Sarah Palin, the former governor of Alaska, said at the ICSC RECon show in Las Vegas that President Obama has an addiction problem. He’s addicted to OPM (pronounced by her as “opium”), she said, referring to an acronym for Other Peoples’ Money.
And that was the main message of her keynote speech to kick off the largest retail real estate convention in the world. The former vice presidential candidate stuck with politics and the differences between her and the Democrats rather than talk much about the retail industry like past keynotes such as former President Bill Clinton and cycling champion Lance Armnstrong.
In fact, Palin even admitted: “I have never been someone to want to shop a whole lot.” She did have some nice words for the industry, though, saying that retail employment is the “backbone of the economy” and that shopping centers are an “anchor” of communities.
Besides that, some of her remarks were a little on the obvious side. “There is a shop for everyone. Whatever you’re looking for there is someone out there happy to sell it to you.” And: “Shopping centers are everywhere. Conveniently located, too.”
Most of Palin’s speech was spent defending her track record and attacking the current administration, which she characterized as big spending. She also put down the government’s bailout of big businesses, and without naming any specific situations, we can imply she was talking about car companies in Detroit, investment banks on Wall Street and insurance company AIG. “The government that governs least governs best,” she said.
Palin’s remarks were greeted by measured applause and a few walkouts by the audience.
Like her or dislike her, Palin did have one interesting piece of information for the audience — apparently 35,000 people are attending RECon this year.