September 3rd, 2008
04:29 PM ET
6 years ago

Analysis: What Palin needs to say

Sarah Palin takes center stage at the Republican convention Wednesday night.
Sarah Palin takes center stage at the Republican convention Wednesday night.

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) - In what is expected to be one of the most dramatic moments of the convention, Republican vice presidential pick Sarah Palin takes the stage Wednesday night to introduce herself to the country.

In just days, the Alaska governor has gone from a little-known politician to one of the most talked about women in the country, after being named to the GOP ticket and after news broke of her teen daughter's pregnancy.

Palin's address marks her chance to define herself to the American public and prove that she has the knowledge and judgment to sit down the hall from a 72-year-old president should John McCain be elected.

"I think this is her grand opportunity," said David Gergen, a former presidential adviser and CNN's senior political analyst. "It's an opportunity to introduce herself to American voters who have only heard a few things about her, barely saw her on Friday, and now have heard a lot of rumors and controversy."

A top aide to Palin said the Republican vice presidential candidate will highlight her record as a governor and mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, and will also call for reform in Washington in her speech Wednesday.

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soundoff (198 Responses)
  1. Chris S.

    Can any one say PHOTO OPTof her duaghter and fiance!!!! This is getting juicier everyday. Soon we can replace the taploids with Sara Palin's closet trash!!!

    September 3, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  2. Alice

    I am so sick of hearing the experience comparison between her and Obama. Obama is a brilliant Harvard-trained lawyer who spent the last 18 months being grilled on – and studying – every aspect of our economy, foreign policy, national security, etc., after which he was nominated by 18 million+ people. Sarah Palin is a feisty-yet-conservative wilderness gal whose knowledge base is limited to the unique issues of a unique state, and who was nominated by one man. Knowledge clearly outweighs so-called experience.

    September 3, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  3. nerakami

    It is VERY irrelevant what she says... as actions speak so much louder than words.

    She's manipulating her daughter's situation for her own political gains. There ain't too much you can say about that.

    September 3, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  4. Ellie

    My Friends...

    I'm deeply honored and humble that I have been selected as Sen. McCain's Vice President.

    However, as honored as I am, I respectfully decline my nomination.

    I am a MOTHER first and politician SECOND. Therefore, I respectfully decline this nomination. My family is THEE most important thing in my life and right NOW my baby needs me and my TEENAGE DAUGHTER BRISTOL needs me more now than ever before. As honored and grateful as I am, I graciously appreciate all the warm support from all of you. However, these are trying times for my family and I need to return to Alaska as Governor and insure that my daughter's needs are met and protected.

    I hope you will respect this painful decision, but this is NOT RIGHT for me right now. Maybe later on down the line, but not NOW.

    Thank you and God Bless...
    Sarah Palin

    September 3, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  5. Bukky

    "I regretfully decline your nomination"

    September 3, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  6. Don Fitzgerald

    As a staunch Senator Obama supporter, I am disappointed that anyone would bash, any candidate for the mistakes of their children. That is unacceptable. Governor Palin has some explaining to do, concerning her interference with a state trooper's career, or with some of the pork she sought and received, for her state, but that is it, matters concerning the governing of our country, not matters that concern her children's lives. Let everyone stick to the issues: the slaughter in Iraq, the Bank Mortgage scandal, the public handouts that are being discussed by the Automakers, or the Airlines. Let's us discuss our future with competent leadership, such as Senators Obama and Biden. They will pull America out of the ditch, in which, the Bush-McCain Republicans have stranded us !!
    SUPPORT OUR TROOPS, BRING THEM HOME, ALIVE AND WHOLE. NOW.

    September 3, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  7. JustMyObservation

    Lets really look at the experience comparison:

    Obama:
    B.A in political science from Columbia University, with a specialization in international relations
    J.D. in Law from Hardvard, graduated magna cum laude; President of the Harvard Law Review
    12 years (92-04) teaching constitutional law
    7 years State Senator: sponsored more than 800 bills
    4 years Senator for Illinos, a state with 12.8 million people

    Palin:
    Bachelor's in journalism from University of Idaho
    4 years Wasilla City Council (8000 people)
    6 years Wasilla mayor (8000 people)
    1 year "Ethics Commissioner of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission"
    20 months governor of a state with 660,000 people

    Do the Republicans really think we're so stupid that we would believe she is more experienced than Obama? Give me a break…

    September 3, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  8. DJ in TX

    She needs to address all the rumors – however, not in this speech. This speech should be for the people in the room and anyone else who'll listen.

    I'm a democrat, so it doesn't really matter to me. However, once the speech is over, the McCain camp needs to let her loose (notice not one interview since becoming the VP candidate) to address everything that has been said. My gut tells me she won't be able to talk about the ethics case as that is still open and she's hired a lawyer. But she can talk about her view on abortion, or no abortion even in the case of rape and incest. I'd also like to know the REAL truth behind the "bridge to nowhere". It has been reported that she was initially in favor of it prior to being against it. What most concerns me is the reported Alaskan Indpendence thing that supposedly they favored seceeding from the union. That's what I'd like hear.

    September 3, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  9. R Myers

    Call me....old fashion...But! If I had 5 young children at home, I would stay home, there are Home Based Jobs. Family Comes First! She and the Republican Party are exploiting he daughter. Besides the fact she is not qualified for vp more less the president of usa.

    September 3, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  10. Ex-Republicans for Obama

    Doesn't matter. The McCain ticket won't get our votes. He threw the party under the bus with this pick and will lose the election as a result.

    September 3, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  11. PCL

    PALIN IS GOING TO MAKE A SAFE SPEECH SAYING WHAT THE REPUBLICANS HAVE BEEN SAYING (TO NO AVAIL) ALL ALONG. THE REPUBLICANS WILL THEN DECLARE VICTORY AND WE CAN GET BACK TO THE SERIOUS ISSUES.

    HEY CNN, WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO INTERVIEW PALIN? ARE YOU GOING TO LET THEM KEEP HER AWAY FROM YOU UNTIL AFTER THE ELECTION?

    September 3, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  12. undecided in Denver

    How about not being so judgemental. We definately need change but I'm not sure Obama is the one to make the change either. I'm also not sure how all the talk we're going to hear is going to change anything for the next term. Talk is cheap. Republicans, Democrats whatever your affiliation.... Our country is in trouble. Who in their right mind would want to be President. Half the nation hates you no matter what you do.

    September 3, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  13. Cecil

    Reporters Continue To Do Your Jobs!

    Sen. Obama Been Throught It For 18 Months, Sarah Palin four days!

    September 3, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  14. Sarah Bell, Cleveland OH

    How dare the McCain campaign belittle the accomplishments of Senator Barack Obama. This is just a Republican scandal to destroy the first black presidential nominee. It's racist to question Obama's experience. And what flat out bigotry to raise questions about Obama's business dealings, political affiliations and his bipartisan record. Racist! Racist racist racist. (See how this works everyone?) You are witnessing the key piece of the Palin package. Use a woman to paint the entire media as sexist in the hopes that woman will be dumb enough not to see through this obvious pandering. Rallying your party base might have worked. Grabbing PUMA's ten members probably worked. But this will not work. Eat your own mooseburgers GOP. Cause I've had ENOUGH!! Anyone but McCain '08!

    September 3, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  15. Cheap Trick

    She is on a tight rope. She must look strong, state her positions, address her critics, and get ready to be run out of town.

    She needs to explain her relationship with the Alaska Independence Party and also make public, as was for Obama, her controversial pastor's sermon's. The huffington post has a great video of this cult leader.

    The question is could the unthinkable happen. Everyone is talking about her withdrawing...but really would the entire ticket have to call it quits. If she goes so goes McCain's judgment.

    This has taken away any chance I would vote for ticket, no matter what comes out about Obama.

    September 3, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  16. Emster

    Could we get something straight on the 'executive experience' thing? It's like everyone (including the media) has forgotten that we have 3 branches of government: executive, legislative and judicial. Obama has legislative experience. So fussing about how someone else has 'more executive experience' says nothing about how much more leadership or government experience they have. And city council member and part-time mayor might be executive experience, but they're on a trivial scale when you're comparing it to state and national legislative experience. So enough with that argument – and can we please move on to focusing on real issues in this campaign?

    September 3, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  17. Jeff an Independant

    She needs to say, "With all the outstanding questions about my ethics and behavior as an elected leader, my presence on the Republican ticket in 2008 is an unfair burden to John McCain, and I will not be a candidate for vice president of the United States."

    September 3, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  18. Obama Supporter!

    I think she should keep it really short "I QUIT" then those watching can get right into the commercials which will be much more interesting! Unfortunately I'll be replaying Obama's accptance speech for my daily change fix!! Sorry Sara!

    Obama/Biden 08!

    September 3, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  19. JAY

    The news media should leave the kids out the picture - THEY ARE NOT FAIR GAME

    September 3, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  20. Moderate Republican for Obama

    I don't know what Palin could say that would convince me that she is ready for this position. She needs to attend to her state and her family.

    September 3, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  21. Mark

    There is more to the Sarah Palin story than we are hearing. She has been involved in TWO abuse of power scandals, one as mayor of Wasilla, and one as Governor. Both involved her firing people for no apparent reason, and both appeared to potentisally be for political reasons. As mayor she fired the police chief and the library director- that's right, the library director. When city council threatened to remove her as mayor, she allowed the library director to have her job back, but not the police chief. When she was asked why she fired the chief, she said on record "You know in your heart when someone doesn't fully support you..." Really. This is fact. She also hired a federal lobbyist in order to obtain earmarks for her town. As a result, Wasilla obtained $11.9 million in earmark money for a town of less than 10,000 people. That equals out to more than $1000 for every man, woman, and child in the town. What was all this money for? Weapons, among other things, also to help improve the quality of their lake water. I'm sure they have a real problem with that up there in the virgin Alaskan wilderness...

    September 3, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  22. William

    This goes to show the hipocracy of the Right Wing (Republican Party). I wish we all can show them in November that we are tired of them trying to impose their fake values on us.

    September 3, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  23. JOE KILOZ

    I---CANNOT--ACCEPT--–THE--–NOMINATION

    September 3, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  24. No way, no how!

    I find that McCain's decisions and actions are the most arrogant and sexist I have ever seen from a Presidential candidate ever, and I have seen many! I'm a former Hillary supporter, and not for one minute am I going to buy that Palin is an interchangeable substitue for the policies of integrity that Hillary stood so strongly behind.

    Palin is almost entirely against all women's rights. She has no idea on any of the other important issues such as the economy, the War, lack of affordable & attainable healthcare for all, the broken social security system, the housing crisis, foreign relations, etc..

    My full support is behind Obama and Biden because if a ticket doesn't believe in the advancement of women's issues, Women's issues WILL NOT ADVANCE & we can't afford to wait 4 more years just to wait and see..

    September 3, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  25. Mark

    By the way, McCain complained three different times about the 11.9 million in earmarks that Wasilla got after Palin hired a federal lobbyist.

    September 3, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
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