Palin flubs explanation of Paul Revere’s ride

Mike Krumboltz
June 3, 2011

Sarah Palin is a divisive figure. But no matter where you stand with the former Alaska governor's politics, this recent video of her speaking about Paul Revere's historic ride is sure to raise a few eyebrows.

In the video, which was taken at Boston's Old North Church, Palin gives a bizarre version of Revere's 1775 ride. Addressing an unknown person, Palin remarks:

He who warned the British that they weren't going to be taking away our arms by ringing those bells and, um, making sure as he's riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that, uh, we were going to be secure and we were going to be free.

A couple of things are wrong with that interpretation, but one central main point seemed to be lost on Palin: Revere wasn't warning the British about anything. Indeed, he was warning the Americans about an impending British attack--as his celebrated historical catchphrase "The British are coming!" made abundantly clear.

But Palin can take some small consolation in knowing she's not alone among high-profile leaders affiliated with the tea-party wing of the conservative movement in misremembering a key development in colonial American history--even as the movement prides itself on serving as the guardian of the American Revolution's founding principle of liberty. Last month, Michele Bachmann--Palin's likeliest rival for the tea party vote should they both elect to run for president in 2012--told a crowd in New Hampshire that they came from the state where the first "shot heard round" helped set off the American Revolution in Lexington and Concord. Lexington and Concord, of course, are in the neighboring state of Massachusetts.

You can watch footage of Palin's remarks in the video above.