ABC News’ Imtiyaz Delawala reports: Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin criticized Sen. Barack Obama as "getting a little bit ahead of himself" in expecting a win on Election Day, saying the Democratic presidential nominee should delay the "coronation" until after voters have cast their ballots.
At rallies in Tampa and Kissimmee, Fla., Palin said Obama was already preparing for post-election plans, citing an inaccurate report Saturday in the New York Times that Obama’s inaugural address had already been written. Former President Clinton chief of staff John Podesta is leading transition preparation efforts for the Obama campaign, and had written a generic inaugural address for a book earlier this year — when he still supported Sen. Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination.
"And you know that elections — they’re not decided until the votes are counted. But our opponent, he sure seems, once again to be getting out a little bit ahead of himself," Palin said at the Tampa rally. "John McCain and I, we’re out here asking for your vote so we can get to work for you, and a lot of folks are still undecided. And you know, Barack Obama and I, we both have spent quite some time on the basketball court. But where I come from, you have to win the game before you start cutting down the nets."
Palin cited other instances — such as Obama’s use of a faux presidential seal for a day this summer, and his attempt to speak at Germany’s Brandenburg Gate — as signs of Obama’s presumptuousness leading up to Election Day.
"Remember the presidential seal that he made for himself a few months back? Or his plans to speak at the Brandenburg Gate until the German government had to remind him, ah, nah, that’s an honor reserved for heads of state?" Palin asked the crowd. "Or the stadium that he’s already rented out for the victory party that he has planned."
In fact, Obama has not rented out a stadium for Election Night — he has reserved a green space known as Hutchinson Field in Chicago’s historic Grant Park.
"You kind of get the feeling that the Obama campaign thinks this whole election process is just a formality," Palin continued. "And I know that judging by media coverage, it does seem that the coronation is already set. But as for John McCain and me, we don’t take any vote for granted, and we are not assuming that we have your vote, we are respectfully asking for it."
Palin also defended herself on what she called "the whole clothes thing," saying that the $150,000 in clothes purchased for her and her family by the Republican National Committee were not her property, and that she’s back to wearing her own clothes from Alaska.
"It is so nice to be back here in the Sunshine State and quite warm which I love, and grabbed a jacket this morning to put on not realizing how warm it would be. My own jacket," Palin said, emphasizing the word own, which drew laughs from the crowd.
She was prompted to address the clothing issue by an introduction by Elisabeth Hasselbeck, in which The View co-host called the questions on Palin’s wardrobe "deliberately sexist," and instead turning the focus from her clothes to the flag pin Palin wears.
"As you can see, Sarah Palin sure is a woman who knows how to dress," Hasselbeck told the crowd. "I’m actually personally most impressed by her accessories, you know, like the flag pin that she wears in honor, she wears it in honor of her son and our military men and women fighting abroad. And they fight for our very right to be here today, in her support."
"This whole thing with the wardrobe you know I have tried to just ignore it because it is so ridiculous, but I am glad now that Elisabeth brought it up cause it gives me an opportunity without the filter of the media to get to tell you the whole clothes thing," Palin responded at the top of her Tampa remarks. "Those clothes they are not my property, just like the lighting and the staging and everything else that the RNC purchased. I am not taking them with me, I’m back to wearing my own clothes from my favorite consignment shop in Anchorage, Alaska."
Palin then went on to describe some of the accessories she was wearing, including a pair of earrings from her mother-in-law, her $35 wedding ring, and her Blue Star mother pin.
"And my wedding ring, it’s in Todd’s pocket cause it hurts sometimes when I shake hands and it gets squished, a $35 wedding ring from Hawaii that I bought myself, and ’cause I always thought with my ring it’s not what it’s made of, it’s what it represents and 20 years later happy to wear it," Palin said.