One of the ways that sometime-Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has been maximizing her celebrity to stack the tall dollars is through all the various speaking engagements she's lined up, which keeps the peripatetic Palin on the road and appearing before a diverse array of audiences. It's been great business for Palin, who gets paid six figures to show up and spit her patented brand of snowbilly wisdom. It's not been great, however, for her occasional captive audiences at various expos, who typically have to endure a speech that has nothing to do with their industry.
Palin's latest foray happened this past weekend at the ICSC RECon Conference in Las Vegas, where she was among an array of touted speakers that included Robert Reich and Virginia Postrel. Business Insider's Joe Weisenthal notes that it's pretty standard for figures to game out their remarks in advance and "tailor their speech a little bit to the crowd" -- in this case, a massive gathering of retail real estate industry professionals. But guess what? That didn't happen! And attendees didn't seem to be too happy about it. A few took to their blogs to register their complaints:
From The Dirt Lawyer's Blog:
Speaking of disappontement, let's talk about the keynote address from Sarah Palin. In short, it was a standard stump speech with a few superficial comments about shopping centers and retail real estate. It was awful and a borderline train wreck in my opinion. All Palin had to do was add in a paragraph about the pending disaster of carried interest and she would have not only won over the crowd but gotten significant fundraiser cash from the industry if she runs in 2012. As it stands, I do not know if she knows what carried interest is.
David Bodamner, at Retail Traffic:
Lastly, most people I spoke with were massively disappointed with Sarah Palin's keynote. She made a few mentions of malls and shopping, but largely gave a standard stump speech. The notes that connected most with the audience were a few choice digs at President Barack Obama, warnings against excessive regulation and some pro-business and pro-free market remarks. However many felt disappointed that Palin didn't make more of an effort to talk about issues important to the industry. She did not, for example, say anything about the tax treatments of carried interest-a topic that surely would have resonated with the audience. And it wasn't like she didn't talk about taxation at all. She talked about higher taxes when making comments about the recent health care reform.
While the RECon audience is more generically predisposed to Palin's side of the political spectrum, it's striking how similar these reviews are to those that emerged from her keynote at the Wine And Spirits Wholesalers' Expo earlier this year: bad puns (WSWA got "going rosé," RECon got "Obama is addicted to OPM), canned stump oratory, and an inability to hew to topics of interest to the audience.
As the attendee who provided the Huffington Post with the audio of her WSWA speech told me, "A person is supposed be smarter coming out an industry keynote." Looks like the REConners are left feeling the same way.
This is the part where I remind you that we are just a little more than a month away from Palin's super-important speech to the Bowling Proprietors' Association of America International Bowl Expo 2010. The potential for terrible puns is basically off the charts.
Sarah Palin Gives Disastrous Speech At Commercial Real Estate Conference, Calls Obama An "Opium" Addict [Business Insider]
Palin gives 'disastrous speech' at real estate conference, doesn't bother talking about real estate [ThinkProgress]
PREVIOUSLY, on the HUFFINGTON POST:
Sarah Palin Spoke At A Wine Wholesalers Expo, For Some Reason [UPDATE] [AUDIO]
Sarah Palin Bowling Expo Keynote Speaker