'Hockey Mom' Palin fields Pennsylvania protests
Nick Cargo and David Edwards
Published: Sunday October 12, 2008

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Alaska Governor and McCain running mate Sarah Palin was greeted with assorted protests during her visit to Pennsylvania Saturday.

Before the start of the Philadelphia Flyers' opening game against the New York Rangers, "Hockey Mom" Palin, flanked by daughters Willow and Piper, met a mixed reception as she stepped onto the ice at the Wachovia Center. Cheers and boos were both heard, and audience members were visible holding their thumbs down and displaying signs supporting the Obama/Biden campaign. Also joining the Palins was Cathy O'Connell of Erdenheim, Pennsylvania, winner of the Flyers "Ultimate Hockey Mom" contest, team captain Mike Richards and native Alaskan and Rangers assistant captain Scotty Gomez.

"I've been warned that Flyers fans, they get so enthused, that they boo everybody at the drop of the puck," Palin said at a Saturday fundraiser. "But what I thought I'd do is I'd put Piper in a Flyers jersey, bring her out with me. How dare they boo Piper!"

While Allegheny County Republican Party Chairman Jim Roddey presided over the $1,000-a-plate fundraiser at Pittsburgh's Westin Convention Center Hotel, demonstrators across the street waved signs, mostly in protest of Palin's appearance. Among signs waved as the McCain/Palin "Straight Talk Express" bus drove by were "I'm a 6-packer for Obama" and "Palin = Bush with lipstick."

McCain and Palin represent "extremism," said participant Janice Markowitz.

"That's the intelligence we're dealing with in this country," said McCain supporter Jeamour Matthews of her opponents. "They don't have no grace (sic), they have no manners, they don't obey the law...these people should be arrested. They're blocking the sidewalk."

"I'm going to tell her that we really have to concentrate on two things," Roddey said, adding that he felt the campaign remained "winnable." "John McCain and Sarah Palin, look at what they've accomplished. She's been a mayor; she's become a governor of a state. He's got a twenty year track record in the Senate, and a 26 year record in the navy. Great accomplishments and he's a man of character. We don't know that much about Obama."

Video of the Wachovia Center appearance follows, as posted to YouTube, followed by an accompanying report from KDKA as broadcast on October 11, 2008.

Download video via RawReplay.com

Download video via RawReplay.com