Palin sells out Rosemont appearance

May 12, 2010 (ROSEMONT, Ill.)

Earlier Wednesday, she attended a fundraiser for Republicans.

Palin spoke for about 30 minutes and then took questions from the audience.

During her speech, she talked about corruption in Chicago politics, the excitement of being on President Obama's turf, and optimism for the November elections.

Hundreds of Sarah Palin supporters filed into the Rosemont Theater Wednesday night - some with enthusiasm, others with admiration.

"I admire her greatly - I think it's awesome what she's done with her life," said Palin supporter Yvonne Bolton.

"I think that she is really a great person and I really hope that she has a political future," said Charlotte Evans.

There was some opposition to her Chicago-area visit. A small group of protestors carrying signs about immigration reform greeted the guests.

"There are families, there are people that are suffering - we would just love to know what position she's on," said Ana Diaz DeLeon. "There's many Republicans that are backing this up, and we need to move this, you know - this has got to be fair to everyone."

Earlier today at the O'Hare Westin, Palin met with state Republican heavyweights at a $500-a-plate fundraiser.

"She is helping us raise a significant amount of resources so we can get our message out in this upcoming election," said State Sen. Bill Brady, the Republican nominee for governor. "So I thank her for taking the time out of her schedule to come out and help us raise resources."

Republican Senate nominee Mark Kirk did not attend either of the events Wednesday, saying he had prior voting commitments in Washington, D.C.

A spokesperson for Kirk's opponent, Democratic nominee Alexi Gianoullias, said Kirk is just avoiding Palin.

"When it comes to Sarah Palin and Mark Kirk - the two of them could not be closer in their opposition to President Obama and the major issues that I think Illinois families want to hear about," said Kathleen Strand with the Giannoulias campaign.

Palin was paid between $100,000 and $150,000 for her appearance Wednesday night.

She was given a standing ovation after her introduction. She began her speech by saying she was given a Chicago Blackhawks puck as a souvenir, and wished the Blackhawks victory as well.

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