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Sarah Palin meets a special friend in a Pennsylvania orchard

NEW PARIS, Pa.—Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin arrived at the Boyer Orchards here Friday afternoon, entering a sweet-smelling wooden barn full of crates of apples. "This is gorgeous," Palin said, greeting workers.

The visit was designed to highlight small businesses and their special needs and how a John McCain administration would help them.

And the Republican vice presidential candidate did talk business and taxes with Matthew and Bruce Boyer, whose family has owned and worked this 300-acre orchard for 51 years now.

But it was after their business chat that Palin had some special moments with a special fan, Amber Brown. As Palin left the barn, an excited crowd outside was mid-verse singing "God Bless America," but roared at the sight of Palin.

Brown, who is 23 and from New Paris, held a poster that said: “I have Down’s syndrome and I’m voting for you. I’m a fighter too!”

Palin saw Brown, headed straight for her and they embraced. “I love that poster!" said the mother of a Down syndrome baby (Click on Read more line below to see photo of Palin with her infant son, Trig).

"You’re a fighter and you’re beautiful,” Palin told Brown. The pair posed for pictures and hugged again.

Palin then continued down the rope line, paying special attention to the babies and children, at one point crouching down beside four little girls.

Once Palin finished, she returned to Brown and embraced her again. Palin's husband, Todd, also came by and chatted with Brown and her family.

This is not an unusual encounter for the 44-year-old mother of five, who gets a little emotional at such moments, as a recent MSNBC video unexpectedly captured.

Before meeting Brown, Palin talked with the Boyers, the small businessmen who told her of skyrocketing costs and....

...difficulties during picking times finding legal migrant workers, who just this week finished harvesting some 5,000 bushels of apples a day.

“It’s increasingly difficult to find legal help,” Matthew Boyer said. “People don’t understand this immigration issue. You know we need workers. We can’t get a local person to help us. It’s hard work.”

Bruce Boyer added, “Like it or not, we need migrant help.”

Alaska Governor, Republican vice presidential candidate and mother of five Sarah Palin with 6 month old Trig

Matthew Boyer added that insuring that commercial agriculture has a supply of legal migrant workers assures that the food America consumes continues to be grown in the United States, which is vital for the nation’s security.

Boyer also said that he knows some of his migrant workers, and considers them “brothers,” and that people don’t understand that they are not seeking citizenship; rather, they want to work, earn some money and return to their family.

Palin discussed taxes, saying she wants to reduce the orchard’s taxes. “That allows you to grow and expand and provide more to your employees," she said. "That’s a piece.”

Boyer nodded and said healthcare cost increases have been devastating. “Every year, it goes up 15, 20%,” he said. “We can’t handle that. It’s scary.”

Before Palin responded, Boyer returned to immigration, noting there is a limited time period to get the apples picked.

Palin replied, “That’s like our commercial fishing business.... Because if we can’t pick our fish out of the net, while the [inaudible] harvest is right there, then we’ve lost the season.”

Boyer presented Palin with a honey crisp apple, saying it is their specialty. Boyer told Palin he had been studying about her on the Web.

“Your ... counterpart really worries me with some of his ideas," Boyer said. "The taxes on small business." Boyer held his arm up to his chest and said, “We’re up to here right now.”

Palin agreed. “You don’t need to be working for your government; government needs to work for you.”

--Seema Mehta

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Photo credit: Getty Images

Comments () | Archives (31)

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Has there ever been a politician that hawked her family like a flea market hustler such as this Neiman Marcus-clad moose?

Wendy Button, knows Obama, she writes his speechs, yet she gets it! She has just said "no" to Obama mania. (see the URL) or look up this speech writers name

Palin's inappropriateness for the role she has been thrust into has nothing to do with her age or gender, and everything to do with her woefully undeveloped world view. She makes for a very charismatic parrot, which is everything the cynics behind the current administration are looking for in the next president. Obama is clearly every bit as family-oriented, he just doesn't need to wear it on his sleeve the way Palin's handlers have instructed her to do- a blatant Rovean appeal to 'family values' voters who can't see past the surface to the real issues.

The abject failure of competence , integrity and moral fiber by the media is the true hallmark of this election. I worry for this country like no time since the days of 20% interest rates of Jimmy Carter. The media has sold the public a real "pig in a poke " with this guy Obama.

Why Obama and not Palin? Because Sarah Six Pack might be nice to share a beer with, but we need a bit more than that to run the country. It's too important for someone who is clueless to the world and can recite canned responses but won't interview for the position. Obama is a professor of constitutional law (for gosh sakes). He'd be winning by 20 points if he wasn't black. Why is the Dem gov of Missouri up by 15 points and Obama is up by one? Duh. Grow up and select the best man for the job - Obama.

allesandro machi,

i'm a working mother myself--with only one daughter--and i can tell you sarah palin is not doing all the raising of her five kids all by herself. it is hard to do both and i only have one child. she has help, obviously, and as governor is most likely more absent as a parent than present because her job must require so much more attention and detail and time commitment. you are obviously selectively ignoring the fact that obama is a father too and one who equally cares enough and spends time responsibly with his two daughters inasmuch as biden himself was a single dad who raised his two sons during their mother's death. it irritates that you only choose to see palin as the responsible parent, negating the roles of fathers who equally put in as much to make families becaome what they are. ironically, this is reverse sexism on your part.

palin's interviews and debate performance shows she is incompetent because she had demonstrated little knowledge of anything (!), much less of national and global concerns. she cannot even coherently respond to policy questions. she may be a governor, but her constituency is small and her executive experience over-rated. and have you read about abuse of power (hers and todd's) and ethical irreularities investigations about her? try to keep informed as well on how she got to be governor--her route literally speaks of her rabid ambition and political agenda.

even prominent republicans lament her anti-intellectualism and say she is, under legitimate circumstances, not ready to lead, especially at this time. i can go on and on but this post is long enough. if you obviously weren't so partisan you should be able to see the smote of her incompetence right before your eyes!

and beware of wiki sites--while they may impart information, these are essentially non refereed sources, which means anyone can just put information up, without anyone necessarily calling the 'writers' up for facts.

I want see Sarah Palin as the VP because she will be a different kind of VP. I do want her to be the spokeswoman for special needs kids. We do not need to have Cheney style vice presidency. She will the new face for American.. For me SHE is the change and hope.

She Gets MY VOTE!!!

unbelievable that someone so genuine is getting so attacked. I am totally touched by her obvious love of her children. She is owed an apology by all.

Before Pope Benedict came to America to celebrate Mass in New York and Washington, it was revealed that as a young boy in Germany he had had a cousin with Down Syndrome. One day a Nazi doctor came and claimed his cousin for the Third Reich. Taken to be “cared for” at the “hospital” young Joseph Ratzinger never saw his cousin again: one of the host of “useless eaters” marked for extermination by that brutal regime.

My wife and I operate St. Joseph’s House, a daycare and respite care home for handicapped children. As it happened one of the children we care for, a wheelchair bound young lady, was chosen along with three other handicapped folks to carry the gifts up to the altar before the consecration at the Mass at Nationals Stadium in Washington D.C. on April 17, 2008. One of these was James, a 30ish man who works in the Officer’s Club at Andrews AFB. James has Down Syndrome. He was chosen to carry the large host which would become the Body of Christ lifted up before the assembled. As James with great ceremony advanced toward the Pope, his native enthusi­asm overcame his reserve and he started to run. Simultaneously the Holy Father leapt from his chair and walked towards James with his arms out­stretched. We have a picture of this moment which I cannot look at without tearing up. What did he see as he gazed so lovingly at James? I believe he saw his cousin. I believe he saw the face of Jesus. And I believe that his great prayer as he elevated that host on that impossibly beautiful day was “As long as you did to these the least of my brethren, you did it to Me.”

The next day April 18th, a boy was born to of all people, the Gover­nor of Alaska. They named him Trig.

More evidence that this woman will bring warmth and caring to the Vice Presidency. Obama demonstrates no evidence of these characteristics. He he can talk the talk, but Sarah walks.

I can't seem to get this right? The days of the sitizen politician is over? Politics is a profession? I thought our forefathers saw that as a great EVIL? They were also not so enamoured with sending layers to Washington!!!

Sarah Palin has proven herself to be incompetent without any help from MSNBC, the "Gotchya media" or anybody else. Every time she opens her mouth, a lie or an incoherent thought jumps out.

Reply to Alessandro Mach

Because she is...
1) An anti-intellectual - e.g. 6 colleges to get a degree, ref: KC interviews, ref: 3rd grade's question, 0 National & foreign affairs knowledge etc
2) Divisive - 'pallying with terrorists', 'real america', 'pro-america parts'
3) Right wing nut - witch-craft, end of days
4) Unhonest - claims troopergate found 'no ethical voilations', Promised ABC 2 weeks ago to release her medical record within that week
5) Hypocrite - $150K clothes for a 'hockey mom' - if she didn't want it then why did she wear it?, 'Obama will spread the wealth' when she herself used those words 3 months back. 'Leave my family alone' but will parade them in full gear in all her shows

I can go on further but if u don't get the point by now... u will never


Thank you for this article. Gov. Palin is a wonderful person and does not deserve the derogatory reporting that the Obamedia is trying to portray her with! We can all see now that it was a deliberate effort by the media to destroy her for Obama. Well, it didn't work! I believe that effort has backfired. And further more I do not believe the polls against her. Us women will not forgive the gender bias that was used against her!

Actually, small business owners have every reason to vote McCain / Palin. Read the Heritage Foundation's report The Obama and McCain Tax Plans: How Do They Compare?by William W. Beach, Karen Campbell, Rea S. Hederman, Jr. and Guinevere Nell. Small business owners have more sense than to take the word of Barack Obama's Online Tax Calculator. It lies.They have compared the two candidates' health plans and prefer John McCain's. They know McCain has defied his own party in a bipartisan effort with Sen. Ted Kennedy to address immigration. And Sarah Palin is Gov. of Alaska. She understands domestic policy and managing a state budget. She is a working mother, and families like to see her on the campaign trail and ask her about their kitchen table problems. Those are all strong arguments for the Republican ticket that counter the hateful comments on this blog. The attacks on Sarah Palin's family are sad.

Hope, if a hostile media cut up your comments determined to make you look like an idiot, that's what you'd find with the Gibson/Couric interviews with Gov Palin. Gov Palin is intelligent and a fast learner, McCain's campaign did her great damage by putting her in with piranhas Gibson and Couric, but even so, she's much smarter than Biden (Hezbollah chased out of Lebanon by US-yeah, right) any day of the week. She has more exec experience than the other three nominees. The GOP is lucky to have such an extraordinary woman on their ticket.

Hey guys, the choice is not Obama vs.Palin, its Obama vs. McCain and there is no comparison as far as experience and readiness. If we elect Obama, he takes office immediately and all of his unknowns and inexperiences become an immediate issue for the country. "He will be tested in the first 6 months" and frankl,y if that test means 3000 or more American have to lose their lives again, then the choice becomes even more clear.

Now, as for Palin vs. Obama, what was Obama like 7 weeks into his campaign? He was spewing all kids of nonsense like invading Pakistan, pulling out of Iraq before victory, meeting without preconditions, etc.

If McCain wins, Palin will be ready to become president before long. She is already showing an huge improvement in her campiagn skills. For me, I'd rather have someone real and trustworthy than a slick talking, radical leaning, wealth spreading, do nothing like Obama. Palin has done more in her 2 short years as governor of Alaska than Obama has done in his lifetime.

I look forward to 2012 with the hope that she runs for president. We need a change but not the 1970s socialism Obama offers. We need someone less slick and hollywood produced.

The fact of the matter is, she is better qualified than 0bama because she has better instincts for leadership than he does.

If things do not go according to script for 0bama, he will fall apart. One of the things that shows this is his inability to speak in an informal setting. Reading a prepared speech from a teleprompter, he is very impressive. But in an open town-hall meeting, he stutters and stammers while he tries to come up with an answer, and as often as not his answer is wrong. The classic was at Saddleback, on the question of when life begins: McCain is comfortable in his belief, and just came out and said "At conception".

0bama was hemming and hawing, because he was not being honest, he was trying to have it both ways. He rambled on for what seemed like 2 minutes, then said it was "beyond my pay grade".

I think HONESTY is beyond 0bama's paygrade. If he can't be honest during the campaign, what makes you think he will be honest from the White House?

And besides, Palin has McCain to guide her through foreign-affairs issues; 0bama has JTI - Joe The Idiot (regardless of his IQ, he is a big-mouthed fool).

Sarah Palin will never be able to do anything right as far as the left is concerned, no pun intended. if she leaves her children behind, then she's an ambitious bad mother who is only concerned with her political career. If she brings them along and can share time with them whenever possible, then she's a bad mother because she's using the kids for her own sinister motives. The woman shows great compassion for persons with Down Syndrome and she's accused of having some kind of an agenda. It's a shame how she has been demonized in the media and TV and radio shows. It's a shame how low and classless people can get nowadays.

“Your ... counterpart really worries me with some of his ideas," Boyer said.

“Your ... counterpart" What was edited out here? ... ? The word counterpart can possibly be misinterpreted by the reader to imply Palin's running mate. Thank you for the journalistic slight of hand. Treasonous useful idiots. The pogrom shall be vast, no quarter shall be given.


There are those who talk about what they believe and there are those who live their beliefs.

If you don't respect Sarah Palin there is something wrong with you. Something inside of you is broken. I wish you could be happy and I hope someday you are.

thank you Mr. Bissell for telling us about the Pope and that young man. I am still teary eyes from reading that blessed moment. Am not a Catholic but love your Pope. He is one of the few Christian leaders we can trust to stand tall for Jesus and for the unborn. I pray we do not reject the chance God has given our nation in the person of Gov Palin. If we do..then I do not believe we will get a second opportunity to avoid the downward slide into a destructive society. The liberals are hell bent on bringing down the U.S. They say they want to change our country. I believe they do. But, the change they want will be awful.

MC - your snob elists "worldly view" is showing. You must be from a "BIG" city or think you know all that there is to know. It is us "family oriented" simple folk that put food on your table, put clothes on your back with the cotton we grow, and produce the energy that runs your house and place of business. We are the little cogs that make up your "worldly view". Without us you don't live. Without you? This Big Old World would still keep spinning.
Gov. Palin, she works for a living. She and her husband have jobs that pay thier bills and they both raise thier family. Gov. Palin's job has accountablity. Senator Government has no accountablity and the only thing he is good at is voting present and giving away tax dollars in the millions to his friends and supporters. Your hero? As to family oriented, one Halloween outing does not make a father. Thier children go to an elitist lab school only for the priveleged and the weathly. The Palin children? They go to public school. If you were to break it down, time spent with thier children, Palin's win. And before you start accusing someone of being "woefully underdeveloped" in thier world view and a "charismatic parrot" you need to take a closer look at your "wonder boy". He is woefully snobbish when it comes to America. Someone who lives in a mulit- million dollar mansion with staff, someone who has a high salary job (which he hasn't done for two years while he has been running for Presdent "call me if you need me"), with many hundreds of thousands of dollars in "perks" and benefits, and has run through 491 million dollars plus . He is in touch? He knows what America needs? Obama needs to narrow his worldly view. He also comes across as an bumbling fool without a teleprompter in front of him. Parroting talking points is all he can do.
Americia needs a President who has served this country in the military, that knows how to work with others, believes in the Constitution, knows the branches of the government and what they are supposed to do, and knows that "pork" is not in a budget. And he needs a Vice President who knows what the country is about and who her people are, her everyday people, someone with executive experience, who knows how to deal with difficult people, who believes and knows the Constitution.

"Obama is clearly every bit as family-oriented, he just doesn't need to wear it on his sleeve the way Palin's handlers have instructed her to do."

Tell that to brother George and Aunti Zeituni.

Hey "Joe the Plumber"- maybe some of you citified limo liberals have a hard time wrapping your head around who Sarah Palin is, but for most of us it's not a problem to understand her.
Where I live we see large Amish families with 6-10 kids in tow; little ones being hauled around by their siblings. They are always together, as mom goes about her day with a baby on her hip. This is how American life has been for generations for those who do not or chose not to rely on daycare.
Sarah has Trig with her constantly for an obvious reason.. as with her other children, he is not on a bottle. Her children are with her because they adore her and want to be, not because they are props. Little Piper is obviously having the time of her life, and the crowds are smitten by her. They come and go to appearances as they please.
A comment like "hawking her family" speaks volumes about the pathetic biased outlook of certain miserable libs than it ever will about Sarah.
No shame, no ethics, no tolerance, no class, no love, no empathy...pray, how do you live with yourselves?

Has Andrew Sullivan begun his "vetting" of Amber Brown yet?

Regarding BHO's experience, does anyone think he couldn't have known about his aunt's status? He knew she'd come in on tourist visas before, then suddenly she calls him in 2006 and he's not the least bit suspicious that she might be here illegally?

Things don't add up:

There is still time America. This is not a done deal as the MSM would have you believe. We have a chance to elect two honorable people who will have America's interests at heart rather than two socialist ideologues. Vote for America! Vote McCain-Palin!

Oh, brother, I still can't believe you guys take this religious bible-beating freak seriously.

Why can't you see what the rest of the world is seeing? Are Americans really that ignorant?

Sarah Palin has shown herself unfit to be Mayor of Wasila, much less Governor or VP. It's nice that she has a big family, but that doesn't make your more intelligent or wise.

I always liked McCain and was extremely disappointed that he passed over hundreds of more qualified people to pick this lady. Not only is she totally out of touch with the issues Americans face, she flaunts that ignorance at her rallies. We don't have time for this silliness. I wish her all the luck in the world, back in Alaska.

This would be so nice if Palin and the GOP paid more than lip service to the needs of people with disabilities. As someone who has worked with children and adults with disabilities for 20 years she makes me sick. Maybe the people who adore her so much should ask her why she apposes a 2/10% increase in sales tax in order to provide services to 12,000 people with disabilities in Colorado. They could ask her why cutting the budget of the local Special Olympics was a good idea. What a fraud!


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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