The reviews for Sarah Palin's speech at Saturday's Iowa Freedom Summit are in, and they are not pretty.
While Palin had spent the run up to the conservative conclave insisting that she was "seriously interested" in joining many of the other attendees at the summit in running for the Republican nomination in 2016, the rambling speech she delivered all but assured that few in her party would take her chances of winning seriously.
From commentators on the right, like the Washington Examiner's Byron York, there was little Palin said that inspired much belief that the former Alaska governor was a serious candidate.
It was all quite petty, and yet the complaining took half of Palin's allotted time. She then proceeded to blow through her time limit with a free-association ramble on Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, the energy industry, her daughter Bristol, Margaret Thatcher, middle-class economics — "the man can only ride ya when your back is bent" — women in politics, and much more. It would be hard to say that Palin's 35-minute talk had a theme, but she did hint that she is interested in running, although there are no indications she has taken any actual steps in that direction.
York cited Iowa Republican blogger Craig Robinson, who described Palin's turn at the lectern as "a long and incoherent speech," as well as conservative Iowa professor Sam Clovis, who mused that "no one would have been sober after the first 15 minutes of an interminable ramble. It was really painful."
To be fair to Palin, there were reports that her teleprompter froze at some point during the speech, forcing her to ad-lib the bulk of her remarks. On the other hand, claims of a broken teleprompter have surfaced repeatedly since Palin stepped into the national spotlight after being chosen by Senator John McCain as his running mate.
RealClearPolitics national reporter Scott Conroy has spent no small amount of time watching Palin speeches. Conroy covered Palin's 2008 vice presidential run, and co-authored the book Sarah From Alaska, yet admitted to being caught off guard by what he heard come out of Palin's mouth on Saturday.
Bloomberg Politics host Mark Halperin, another person quite familiar with Palin's oratorical prowess, was, perhaps, less surprised by the former governor's performance.
At Politico, veteran reporter Roger Simon marveled at the words and phrases that sprung forth from Palin's mouth.
Some sample lines from Palin:
“Screw the left and Hollywood!”
“Coronation, rinse, repeat.”
Obama “is so over it. America, he’s just not that into you.”
“The man can only ride you when your back is bent.”
I would provide some context, but there wasn’t any. It is possible she was improperly inflated.
The Democratic National Committee, meanwhile, enjoyed Palin's address so much that communications director Mo Elleithee sent out a press release Saturday night that could scarcely contain the group's glee at seeing Palin back in the national spotlight.
"Thank you!" the statement read.