DECONSTRUCTED: Palin’s real estate ‘train wreck’

The former vice-presidential contender tries to win over retail pros in Vegas admitting she doesn’t care to shop. PERE Magazine July/August 2010 issue

When Sarah Palin delivered the keynote speech at the world’s largest retail convention in Las Vegas in May, few expected Churchillian prose. After all, what insights can a politician really offer into the travails of the real estate industry today?
Despite such low expectations, though, the (expected) 2012 presidential candidate still seriously underwhelmed the 35,000-strong ICSC ReCon crowd.

Failing to tailor her speech to her audience, Palin was widely criticised by delegates for delivering yet another stump speech that concentrated on attacking the US government for big spending and accusingPresident Barack Obama of being addicted to OPM (other people’s money, which, according to, Palin pronounced as “opium”).

Even when the former Alaska governor touched on real estate, her message was confounding. “I have never been someone to want to shop a whole lot,” she admitted, making the observation that: “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.”

Palin uttered not a word on taxation, regulation or even job growth – the driver of the retail industry. As Chicago real estate lawyer David Stejkowski’s Dirt Lawyer’s blog described: “It was a borderline train wreck. All Palin had to do was add in a paragraph about the pending disaster of carried interest and she would have not only won over the crowd but gotten significant fundraiser cash from the industry if she runs in 2012.”Perhaps Palin should stick to tea parties instead.