Nearly 1,000 people turned out for a Steelman campaign rally at a berry patch in Cleveland, Missouri Friday. That's nearly twice the population of the small town in rural Cass County, located southeast of Kansas City. Cleveland had a population of 592, according to the 2000 census. What drew so many people to the event? Sarah Palin was there to campaign for Sarah Steelman, the conservative candidate for the U.S. Senate who received an endorsement from the former Alaska governor and 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee July 17.
Palin described Steelman as an "impeccable reformer" who is "not just talking the talk, she's been walking the walk all these years." She said Steelman's rivals lack the same credentials.
The event is part of a stump tour her campaign has dubbed the ‘Steelman Surge.’ The former Missouri state treasurer is in a three-way race with Congressman Todd Akin, who has the endorsement of Mike Huckabee, and businessman John Brunner in Tuesday's Republican primary. The winner will challenge incumbent Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill in November.
After both Sarahs took their turns speaking, the two served barbeque to a long line of people who waited in the hot, muggy weather for a chance to get close to a GOP superstar. Gov. Palin was accompanied by husband Todd and daughters Piper and Willow.