Just as she did in the presidential election, Sarah Palin stole the spotlight today, this time at a Hong Kong investment conference. Organizers tried to downplay attention to Palin's speech--her debut on the international stage--by banning the media. Fat chance! Faster than you can say "lipstick on a pit bull," details leaked to the blogosphere. The substance: Palin slammed federal bailouts, weighed in on U.S.-China relations, and worried about ballooning government deficits. (She is rumored to have strengthened her own balance sheet to the tune of $300,000 for speaking.) The reaction: about evenly split between cautious praise and the inevitable snark.
- Not Terrible, The Business Insider's Vincent Fernando forced himself to concede: "Anything but disaster is a victory for Mrs. Palin. Despite a few expected gaffes here and there such as warning against a one-nation Asia (as if China, Japan, and India are anywhere near this), it appears she performed well."
- Vintage Palin, said Don Surber: "Methinks some people expected Joan of Arc while others expected Tina Fey. I think they got Sarah, a bright person from middle America who is more mainstream than the geniuses we have in Washington."
- Boilerplate, shrugged the conservative Riehl World View: "She criticized Obama, praised Reaganomics. Looks like mostly boilerplate to me, not much new."
- Plausibly Folksy, conceded The Huffington Post's Cameron Sinclair: "Her strongest parts of the talk, whether you agree with them or not, were on domestic concerns and what she called 'the view from Main Street.' I actually happen to live on a Main Street (in a small town) and not sure most of my neighbors wouldn't agree with her views on the success of Thatcherite policies and that cap and tax (trade) will cause more unemployment and do nothing for the environment."
- Like Ron Paul, but Prettier, wrote the Wall Street Journal's Alex Frangos: "Blaming the central bank for the current crisis and disagreeing with the idea that the Fed should have a greater role in preventing the next crisis. It was an echo of fellow Republican and Texas congressman Ron Paul, who has led the charge in Congress to perform an audit of the Federal Reserve with an eye to eventually eliminating it."
- Partisan and Tedious, said the London Times: "Several audience members reportedly walked out of Ms Palin's speech 30 minutes before the end, citing 'more important things to do' or describing the talk as 'too partisan and too much like a speech at the Republican convention.'"
- She's Still an Idiot, Comedy Central's Mary Phillips-Sandy provided the satirical take: "International/financial/extraterrestrial expert Sarah Palin...talked about everything, literally everything, from econopocalypse (blame over-regulation) to China ("makes people nervous") to Afghanistan to health reform to the Fed to, who knows, Trig's bowels?"