PJ Media

PalinTracker: The Hong Kong Speech (Updated)

Palin in Hong Kong: “We’re not interested in government fixes, we’re interested in freedom.”

Sarah Palin — like a growing number of conservatives — chose to ban the media from her highly-anticipated speech to the CLSA world conference held in Hong Kong earlier today.

But within hours, the media began weighing in.

In her 90-minute address to 1100 international investors, Palin blamed government excess for the current economic crisis and pushed for better trade relations between China and the U.S. She touched on a wide range of topics, including the Asian and U.S. economies, the Fed, Reagonomics, the importance of free markets, and health care. She also mentioned China’s human rights issues.

Scrambling for a story, detractors were limited to talking to delegates, making a veritable Rorschach test of the event. The Raw Story headline screamed “Delegates walk out ‘in disgust’ at Palin speech.” Yet the story cited only two U.S. delegates — out of 1100 total — who left early.

The most fair-handed coverage came from the Wall Street Journal, which actually listened to the audio before reporting:

“Palin Addresses Asian Investors”

Former Governor Touches on Budget Deficit, Health Care and China

September 23, 2009, 12:15 PM
By JONATHAN CHENG and ALEX FRANGOS

HONG KONG — Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, in what was billed as her first public-speaking engagement outside North America, blamed the world financial crisis on government excesses and called for a new round of deregulation and tax cuts for U.S. businesses.

“We got into this mess because of government interference in the first place,” the former Republican U.S. vice presidential candidate said Wednesday at a conference sponsored by investment firm CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets. “We’re not interested in government fixes, we’re interested in freedom,” she added.

Of special interest: Palin has recruited John McCain’s campaign foreign policy advisor, Randy Scheunemann, “as she attempts to build a serious public profile and begins to build a network of aides and advisors typical of a national politician.”

UPDATE: Forget the Rorschach interpretations. Read this freshly posted summary of direct passages from Palin’s Hong Kong address divided by domestic and foreign policy and organized into specific issues:

“Excerpts of Sarah Palin’s Speech to Investors in Hong Kong” (Wall Street Journal)

Among the leftist fringe — particularly comment trolls — the hatred drumbeat is picking up, but the MSM sounds almost pleasantly surprised. Maybe they’re noting the contrast with Obama at the UN?

From the New York Times:

“Palin Speaks to Investors in Hong Kong”

September 24, 2009

By MARK McDONALD

HONG KONG — Sarah Palin, in what was billed as her first speech overseas, spoke on Wednesday to Asian bankers, investors and fund managers.

A number of people who heard the speech in a packed hotel ballroom, which was closed to the media, said Mrs. Palin spoke from notes for 90 minutes and that she was articulate, well-prepared and even compelling.

“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.”

More from the Wall Street Journal:

“Palin on China

The former vice presidential candidate understands Beijing better than the Obama Administration does.

Sarah Palin was pounded by the media as a foreign-policy novice during last year’s presidential campaign. But when it comes to the U.S. approach toward China, she has ideas worth listening to.

“Twenty years ago, many believed that as China liberalized its economy, greater political freedom would naturally follow,” the former Alaska governor and Republican nominee for the vice presidency told a Hong Kong audience yesterday. “Unfortunately that has not come to pass.”

Mrs. Palin sees China’s authoritarian nature as a security concern for the U.S. and its allies in Asia-Pacific, and she has a point. North Korea, Burma and other rogue regimes couldn’t sustain themselves without Chinese support

American Banking News:

“Sarah Palin: ‘Government Cause of Financial Crisis’”

Chicago Tribune:

“Palin: ‘Common-sense conservative’

Conservatives may be in the “wilderness,” Palin says, but they see clearly.

On the other hand, Reason Online:

“Mama Grizzly Ferociously Defends Free Markets” left readers dazed and confused. Sample comments:

Right message, wrong messenger.

I want to hate her so much … but I have to admit I like what she said.

Think Progress was left in the dust:

“Delegates walk out of Palin’s first international speech”

Some people apparently still aren’t ready to argue substance. Two out of 110 walked out. So who cares what she said?

The big surprise here is the respectful tone of the mainstream media. This could get interesting …