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:
The Full Recording of The Sarah Palin Speech at WSWA
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.
I’d be interested to know how attendance was for the event. I don’t recall Palin having made any particularly significant points about alcohol regulations prior to her selection to give this keynote. It seems to me that the group was just looking for someone who would draw a crowd and she probably gave them exactly what a Sarah Palin crowd wants.
It will be interesting to see who they choose next year.
I think I predicted this back in January, here:
$arah is a hack…a cunning, rat-like, hack.
What did they expect? Hadn’t any of the planners ever heard her speak/interview/debate before? She makes snarky, mean spirited, cutesy, disjointed .incoherent canned stattements and calls it a speech. I have never heard her say thing that was substantive. Their bad!
She didn’t even talk about wine or the wine industry as expected. what a waste of time and money.
As bad as Palin’s speech was, and as opposed as she seems to be to the WSWA’s mission, lots of people have been wondering why WSWA would spend $100k to bring her to the event. I think the answer is simple – palin has a lot of influence on many in Congress. WSWA wants to get Congress to write a law that tries to blunt the recent Court rulings that open the market to competition. Their new buddy Palin can (and will for more “consulting fees”) help make that happen through a few conversations with a few key Congresspeople at the right time.
I am quite sure the execs at WSWA are quite pleased with what they got and will get from paying Palin $100k. And, as usual, they don’t give a damn what anyone else thinks as long as they can gain more influence with politicians.
Palin probably thinks the solution to shipping regulations for wine is building a Wine Pipeline.
Well, Sarah is useless but the WSWA’s explanation for limiting competition is rather disingenuous, to say the very least.
Every attempt by small Texas wine producers to get their product in front of a larger audience has been opposed with those with large distribution networks.
I have been reading you blog almost from the first day, it is one of a handful I actually enjoy.
I am not impressed with the comments you made about Ms. Palin in the past but it’s you blog and you can comment as you wish. It just seems to be a little gutter politics when it is just getting old.
Now to the reasons for the speech for WSWA. If you notice that when you are getting a speakers fee it doesn’t count as a campaign contribution. Just look at Bill Clintons record after he left office and all the millions he is raking in for speeches and book fees.
TM pointed out that she did not agree with anything the WASA is promoting but they will have an ear when and if she gets the nod to serve in any capacity in the future.
We should ask what have we done go get our foot in the door with the current and future politicos, after all it is in our best interest to have ‘access’.
Look, Palin quit her Job as Governor to rake in the miilions giving talks to those who cannot or will not think for themselves. She does not care about the People and their views, only mega $$$,$$$,$$$s. If she ever gets elected to another prominant political post, god forbid, she will still be chasing the money, not the real issues that concern people today. She may be a Washington “outsider”, but she desperatley wants to be an insider. If the Wine (monopoly) wholesalers of America really wanted some one to care about their biz issues, they should have hired someone who really cared about their biz and had some knoweledge of their biz.
I was really shocked when I saw that the WSWA was going to have that bombastic moron speaking; however, the fact that the audience sat silently and apparently disgusted with her is to their credit.
Having attended the speech in person, I can tell you a few things. First, the room was packed…every member wanted to hear what she had to say.
Secondly, she said NOTHING.
I think the two most-interesting comments were her repeating at least twice the talking point that Washington needed to rid itself of special interests (hmmm, Sarah, what do you think the WSWA is?). The other was that she referred to her grandson (born out of wedlock) was “a mistake”.
I suspect that she lost some supporters that day. For me, she just reinforced my belief that she’s an idiot. It was a rambling, at times incoherent, speech that had all the preparation one would expect from a sixth grader. Oh, and, by the way…she was paid $75K, not the $100K mentioned earlier.
I am sometimes caught by the brilliance of Sarah Pallin but sometimes also disgusted by her acts.
She lost respect with the Washington outsiders (consumers) while speaking for Insider money.
I suspect that anyone else in these circumstances — standing before wine wholesalers and talking about “entrepreneurial spirit” and getting “government out of the way” — would have been lauded for his courage and for his moxie in getting 100K for it. Especially if he was, oh, say a junior Senator from Illinois with a great baritone voice and a little bit darker skin. Funny how things work out, isn’t it?
So was this a waste of time? Maybe she didn’t really planned of talking about Wine and Spirit Wholesalers Association at all.