Palin’s bull’s-eye in the Big Easy

Jedediah Bila Contributor
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Sarah Palin’s speech at the 2010 Southern Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans proved one thing for sure: Palin is ready for the next step, whatever it may be.

Armed with her usual down-to-Earth charm, small-town appeal, and authentic delivery—with just the right amount of comedy and sarcasm—Palin delivered a keynote that was strong on domestic and foreign policy, with particular emphasis on energy. A tribute to America’s ingenuity, industriousness, and exceptionalism, a flash of the writing on her hand, and a quick Bill Clinton impersonation adorned Palin’s twenty-eight minute address. The crowd was crazy about her right from the start, intermittently cheering and shouting “Sarah!” and “Run, Sarah, run!”

Palin began with what has become her trademark introduction: “Do you love your freedom?” It was followed by her customary salute to any military vets present. In keeping with her priority to show appreciation for the state graciously hosting her, she threw in a little “Who Dat?” and “Go Saints” before hitting the policy hard and heavy.

She nailed Obama’s domestic policy, from wealth redistribution and overspending to quadrupling the national debt and the monstrosity of Obamacare. She quickly moved on to his foreign policy, “the makings of the Obama Doctrine” of “coddling enemies and alienating allies,” including the current administration’s mishandling of aspects of our relations with China, Cuba, Honduras, North Korea, Iran, and Israel. Note to the media elite: She knows her foreign policy and has a very clear, patriotic, pro-democratic, anti-dictatorship vision of what we should be doing.

Palin called upon Americans to “… remind our president, Jerusalem is not a settlement and Israel is our friend” and critiqued the hope and change-style rhetoric that was victorious in 2008 by affirming that, “So, yes we can kowtow to enemies, criticize allies, vacillate, bow, dither. Yes we can, but somebody needs to tell the president that just because we can does not mean that we should.”

She smoothly responded to Obama’s statement in an interview with ABC News that, “The last I checked, Sarah Palin is not much of an expert on nuclear issues” by affirming this: “Now the president, with all the vast nuclear experience that he acquired as a community organizer and as a part-time Senator and as a full-time candidate, all that experience, still no accomplishment to date with North Korea and Iran.” As is the case with all things Palin, she wasn’t afraid to call it like she sees it.

Palin’s controversial “Don’t retreat, reload!” statement re-emerged with powerful applause as she reminded Americans that our strength lies in our votes and that, “…the Obama-Pelosi-Reid agenda… It is out of touch. It’s out of date. And they’re running out of time.” She adeptly wove together concerns of independents, Reagan Democrats, and Republicans with respect to both the current administration’s disastrous policies and the GOP’s departure from its conservative roots. However, she reminded listeners that, “…the party of Lincoln, the party of Reagan, is back, and we have our eyes wide open …” The Sarah Palin who repeatedly took on the Republican Party in her home state still isn’t afraid to call out the establishment on its mistakes, but she stands by the founding pillars of her party and believes that it is well on its way to coming back home.

The former governor of Alaska and former chair of both the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, spent quite a bit of time on energy policy. Lefties, what was that about experience again? She asserted that, “There is an inherent link between energy and security, and energy and prosperity, and energy and freedom. We need affordable, domestic, reliable, environmentally-sound energy, and there’s just such a big difference, though, between how the Republicans and the Democrats want to accomplish that goal.” She spoke out against the Left’s “multi-front war on conventional resources,” fees imposed on domestic production, locking up federal lands rich in reserves, and the cap-and-tax proposal that would annihilate productivity and jobs. She criticized the distinction between Obama’s rhetoric and the reality of what he has supported and stressed the importance of drilling here and now, of encouraging Americans to use energy more efficiently via tax incentives, of advocating innovation, and of creating a “competitive climate for investment … .” Simply put, “…there’s nothing stopping us from achieving energy independence that a good, old-fashioned election can’t fix.”

Here are a handful of other Palin quotes worthy of mention:

  • On President Obama’s speech at the Andrews Air Force Base: “The only thing missing from that ceremony was the sound track from Top Gun and Joe Biden in a flight suit.”
  • On energy: “Likewise, the Left may tell you that they’re for renewable resources like wind and solar and hydro, and that’s just great, but God forbid you to try to put a windmill in Nantucket Sound or you try to put a solar panel in Mojave Desert somewhere, cause somebody may see it or a gecko may bump into one, you know. Oh, my!”
  • On big government: “Government overreach did not begin with the Obama administration, but it will end with the Obama administration.”

Palin closed with a strong statement of support for the Republican Party’s return to its First Principles as we head into the 2010 and 2012 elections: “This is the party that put an end to slavery … And this is the party that led us to victory in the Cold War … This is the party that stands for competition and equality and responsibility and respect for life and liberty. And this is the party that will usher in a new era of prosperity, new opportunities for all …”

If you had any doubts before, make no mistake: Sarah Palin has definitely arrived. And whatever her future plans may be, rest assured her voice will be resolute, her approach refreshing, and her contributions pivotal.

Jedediah Bila is a conservative columnist and commentator living in New York City.  For more information on Jedediah, please visit