davidson company in 1983, a year-and-a-half before the next election.)
- "And the Establishment, maybe they're gonna start a new hashtag movement, "#NeverReagan"! They don't like that."
Joe, ever the classic rock fan, asked: "Was that more 'White Rabbit' or 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds'?"
Mika, meanwhile, was visibly shivering in horror "What?"
"I like," Heilemann said. "It's more 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, I thought.'"
Mika asked: "Did the audience — maybe I'm missing something, maybe they really loved it. I don't want to judge — I didn't hear anything. You could hear a pin drop."
Heilemann began trying to explain who the audience was (as in, that this was not a proper Trump rally): "Do you want to know what the event was?"
"Yes," Mika responded.
"No," Joe said instead, "I want to know what she was trying to convey."
"I have no idea," Heilemann answered.
"And did anybody get it?" Mika asked.
"I have no idea," Heilemann said again. "I think it would be fair to say the audience was not fully enthralled."