Gov. Sarah Palin is drawing Obama-size crowds, as 60,000 people are estimated to attend a campaign event north of Orlando this afternoon.
"He won't say this, so I'll say it for him," the Alaska governor said as she finished her first Florida stump speech before 60,000. "There is only one man in this election who has ever really fought for you. John McCain wore the uniform of his country for 22 years -- talk about tough."
Her speech in the Central Florida retirement community of The Villages
was occasionally interrupted by chants of "Sa-rah, Sa-rah" and "USA, USA."
George Bennett of The Palm Beach Post wrote some color on the event:
It was the largest crowd ever for a political event at The Villages, community spokesman Gary Lester said. The Republican bastion is a frequent stopping place for GOP candidates.
More than four hours before Palin arrived, cars and golf carts jammed nearby roads and thousands of people clogged the Disneyesque Sumter Landing town center area to wait in the baking heat for a glimpse of Palin.
Palin T-shirts, buttons and hats - most of them making reference to lipstick, pit bulls, hockey or some combination of those elements - were everywhere. There were also people wearing McCain items, but usually with Palin's name on them somewhere.
Palin took the stage around 4:30 p.m. accompanied by husband Todd Palin, whom she introduced as "Alaska's first dude," daughters Piper and Willow and infant son Trig.
Palin's speech lasted about 23 minutes and stuck to tested themes. She accused Obama of failing to offer a prescription for the crisis in the nation's financial markets and said the Democrat would bring higher taxes.