Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin visited U.S. President Donald Trump in the White House April 19, and she brought along a few notable friends.
Joining Palin on the trip to the Trump White House were rock musicians Kid Rock and Ted Nugent, according to The Hill. Palin thanked Trump for the invitation on Facebook and posted several photos of herself and her guests, including one of the trio posing in front of a portrait of Hillary Clinton.
Palin was an outspoken supporter of Trump during the 2016 campaign and was an invited guest to a presidential debate in October. Nugent is also a well-known Trump supporter.
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The trio also posed for pictures in front of a portrait of Hillary Clinton, making mocking gestures. It was the same portrait that Trump himself had accidentally stood in front of while greeting tour guests in March 2017. The portrait remains in the White House.
Palin was the vice presidential candidate for Republican John McCain during the 2008 presidential campaign, which they lost to Barack Obama. McCain's choice for Palin as vice president was much maligned in both Democratic and Republican circles, with many questioning her aptitude for issues of foreign relations and other, more complex political matters.
The Washington Post reported that a study conducted by researchers at Stanford University, Palin cost McCain an estimated 1.6 percentage points, or roughly 2.1 million votes. Obama secured the presidency with 53 percent of the popular vote.
A Newsweek article in 2008 pointed out that Palin did more for the campaign efforts of Obama than she did for McCain, helping turn many members of the Republican establishment into doubters.
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"But her drawbacks have become painfully clear. For a variety of reasons, she has sent wavering Democrats, independents and moderate Republicans scurrying to Sen. Barack Obama--even as she has failed to substantially expand Sen. John McCain's support," wrote Howard Fineman during the campaign in 2008.
Fineman also notes that only two-thirds of Republicans supported the McCain/Palin ticket. For as many moderates as her populist rhetoric turned away, it also sent hard-right Republicans against McCain, as he appeared soft compared to the stridently red Palin.
As for Ted Nugent, he has made the airwaves less often for his music and more for his sound bites when describing his displeasure in the previous administration. In 2012, Nugent described Obama as a "gangster" and "subhuman mongrel," in addition to claiming that if Obama were to win re-election that year, Nugent would either "be dead or in jail," according to Politico.
Kid Rock has offered a line of pro-Trump merchandise at his online store, many of which contain vulgarities. Rock said the merchandise were made due to "overwhelming demand," according to Breitbart.