ANDERSON — Appearing before a crowd of about 40 area Democrats, Indiana-born broadcast journalist Jane Pauley opened her speech at Democratic Headquarters in Anderson Thursday afternoon by alluding to her own hopes for the upcoming presidential election.

“I’m looking forward to a life into the blue, if you get my meaning,” she said with a smirk as the crowd clapped and hollered in agreement. The remark about political sides was also a reference to Pauley’s 2004 autobiography, titled “Skywriting: A Life Out of the Blue.”

Pauley made a brief appearance at the local Democratic headquarters to stump for presidential candidate Barack Obama and criticize presidential candidate John McCain’s claims that he is a maverick and a reformer.

“The original ‘Maverick’ was a gambler,” she said, referring to the TV series starring James Garner. “In these uncertain times, can we afford to gamble on a pair of mavericks?”

Pauley said the recent economic crisis on Wall Street had been misrepresented by others.

“People tell us this was Wall Street greed,” she said. “No, it wasn’t. It was very, very bad policy.”

Pauley said officials had pushed fiscal conservatism aside and embraced the free market.

“They eased up on regulations, and they put the pedal to the metal.”

Despite opposing the proposed $700 billion federal bailout of Wall Street, Pauley said the country was left with little choice. “God forbid we don’t do it because God knows how close to the precipice we are.”

Pauley’s comments were received with cheers by the like-minded crowd, but she got the most excited reaction when she referenced the recent presidential debate.

“Had John McCain deigned to look at Barack Obama during the debate, he would have seen what we see.”

Focusing on foreign policy, Pauley said the United States had alienated allies and emboldened enemies during the past eight to 10 years. Recently though, she said, respect for America is rising.

She named three reasons for the change in opinion. “Barack. Hussein. Obama,” she shouted.

By the end of her brief speech, Pauley had emphasized Indiana’s importance in the upcoming election, saying “Indiana is in play. Indiana is close.”

Pauley predicted that when the final Hoosier ballots were read, Indiana would be a blue state. “The 21st century will have begun, and Indiana will have started it.”

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