Sarah Palin scored the attention of Vancouver’s elite at an invite-only gourmet dinner Wednesday night to discuss her memoir Going Rogue: An American Life.

The former Alaska governor spoke at the Vancouver Club Ballroom with tickets selling for $500 each.

“She wasn’t 75 per cent approved by the people of Alaska because she was stupid or she didn’t know what she was doing,” said Leroy (Bus) Fuller, founder of restaurant chain Earls, as he entered the private event. “I mean, the girl’s got it going on.”

People wanted to hear Palin because she’s a “political phenomenon,” said Peter Brown, a fixture in the business community and chairman of the board of trustees for conservative think-tank Fraser Institute.

The affair, part of the Bon Mot Book Club series, was sponsored by The Globe and Mail and there was no outside media access offered for the speech.

Few of the movers and shakers heading inside were expecting a message Canadian policy-makers could actually use.

“You know what you’re going to hear. She has a platform, she talks what she talks about, there’s going to be no surprises,” said music agent Bruce Allen, who represents Michael Buble and Bryan Adams. “But I think it will be fun to watch.”

During Palin’s last visit to Canada, she caused a small flurry by acknowledging that several decades ago her family used publicly funded medical care in Whitehorse.