September 3rd, 2008
11:48 PM ET
6 years ago

Gergen: Palin delivers

Palin addressed the RNC Wednesday.
Palin addressed the RNC Wednesday.

Republicans got everything they could possibly want from Sarah Palin tonight: she was a large, confident personality - one Democratic friend ruefully wrote that she reminded him of Ann Richards - and she delivered an extremely well crafted speech. Before the speech, Republican strategists told Dana Bash of CNN that they hoped that she would show viewers "a common touch with executive presence", and she definitely succeeded at that.

Three things in particular stood out:

1. She joked that the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull is ...lipstick. Clearly, in the next few weeks, she will play the role of a pit bull with lipstick. My sense is that she will very likely connect with blue collar America but may be much less successful in suburban America.

2. Her personal story is also one that will relate well to people. She has a quality of seeming like the girl next door.

3. She showed a lot of confidence in addressing energy toward the end of the speech, which gave her more substantive depth.

Now let us be clear: there will be tons of Democrats and others who will disagree with her and will take sharp exception with her views. Her jabs at Barack Obama and the Democrats were surprisingly personal at times. And she will face tough questioning ahead from the press. After all, there are still some serious questions about what kind of president she might be. We are going to have a rough and tumble race down the home stretch.

soundoff (1,124 Responses)
  1. Txnurse

    Pit bulls fight because they are bread to fight. The pit bull doesn't think about a fight it just fights. I need to feel confident that we are not fighting without a true cause. Pit bulls are pit bulls with or without lipstick. I have voted Republican for the past 24 years but that will no longer be the case. I need change, a strong economy, tax break for those who don't make 5 million dollars a year or own so many homes that I loose count. I want more than just increased drilling. Biodegradable energy, wind energy and solar energy. Jobs created for Americans. Sorry folks this ex-republican is voting Obama/Biden. I am not ready to call myself a democrat but I will call myself an independant.

    September 4, 2008 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  2. mrsb

    I can not relate to a woman who celebrates her 17-year-old being pregnant and parades her all over the nation, a woman who has opposed abstinance only education, a woman who clearly lied about her support for "the bridge to nowhere". Where are her solutions for our economy? Where are her family values? I truly felt sorry for her family and can not explain why. Sad, pathetic example of a woman who wants to weild power. She has 5 children, a handicapped baby, a pregnant child (and her own child was born 8 months after she married!) and yes, we would ask if this is too much for a man to overcome in governing! May God help us if this is what we end up with. PTA speech at best!

    September 4, 2008 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  3. Jenni

    So it is alright for Palin to be a pit bull, and the media and American people cannot question her? That is sexism!
    We do not care about her being a pit bull, or her story, or her confidence. We need to know about her ability and record.

    We also have every right to challenge a candidate who is at the far right of even the Republican base, because she is not just anti-abortion, she is also anti-birth control. We also want to know if she were really against earmarks, and the bridge.

    If a democrat candidate's spouse belong to a party that advocate splitting from the United States of America, would McCain be silent about it? If a democrat candidate's daughter were pregnant as a teenager, would he be silent about it?

    September 4, 2008 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  4. Charla2inTexas2

    Why are they all so full of hate? No one ever said a word about what they will do for the U.S. economy... I thought Sarah Palin would be much more positive! I had to brush my teeth after her speech, it was in such bad taste.

    September 4, 2008 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  5. aliou FL

    She was arrogant and boring.

    September 4, 2008 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  6. Just reading

    I can truly say I don't like this Sarah Palin and I hope Obama's Campaign rips her for the lies she told on stage and the LIE she calls her politcal life.

    September 4, 2008 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  7. Cynthia

    What a smug attitude. She doesn't need to be attacked by the Obama campaign though. We all know who pulled the puppet's strings. The puppet master republicans. It's ok. America is so tried of folk like this. This is truly racism in it's rarest form. Oh, we haven't seen nothing yet..

    September 4, 2008 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  8. Woman Disgusted

    Did you people not watch this speech to NO WHERE??
    Talk about media bias CNN doesn't seem to want to make her cry so everyone is being the nice commentator.

    Beware of the second wave of crocodile tears!!!

    September 4, 2008 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  9. Michael

    She makes Biden look like a puppy. Totaly awsome!!!!

    September 4, 2008 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  10. Nevada Voter

    Sarah Palin is no Hillary Clinton! What an insult to women for McCain to think Palin can step in and take Hillary votes. This country is tired of the same old repulican politics. It is time for change and that change will be deliverd by Obama/Biden. God Bless America and deliver us from republicans.

    September 4, 2008 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  11. Chris

    I think she did a wonderful job! I love reading the Obama supporters comments.... now she is a bully, its laughable.... again they talk experience and threaten to take the gloves off! Take them off please we've all been waiting to find out what exactly Obama has done in his life other than run for office? What decisions has he made? other than to vote against the surge that worked, vote present 130 times and write two memoirs? Mrs Palin listed her accomplishments, Obama hasnt he has only given the American people the same lip service hope and change change and hope..... God help McCain & Palin save our country from resembling mother russia under an Obama & Biden leadership!!!!!

    September 4, 2008 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  12. AP

    She was sarcastic and condecending. If the Dems had gone after her like that, they would have been called "sexist" fo sure. Meanwhile, there wa nothing about the economy in her speach. What is she going to do FOR the American people??

    September 4, 2008 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  13. Kim

    Why is CNN giving Palin so much credit? Lets wait an see how she handles herself when she has to answer questions with no speech writer telling her what to say.

    The gloves are off she has stepped into to the big league now.

    September 4, 2008 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  14. josh

    Tacky speech.

    It shows more disconnect with the country. We need to unite...her speech was ugly.

    September 4, 2008 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  15. Keri Ann

    As a 25 year old mother of 2 I have to say that Sarah Palin has exactly what McCain needed to look for in a running mate. She is poised, real and not scared to say or stand up for what she belives in. she did an excellent job tonight and I commend her!

    September 4, 2008 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  16. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    a total FASCIST and HYPOCRITE

    September 4, 2008 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  17. Rich

    Great job! She rallied the base. Too bad she didn't talk about any solid issues that independents wanted her to address, considering how turned off they are that McCain would pick evangelicals over solid issues.

    September 4, 2008 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  18. db

    WOW!!! She was great. I mean everything she said was on point and true. They are proven and Obama is going to need on the job training, Good speaker tho......

    September 4, 2008 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  19. joy

    REPUBLICANS SUCK GO OBAMA

    September 4, 2008 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  20. Aron Beeson

    This is nothing new under the sun. Just same old Republican lies. I rely on American women to be much smarter than to vote for this deceptive candidate only for her gender. And I would be more careful talking about experience if I were her. It is also interesting to compare what she said some months ago about the way the press treated Hilary (she called Hillary a whiner, a true insult to Hillary), and what she says today. She obviously is a big flip unreliable flopper like the rest of the Republican party.

    September 4, 2008 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  21. Ed

    Excuse me... what I'd meant to say is:

    Head back to your impending trial in Alaska...

    you know, the one that you have decided to refuse to testify in, showing that she is a far leap and a jump away from the "executive supremacy" extolled by the current Administration.

    September 4, 2008 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  22. The Truth

    I think she has personality, but her own words and video will not go away (Iraq Is Gods will, building a pipeline is also Gods will) she also said in her own words, I will not fund sex education, abstanice only, while 1 in 4 kids already has an S.T.D. .If you do not educate childern other than the world is still flat ideology, then youre just helping kill, them (AIDS)or get an S.T.D or an unwanted pregency. (ahem)
    She lied about the earmarks, she lied about the phone calls for trooper gate, she lied about origanally bieng against the bridge to nowere, then she even kept the money over 200 million.
    And to think on the presidential trail she will have to answer these questions and more.
    This is getting really good!!!

    September 4, 2008 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  23. Pat from Cali

    She reads a teleprompter well from her experience as a sportscaster.

    I think tonight she said "bring it," so to her fellow newscaster, let the vetting continue.

    September 4, 2008 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  24. Susan

    Oh please...Palin is just a Republican "Puppet on a string". She had speech writers, all she had to do was to read them. A good little Republican woman she is!

    September 4, 2008 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  25. Geeta Maharaj

    Frankly, I thought the speech was unnecessarily vicious and strident. Sarah Palin does not strike me as particularly intellectual and now it is apparent to me that she does not have the capacity for critical thought and the judgement necessary to make long-term decisions. A jab now, a win now is more important than integrity and dignity and America's good over the long run.

    September 4, 2008 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
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