Sarah Palin gave a speech in Hong Kong. Despite what you may read in "news" "articles," the content of the speech was unimportant. No one thinks she knows anything about economics or China. What matters is how it played!
It's all obviously a charade in which everyone pretends that expectations for this woman were so low that her ability to read lies written by some anonymous party functionary was somehow surprising. But these very different reports on how her little talk was received are fun.
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."
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".
One senior fund manager told The Times that the 80-minute lecture, and the lack of an opportunity to fire any questions at Ms Palin, was a disappointment. "You would think that with her team of speechwriters and a supposedly media-free environment Palin could have afforded to be either funny or thought-provoking, but she was neither," she said.