Governor Palin at Southeastern University National Leadership Forum

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Governor Sarah Palin speaks at Southeastern University’s National Leadership Forum Photo: Ernst Peters The Ledger

By Stacy Drake and Gary Jackson

Here’s some photos and tweets regarding Governor Palin’s speech at the 7th Annual National Leadership Forum at Southeastern University:

Governor Palin spoke about leadership and positively influencing culture, telling attendees: “Culture matters, start influencing it positively.”

From The Ledger:

LAKELAND | Former Alaskan governor Sarah Palin was fired up about God and country when she spoke Friday at Southeastern University in Lakeland. And she was dressed for the part.

The 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate visited the Sunshine State at the request of the organizers of the school’s seventh annual leadership forum. She was quite a presence on the stage, in a lipstick-red suit and fierce high heels.

Her passionate talk was peppered with such vibrant cries as “Cling to your God, your guns, your Constitution!” and pleas for the next generation to change the country’s moral fiber. “That will make our foundation crumble if we choose to ignore it,” she said.

Not one to tiptoe around sensitive topics, Palin got right to the point on reasons she said the country is in crisis.

Today, look around, and don’t you wonder sometimes if, as a nation, we have forgotten God altogether? This is a crucial question,” she said.

Palin said the school asked her to talk about hope and resilience. She said she would but “not that Washington, D.C., ‘hopey-changey’ blah, blah, blah stuff, but real hope.

Mostly, the 49-year-old hammered such topics as the corruption of Washington, D.C. — “It’s a hotbed of cronyism” — and federal spending — “The federal government is bloated, corrupt and out-of-control.”

[ … ]

Palin said Friday she was happy to visit a Christian school, and she encouraged students to go forth and spread the word. She encouraged them to “infiltrate” the nation. Study journalism, she said. Get into Hollywood and the sports world.

Get out there and influence culture,” she said.

Palin closed her talk with a battle cry.

The future of the country depends on what you do,” she said. “God bless you.

After the speech, Palin answered questions from Southeastern professor Christina Gard, who was Miss Alaska in 2004. It was then Palin said something that brought the strongest applause.

Asked how she dealt with critics, Palin said it’s important to know who you are, and that’s why she speaks out for God publicly in a country where she said it’s often frowned upon or against the law to talk about religious beliefs.

God deserves so much better than what we give him,” she said. “What has happened when we can’t say his name in public?

Below are photos courtesy Ernst Peters at The Ledger:

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More photos here.


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