Governor Palin’s India Today Conclave Speech Media Roundup

By most accounts, Governor Palin’s speech to the 2011 India Today Conclave was a resounding success. Her message was clear, and dealt with many of the important issues facing our nation, and indeed the world at this time. Although Politico couldn’t muster up the will to report fairly on the event, other members of the media employed a more professional standard. Here’s a roundup of the event:


In her speech titled “My Vision of America,” the former Governor of Alaska, who was on her first trip to India, did simply articulate her vision of America but touched on a range of topics from the rise of China, energy independence, Indian-American ties, and, in a rather timely fashion, the use of force in the Arab world.

Palin dismissed the notion of declining American influence. “I completely reject that,” she said. “It represents wrongheaded thinking by our friends and wishful thinking by some enemies.” Speaking to a crowd of political and business leaders, hosted by India Today magazine, Palin stressed that while America is not in decline, India is rising to meet it. Deepening economic, military and diplomatic ties between the two countries are vital, she said. “The relationship is the key to the future, the security, the prosperity of our world,” she said. “I see it strengthening. Whoever’s President, it better strengthen. We’re going to need each other especially as these other regions rise, if we want a peaceful world, India and the United States have to be linked.”

Palin’s personal appeal was apparent to those who attended the event. “She said the right things,” said Kiran Aurora a retiree from New Delhi. “I don’t know if she’s Presidential material, but she’s charismatic. There is a charm about her.” “She came across as a very honorable person, who’s still maturing as a politician,” said Sandip Ganguli, a hotel executive in India. “What she appeared to lack in global knowledge and experience was made up by her belief in America and that the American people have what it takes to come back.”

The New York Times:

Ms. Palin’s speech at a conference organized by the media group India Today touched on many subjects, including her sympathy with the people of Japan and their “humble cooperative spirit,” the dangers of a green-energy policy and her children texting her news of a moose in the yard of her Alaska home. Ms. Palin made numerous references to America’s entrepreneurial and pioneering spirit, and India’s unlocking of the same to become a vibrant global giant.

Together, she said, the two countries will lead the world in the 21st century. “There is no natural limit for United States and India relations,” she said. India is the second-fastest growing major economy in the world after China, but is still hobbled by extreme poverty, inefficient infrastructure and political corruption.

After her speech, Ms. Palin answered specific questions about foreign and economic policy. Asked how she might have the handled the financial crisis that led the United States government to fund billions in bank bailouts, Ms. Palin said she “didn’t think it was such a tough situation that had to lead to all those bailouts.” Instead, she said, the government could have allowed “the free market to decide who the winners and losers should be.”

Quizzed on outsourcing, a hot-button issue in India, Ms. Palin evoked free trade several times, affirmatively, to a smattering of applause from the audience.

India Today:

Sarah Palin, 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee and 2012 presidential hopeful, could not have been more politically correct on her first visit to India. Speaking on ‘My Vision of America’ at the Tenth India Today Conclave 2011, Palin said it was marked by healthy competition and partnership with India.

Talking about the widespread interest in Palin’s appearance at the Conclave, Purie [India Today Group’s chairman and editor-in-chief] said: “Frankly, in the past 10 years of the Conclave, I have not seen such media interest in one of our speakers. There has been a flood of articles, blogs and tweets about her India visit.” To a round of applause, he added: “This is only her third visit overseas.

We are honoured that she chose to come to India.” Palin was the first Republican politician to address the Conclave.

Democrat Al Gore did it twice; Bill and Hillary Clinton have done it once each in the past. “As the first Republican speaker at the Conclave, I am sure you’re up to correcting that imbalance,” Purie said, as he gave the floor to her.


The potential presidential candidate addressed the importance of energy and the influence of India’s relationship with the United States in prepared remarks titled “My Vision of America.” But when she sat down for the question-and-answer session with the editor-in-chief of India Today, Aroon Purie, her attention turned to topics of a presidential nature.

And of financial assistance given to banks she said that she’d rather “free markets decide who the winners and who the losers would be” instead of politicians.

“I don’t think it was such a tough situation that it had to lead to the bailouts that our U.S. government engaged in,” she stated. “What it led to is more debt.”

Calling the Tea Party “a grassroots movement from the ground up” that is a “beautiful movement” that will grow and be more influential, Palin asserted that the Tea Party movement will “hold our politicians accountable.”

Palin remarked that her approach is different than that of her GOP peers. “Too often Republicans have the fighting instinct of sheep and you know they’re just going to sit back and take it…I don’t have that within me…I will put my foot down and I will state the truth so that people have correct information and they can make decisions for themselves,” she declared.

Palin also described herself as “independent” saying that “some Republican players within the Republican hierarchy don’t really like that.” And she revealed that “Todd Palin is not even registered with the Republican Party [in Alaska] because he’s such an independent.”

The Washington Post:

On her first trip to India, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin said she is still thinking about running for president, voiced concerns about China’s military rise, criticized green investment and vowed to see the Taj Mahal during her next trip.

Palin’s two-day trip to India came about five months after President Obama’s state visit. While Obama and his wife, Michelle, danced and charmed their way into Indian hearts, Palin impressed her audience with strong views on energy security, terrorism, free trade, bailouts and the India-U.S. partnership.

“Sarah Palin held her own very well,” said Sachin Pilot, India’s deputy minister for communications and information technology. “She came out as an independent thinker. She answered all complicated questions reasonably well,”“Anybody who is looking to perform a major role in American politics today does need to engage with India.”

Palin got the most applause when she spoke of her relationship with the mainstream American media.

“You can’t necessarily trust the mainstream media to accurately report. You can’t rely anymore on mainstream media to set the record straight, not in the U.S.,” she said to loud cheers.

“Women who choose to enter public life unfairly often become target of the media. She has been a victim too,” said Ranjana Kumari, who trains women for political leadership in India. “The way Sarah Palin spelled out her position on crucial issues today, I feel she will throw her hat in the ring.”


The Huffington Post:

Palin told a well-heeled audience of Indian business leaders, professionals and socialites that U.S.-Indian relations were “key to the future of our world.”

“We’re going to need each other, especially as these other regions rise,” she said, in an apparent reference to China, during a Q&A that followed a keynote speech titled “My Vision of America.”

Obama visited India in November during a wider Asian tour, affirming the country’s growing importance on the global scene.

Palin said the Republican Party’s apparatus was at times frustrating to deal with, but said presidents Ronald Reagan and Abraham Lincoln were role models and reasons for why she joined the party.

UK Guardian:

In her speech, she described how India was following America’s “rags to riches story” thanks to a pioneering spirit, free markets and the universal dream of individual liberty.

In a speech carefully worked to appeal to a local audience as well as public opinion at home, Palin told her audience that the US and India shared many things, including religious tolerance, democratic traditions, a common struggle for freedom from the British empire, a commitment to “see terrorism defeated” and a concern over the rise of China.

However, Palin’s repeated attacks on the “central planning” of economies, the “top-down way of making decisions” and her insistence on the importance of empowering individuals and entrepreneurs will strike a chord in an India still suffering from an inefficient and often corrupt bureaucracy.

“She was very good. She’s very American but a lot of what she says makes sense here too,” said one major industrialist at the conference.

Wall Street Journal:

She came—she didn’t wink—but she conquered.

On Saturday evening, Sarah Palin, 2008 Republic vice-presidential candidate and former governor of Alaska, got an extremely warm welcome when she delivered the closing keynote address at a conference in New Delhi.

The Daily Beast:

India welcomed Sarah Palin with open arms this weekend, giving her top billing at an annual international conference previously attended by Bill and Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, Colin Powell, and other political heavyweights. Palin touched on many topics during her speech on Saturday—including her disapproval of green energy—but mainly focused on alliances between India and the United States, saying the two countries will lead the world together in the 21st century.

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