Palin: Asia speech re-casts her as Libertarian and slams Obama on China

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Sarah Palin the populist has become Sarah Palin the free trader. In a wide-ranging and well-received speech in Hong Kong, Palin supported a more Libertarian free-market approach, slamming the recent imposition of tariffs on Chinese tires by the Obama Administration.

Palin spoke at a closed-door investor forum organized by CLSA in which no media representatives were allowed. While attendees were reportedly impressed with her preparation and command of the facts, Palin only took pre-approved questions.

The New York Times reported:

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“The speech was wide-ranging, very balanced, and she beat all expectations,” said Doug A. Coulter, head of private equity in the Asia-Pacific region for LGT Capital Partners.

“She didn’t sound at all like a far-right-wing conservative. She seemed to be positioning herself as a libertarian or a small-c conservative,” he said, adding that she mentioned both Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. “She brought up both those names.”…

Melvin Goodé, a regional marketing consultant, thought Mrs. Palin chose Hong Kong because, he said, it was “a place where things happen and where freedom can be expanded upon.”…

Mr. Goodé, an African-American who said he did some campaign polling for President Obama, said Mrs. Palin mentioned President Obama three times on Wednesday.

“And there was nothing derogatory in it, no sleight of hand, and believe me, I was listening for that,” he said, adding that Mrs. Palin referred to Mr. Obama as “our president,” with the emphasis on “our.”

Mr. Goodé, a New Yorker who said he would never vote for Mrs. Palin, said she acquitted herself well.

“They really prepared her well,” he said. “She was articulate and she held her own. I give her credit. They’ve tried to categorize her as not being bright. She’s bright.”

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Edward here. Notice how the NY Times story mentions only one attendee’s race. What does Goodé’s being Black have to do with this story? The writer, Mark McDonald, should be condemned for inserting this language as he is obviously trying to spin the story, suggesting that even a black pro-Obama supporter thought well of Palin’s performance. If he’s going to spin it that way, then just say it directly. The way he words it is cringe-worthy.

This speech and others to come should be seen not only as a way for her to earn shed loads of cash, but as a way to position herself to lead the Republican party ahead of the 2012 Presidential election.  It seems that she is re-casting herself as a libertarian to do so. She has already come out against healthcare, positioning her opposition to Obama’s plan as libertarian. Attendees of the CLSA speech report that she spoke about this subject in Hong Kong as well.  However, she also took on the tire tariffs issue, rejecting an inviting populist take on the issue in favor of more free-market rhetoric (for more on the issue see my post “Murder-Suicide in Chimerica”).

Not everyone was impressed.

“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.”

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