The Recorded Sarah Palin-Wine Wholesaler Speech
The Sarah Palin Keynote Address at the Wine & Spirit Wholesalers of America Convention in Las Vegas earlier this week was highly anticipated. Many in the wine and spirits industry wanted to hear what the former Alaskan Governor and Republican Vice Presidential Candidate had to say on the issues facing the American beverage alcohol industry.
How does she view the issue of minors access to alcohol? Would she take the wholesaler's view that direct shipment of wine to consumers was an unnecessary risk to minors? Did she support the three tier system of alcohol distribution? What about ingredient labeling? What about exports of American products? What would the WSWA get for their $100,000?
As you can read from a previous post here at Fermentation, we got reports that any expectations that Sarah Palin would address these or any other wine and spirit-related issues were dashed. She gave a stump speech.
And now, having been sent the full recording of her speech from an attendee, we can see that these reports were absolutely true:
Listening to the near one hour speech and questions that followed, what's remarkable is that nary a single issue of vital importance to the American wine and spirit wholesalers or to the American beverage alcohol industry was mentioned by Palin. We heard some pretty bad wine-related puns that received no response from the crowd and lots of quick conservative political talking points and a little Sarah Palin History.
Furthermore, Sarah Palin appears to have looked at attending wholesalers in the crowd and explained her support for lessening regulations that end up "chipping away at people's innovation and entrepreneurial spirit" and her support for "just getting government out of the way….and letting people make decisions for themselves."
This isn't exactly the message that wine and spirit wholesalers, who are perhaps the single most regulation-supportive industry in America, want to hear. I suppose it's to the WSWA's credit that that would bring in a Keynote speaker who would stand diametrically opposed to their own views on the issue of regulation. Though, I can't believe they knew this was what was coming down the pike.
Finally, I have to mention what has to be the most curious part of the speech the wine and spirit wholesalers got from Sarah Palin's address: I don't think I heard the words "Wine and Spirit Wholesalers Association" mentioned once. I could be wrong. But I don't think I am. Nor did she give any indication in her talk that she understood anything about the gathering other than the people in the room appeared to be associated with wine, in some way. The talk had a curiously disconnected quality to it.