She came—she didn’t wink—but she conquered.
On Saturday evening, Sarah Palin, 2008 Republic vice-presidential candidate and former governor of Alaska, got an extremely warm welcome when she delivered the closing keynote address at a conference in New Delhi.
As she got up to head to the podium, Aroon Purie, the editor-in-chief of India Today, the weekly magazine that organized the conference and invited Ms. Palin to India in a rare overseas visit, halted her, saying, “Not so fast. I’ve got lots more nice things to say about you.”
In his highly flattering introduction, Mr. Purie did make a gentle dig about her having a creative vocabulary, saying, “Madam, I hope you won’t refudiate me if I say so.”
Associated Press Photos/India Today
Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin told the crowd that growing up in Alaska shaped her political outlook, which includes faith in ‘self-reliance.’
When she did get to the podium, she spoke to a packed room about subjects that ranged from the U.S. economy, to energy, to the rise of China to national security to ties between the United States and India.
A Sarah Palin buzzword bingo wouldn’t have very much in common with the President Obama version. Among her favorites: top-down central government planning (bad), the pioneering American spirit (good, but in need of being resucitated), ordinary people (very good), my upbringing in Alaska (very, very good).
She said India’s economic growth from market reforms in the 1990s was a lesson for the United States.
“You unleashed the creativity and the hard work of the Indian people. You turned away from a system where the central government sets targets for all sectors of the economy to a system that lets the market set its own targets. And that works,” she said.
(We wonder what Montek Singh Ahluwalia, deputy chairman of India’s planning commission, which makes five-year plans that sets targets for all sectors of the economy, made of that.)
“What you did was to power individuals and in doing so you reminded America of what made our country exceptional—the free entrepreneurial model that made our country great and prosperous,” she said, speaking several times of the importance of individual aspirations to economic progress.
After her half-hour address, Ms. Palin took questions from Mr. Purie for the next half hour.
The moment with the most laughs?
When Mr. Purie asked why the Republican ticket lost the 2008 elections.
“Cos of the media,” she said, “No, just kidding, no. Candidate Obama he had a strong campaign, he was the agent of change, and though he was inexperienced and relatively unknown in the U.S., people still desired that change.”
“But you could have been that change too, your ticket?” said Mr. Purie.
“I wasn’t the top of the ticket, remember?,” said Ms. Palin. “I’m not saying I should’ve been, I’m just saying.”
In spite of Mr. Purie’s coaxing, Ms. Palin would not be drawn into saying she would seek the Republican nomination in the 2012 U.S. presidential elections
But she did say “It’s time that a woman is president of the United States of America.” She also said that if she were to become president, her husband Todd Palin would probably be known as “First Gentleman,” and not “First Dude.”
There was one beauty pageant moment, when Ms. Palin said, “of course I want peace on earth.”
And there were a few puzzling statements, such as when she praised India for having broken the hold of unions on industry, although unions are considered to be one of the reasons India is having a hard time with labor reforms.
And then there was this, in reference to how democracies are inherently more peaceful:
“Free people that make up a free country don’t wage war on another country.”
Fuente: India Real Time