By now, you’ve surely heard that, last night, Sarah Palin endorsed Donald Trump’s candidacy for president, sparking rumors of a possible new role as his running mate. But could you actually bring yourself to watch it? Well, so you don’t have to, we watched the full 21-minute speech. We did this because the situation alone (politician/reality TV star Sarah Palin endorses reality TV star/politician Donald Trump), as absurd as it is, belies the dark depths within. The true absurdity is in the details, so here they are—the unbelievable highlights (lowlights?) from some of the strangest, most disturbing political theater we’ve ever seen:
0:10 – During his introduction, the first substantive thing Trump has to say about Palin is that she has an incredible husband. This most likely says a lot about the amount of respect he has for women.
8:00 – Palin regurgitates Trump’s claim that voters should trust him because he’s financing his own campaign and thus won’t be beholden to the interests of donors. Now, the following has been established for months, but apparently still needs repeating: as of the last released reports, Trump’s campaign has cost around $6 million, nearly $2 million of which came from his personal fortune.
The vast majority of this money–just about $4 million– has come from about 74,000 “unsolicited donations.” Two other fun facts about Trump’s campaign financing: 1. he spent more than $500,000 on those hats, 2. his coffers, as of the last report, were very low, meaning he’ll either need to sink even more of his personal fortune into this, or accept way more outside donations.
10:20 – Palin claims the GOP majority–who she’s now painting as the villains that Trump and his supporters need to oust–have been “handing Obama a blank check to fund Obamacare, and Planned Parenthood, and illegal immigration.”
As well as being an outright lie—Congressional debates over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and the Planned Parenthood defunding bills, did not at all play out as Palin claims they did—it’s worth wondering if Palin honestly believes that Republicans in Congress have cooperated with Obama to fund illegal immigration.
11:32 – Palin characterizes the Trump supporters–positively, of course–as “right-wingin’, bitter-clingin’, proud-clingers of our guns, our god, and our religions and our…Constitution.” The gestures and facial expressions that accompany that opening jumble are just as confused and awkward as the words themselves, but the most telling part may be the pause and fleeting sigh before she buries the word “Constitution.”
12:05 – In a night packed with tortured metaphors, Palin’s claim that other GOP candidates “wear political correctness like a suicide vest” may be the high point.
13:12 – Palin incorrectly implies that the U.S. federal government is bankrupt. This is not the speech’s only instance of this.
15:06 – Palin claims America should stay out of Middle Eastern “squirmishes” entirely and “let ’em duke it out and let Allah sort it out.” This comes just minutes after insisting that America needs Trump to go to Egypt and “kick ISIS’ ass.”
16:38 – Palin claims that Trump “spent his life with the workin’ man.” This is an odd thing to say about the son of a wealthy real estate developer who attended private school, most likely dodged the draft, then went to work for his father’s company, in which he got started by revitalizing a Cincinnati apartment complex that his father had bought for him to work on for $5.7 million.
21:06 – As Palin and Trump leave the podium, the mic picks up Trump saying to Palin, “Come on, we’ll sign a couple of things.” That moment, above all, seems indicative of their attitude about all this.