Some 2,000 formally-dressed members of the Safari Club International, after paying $100 each for what the Gazette-Journal billed as “Reno's hottest ticket,” crowded into the Peppermill Resort Spa Casino's Tuscany Ballroom Saturday night to hear Sarah Palin speak of the importance of protecting the environment and how Hunting and fishing are part of the American “heritage” and the nation’s “exceptionalism”:
“Don’t retreat, stand tall,” Palin told the crowd as she emphasized the importance of “responsible conservation.”Smith predicted that in a few months, Gov. Palin will return to Nevada for an appearance at “Republican headquarters.”
Palin also spoke of Second Amendment rights.
“We need to keep tabs on what the White House is telling us,” she also said.
She later said Americans would need to “count on Congress,” where the GOP regained control of the U.S. House of Representatives in November’s election.
But Palin emphasized the importance of local governments in setting policy.
“The best (management) is local” not “bureaucrats thousand of miles away” in Washington making the decisions, she said, drawing on her experience as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, before becoming that state's governor.
Political science professor Fred Lokken of Truckee Meadows Community College said he considers Palin’s Safari Club appearance a “coup” for Reno and an “excellent” move for her.
“It’s always been a who’s who of some of the prominent conservative Republicans, so frankly for her either to get the invite or be able to wrangle the invite, it really helps her as she tries to position for 2012 and after,” he said. “This is one of the places to the seen.”
Palin’s visit will carry momentum beyond Reno since the Safari Club event draws visitors from afar, many of them wealthy.
“Being able to come to a group like this (gives) some street cred that might help her to sort of reestablish or bolster her efforts at building a campaign for 2012,” Lokken said. “It’s a guns rights place. They are huge in the Second Amendment. Her whole connection to Alaska probably makes her one of the most logical people they have had in years.”
From leftsite The Daily Beast's take on the same event:
She admits that she "threw a little politics" into her recent TLC reality show by dragging the crew to the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge on the pretense of hunting caribou. Her real purpose? Showing viewers that ANWR is a "barren, desolate, less-than-pristine place"--perfect, in other words, for lots of new oil drilling. "If a caribou needs to be sacrificed for the sake of energy independence," she adds, "I say, 'Mr. Caribou, maybe you need to take one for the team.'" She mentions how some media figures have pledged not cover her at all in February, and says the boycott "sounds good" to her: "because there's a lot of chaos in Cairo, and I can't wait to not get blamed for it--at least for a month."And a good after action report on this event at Free Republic here.
In public, Palin tends be guarded about her plans for the future. But earlier in the evening, she dropped a small hint about her potential ambitions. After some boilerplate comments about how "local government is the most responsive and responsible to the will of the people" she paused for a moment and stared out across the ballroom. And then came this: "that's why I think every president should have a run at gaining experience by being a councilmember, a mayor, a governor, a VP candidate, a commercial fisherman, a hockey mom." As the attendees cheered, Palin made a halfhearted attempt to quiet them down. "No, I'm kidding," she said, beaming. "I try to be funny some times. I'm kidding." But they hoped she wasn't.