So, today’s the day former vice presidential nominee and half term Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin was to give her ‘speech’ to attendees of the CLSA Investors’ Forum in Hong Kong.
This speech was one of many firsts for Palin. First trip to Hong Kong, first speech outside of the US, first speech since quitting in the middle of her term, and first paid gig as a speaker.
So let’s see some of the reviews:
“She started the speech with the Alaskan fishing industry, which I think is a safe topic for her,” said Suyeon An of RCM Asia Pacific Ltd, who left before Palin stopped talking. “She was avoiding the important economic issues. She tried to talk some about Hong Kong in general, but it was nothing specific. It was a very safe speech, boring I have to say.”
“She was against the Obama administration’s tariff on importing tires from China,” Nicola Maino, head of equity team, at Euromobiliare Asset Management SGR based in Milan. “In her opinion it was the wrong approach. Her approach would be more cooperation with China.”
Two US delegates left early, with one saying ”It was awful, we couldn’t stand it any longer”. He declined to be identified.
“It was almost more of a speech promoting investment in Alaska,” he said, declining to be named.
“She rambled on about the place for ages,” says an Indian banker with a major U.S. firm. “Palin even talked about Alaska’s land bridges with Asia and how animals once went across.” Based on a recording it reviewed, the Wall Street Journal says Palin invoked her husband Todd’s Eskimo heritage as a sign of shared “bloodlines” between the continents.
”As fund managers we want to hear about the United States as a whole, not just about Alaska. And she criticized Obama a lot but offered no solutions.”
“[Palin] displayed a mixture of commonsense prudence and a bit of naiveté when it comes to finance,” says a London-based fund manager (most delegates spoke anonymously due to the confidentiality policies of their companies). “Surely, we know now not all things are better left to the market.”
”It was fairly right-wing populist stuff,’ one US delegate said.
“I can’t say I was actually impressed,” said Mel Goode, a business developer from New York who lives in Hong Kong. “She speaks well — a broad spectrum of what her beliefs are, family views.
Another from the United States said: ”She frightens me because she strikes a chord with a certain segment of the population and I don’t like it.”
As an attendee said while walking out, “she clearly wanted to keep talking so there’d be no questions.” The moderator did ask her a few questions, but that part of the program lasted less than 10 minutes.
CLSA, an arm of French bank Credit Agricole, said it closed Palin’s session to the media after she indicated that she would have to adjust her speech if reporters were present.
Wonder if the paid offers will continue to come as more leaks out and more opinions are offered?
One could say as long as it wasn’t a complete disaster, she did all in all as we would expect.