CEDARBURG, Wisconsin (CNN) – Sarah Palin took to her attack dog role with gusto on Friday morning, calling John McCain “the only great man in this race” and disparaging Barack Obama’s judgment on the troop surge in Iraq.
Watch: Palin slams Obama on Iraq
Reading off notes, Palin mocked Obama for telling Fox News on Thursday that the surge “has succeeded in ways that nobody anticipated.”
“I guess when you turn out to be profoundly wrong on a vital national security issue, maybe it’s comforting to pretend that everyone else was wrong too,” Palin said, adding that McCain was “the one leader who did predict success.”
The crowd cheered when Palin reprised a pithy line from her convention speech that mocked Obama's professional background.
“I guess a small town mayor is sort of like a community organizer only you have actual responsibilities,” she said, responding to critics who accuse her of lacking experience.
Thousands of locals crammed into a picturesque block in this town north of Milwaukee to see the Republican ticket-mates speak. It was a fitting backdrop as Palin offered a Mayberry-esque description of her own home town and small towns everywhere, saying that the people who hail from small towns “love our country in good times and bad, and they are always proud to be an American.”
As was the case at the other Republican rallies she has attended over the last week, Palin’s star power at times seemed to outshine McCain’s. She elicited boos from the crowd as she attacked Obama, and chants of "John McCain! John McCain!" as she lavished praise on the GOP nominee.
“Sarah Palin gives me hope because she’s just like us," said Jim Buss, a voter from the nearby town of Glendale. "If she can be vice president of the United States, any of us can. My daughter can. Prior to that, Washington was elitist. Here’s a regular person going to be the second most powerful person in the world."
McCain was a bit more effusive. He introduced Palin as “the most marvelous running mate in the history of this nation.”