WASHINGTON — Marg Delahunty has braved the wilds of the American Midwest to come face-to-face with Sarah Palin.
Comedian Mary Walsh’s beloved character button-holed the former Alaska governor at a recent book-signing in Columbus, Ohio, only to be strong-armed away from Palin by a cabal of security guards.
The action was documented on Tuesday night’s “This Hour Has 22 Minutes,” but four days later, Walsh was still marvelling at her close encounter with one of the most controversial politicians on the planet.
“We told her we’re from Canada, and we’re just looking for a few words of encouragement for the Canadian conservatives who have worked so tirelessly to destroy the socialized medicare that we have,” Walsh recalled Tuesday from St. John’s.
“Four huge big burly guys started pushing, and I pushed back, but I got her attention, and she told us to keep the faith, something like that, and said we’re all trying for the same thing.”
After being kicked out of the book-signing, Walsh and her crew then waited outside at a loading dock close to where Palin’s bus was parked. When Palin emerged from the Borders bookstore, Walsh said, Delahunty — dressed in a more toned-down version of her trademark warrior princess costume — called out to her.
“Hey, remember us, we’re the Canadians! We came all the way here from Canada!” Delahunty yelled. “When we asked you that question, we didn’t hear your answer.”
Palin strolled over, looking down on Walsh and her crew to tell them that “Canada needs to dismantle its public health-care system and allow private enterprise to get involved and turn a profit.”
“Basically, she said government should stop doing the work that private enterprise should do,” Walsh said.
In addition to those comments, Walsh said, she found it equally bizarre that no one was allowed to ask Palin any questions at the book-signing.
“It was great fun, but also very strange,” Walsh recalled.
“We’re in a bookstore, at a public event, in a place one would think was a bastion of free speech. And no one was allowed to ask questions. What are they afraid of?”