Here’s the transcript of Governor Palin’s speech in India March 19, 2011:
Thank you! Such an honor!
I appreciate getting to see some of your magnificent city – this is 1st time here & I sincerely hope it won’t be my last! During my brief time here I’ve enjoyed India’s famous “Gift for Hospitality.” And next time, I want to visit the Taj Mahal with my husband, Todd. Considering how patiently he’s endured during my political career & been so supportive, it would be nice to reinforce our teamwork/commitment before that monument to eternal love. Todd is here with us tonight.
When I had the honour of meeting your Prime Minister a few years ago, I expressed my admiration for your country’s rich history & culture & most recent achievements! I now am humbled with this opportunity to express that to you, here, in this beautiful ancient land. This has so captured the imaginations of artists & poets & explorers throughout human history. Todd & I are honoured to be here to see the site of some of the world’s oldest civilizations…the birthplace of major religions, the crossroads of the ancient “Spice Route & Silk Road”.
All those precious resources of their day: spices, pepper, silk, indigo – My country was essentiallly “discovered” in the age of exploration, because Western Europeans were looking for a route to your country to exchange & enjoy those resources! (Yes, the connection between our two countries was there from the beginning!)
During the flight here, between our countries, it did not escape me that Japan lies about halfway between my Alaskan home & India. I trust you will join me in expressing solidarity with the Japanese people as they recover from such tragic events. Their determination & resiliency won’t fail them. The world community stands united to offer help to them in the “Land of the Rising Sun”. Thoughts and prayers are with you, Japan. Life is fragile – precious – we’re in this together; may Japan know our caring heart at this time.
I’ve been asked to speak today about my vision for America, & share with you a little about my background.
I grew up in a very small town, perhaps like some of you (though half-a-world-away). My town’s tucked between two grand mountain ranges, in a valley quite far from the avenues of political power. There, in my home state of Alaska, we’re so proud of nature’s beauty & our towering mountains, but certainly here relatively near the spectacular Himalayas can I appreciate an even greater sense of nature’s enormity!
One of the mountains near my home (I see it everyday from my kitchen window!) is called “Pioneer Peak” – named in honour of the brave pioneers who settled our Valley just a few generations ago. By the sweat of their brow & rugged work ethic – they turned raw land into a valuable agriculture community.
I have loved my upbringing thereâ€¦big family, Todd’s from a big family. I was a school teacher’s kid, loved sports & anything outdoor. I tell my parents the greatest gift they ever gave me was this upbringing in AK, the young, 49th state of the United States.
AK is known as the “Last Frontier” & it’s a place that IS rugged & you can still feel an optimistic, pioneering spirit – like the spirit that had inspired Americans to carve a nation out of the wilderness! It was “pioneer families” – strong & hopeful – who made a good life (though not an easy one) for themselves in the Northern Wilds!
That “pioneering spirit” shaped me. It instilled in me a sense of independence & self-reliance. And: a belief in the ‘Power of Ordinary People’ working together to help one another.
In a small community in such a vast state (AK’s about half the size of India), you learn to help your neighbour; & to help yourself. And you learn to value (& have faith in) personal freedom – especially the freedom to chart your own course! So, it was there I learned there’s no limit to what you can achieve with strong work ethic. That optimism & respect for (& empowerment of) individual liberty shaped both my political beliefs & my vision for my country.
I started in politics on the local level two decades ago; inspired by a desire to serve the ordinary folks in my hometown! As a city councilman, then a city mayor, I led the fastest growing area in our state. I experienced firsthand the power & success of the free market, & the proper role of government in fostering economic growth. I cut property taxes, I invited business in & focused on building infrastructure (roads, water & sewer systems); not a lot of glamour in that – but I have a solid belief in what government’s proper role is & it shouldn’t be glamorous …