Sarah Palin Goes to Asia

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In her first trip to the Eastern continent and her first paid speaking engagement, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin reserved some zingers for the audience back home. Even though the speech was officially closed press, the Wall Street Journal got their hands on a recording.

Ms. Palin didn’t refer to President Barack Obama by name, but said his promise for change during the election hasn’t taken hold. She called his campaign promises “nebulous, utopian sounding…Now 10 months later, though, a lot of Americans are asking: more government? Is that the change we want?”

In an echo of last year’s presidential campaign, she criticized government policies that result in what she called a redistribution of wealth. “There is no justice in taking from one person and giving to another,” she said. “History shows it simply does not work.”

Palin is trying to capitalize on an increasing nervousness amongst Americans that the government is growing too big. A recent Gallup poll found that the number of Americans worried that the government is doing too much has reached the highest point in more than a decade — 57%. She also had some harsh words on health care reform.

“It’s just common sense that government attempts to solve problems like health care problem will just create new problems.” She called for “market friendly” health care reform that gives tax breaks to individuals to buy health insurance.

Though the speech included some fodder for her audience — talk of the ancient land bridge from Asia to Alaska and comments on the financial crisis (which she blames on a previous CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets keynote speaker, Alan Greenspan) — the bulk of her speech sounded a lot like a campaign stump speech directed more to Republican voters than Hong Kong investors.