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. ritapgupta

    Till today, I thought Obama was awesome, that has changed now!

    She is terrific and has brought life to the Republican party. She is truly the girl next door.

    September 4, 2008 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  2. William J.

    This speech was written by GEORGE W. BUSH'S SPEECHWRITER! So much for the "maverick!" Pretty much proves that McCain is just more of the same.

    The GOP clearly has no answers for America, so they talk tough. Americans should be ashamed of the Republican Party. We deserve a lot better than this.

    September 4, 2008 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  3. Pam

    She made a speech. Just an empty suit with no substance.

    September 4, 2008 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  4. Ken, San Diego, CA

    Her speech played well in the hall and on TV, especially for (and to) the far right.

    The far right like the attack stuff and they like the rah-rah stuff.

    They also like to preach about how the Democrats want to make a bigger government and raise taxes. It's always the same. We can pick any Republican convention over the past 20 years and the rhetoric is the same (can you same Groundhog Day...).

    Of course, during the past 8 years, as the Republicans have controlled everything, government has gotten really BIG (the biggest in history), the deficit has swelled, and the average American is paying more just to live (why raise taxes when you can raise the cost of everything else...).

    What Palin did do which I found effective across the board, was boost John McCain. Not even McCain could boost himself to such a level, which (unfortunately for McCain) means tomorrow might be a let down.

    September 4, 2008 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  5. Texas Democrat

    Fantastic speech Palin, I am a democrat in Texas and I voted for Hillary and after listening to you speak I hope you win! My state will go McCain my only shot was in the primary, Obama didn't listen to 18 million democratic voters. I think McCain was brilliant in his VP pick, I hope you do well in the debates.....

    September 4, 2008 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  6. SLH

    Since Palin didn't hit any real issues, neither will I. She mentioned her family...but not her daughter's new baby and her "soon to be" son-in-law. That's a lot of people to fit into the VP house...

    September 4, 2008 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  7. randy

    America has her "Annie Oakely".

    peace?

    unlikely...

    September 4, 2008 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  8. Jesse, St. Louis Park, MN

    Palin, you are about to get owned.

    Your short time as Mayor and Governor may have had responsibilities, but it sure sounds like you failed at those responsibilities. Palin turned a non-political Mayor of Wasilla position into a very political position, almost got recalled as Mayor of Wasilla, and threatened to fire the Librarian if she didn't ban some books. She, and her spouse, were members of the Alaska Independence Party that wants to succeed from the United States. Also, as the Mayor, she hired a lobbyist to get $27 million in earmarks for Wasilla.

    As Governor, she is involved in troopergate and was before the bridge to nowhere before she was against it.

    None of this will go away before the election. Republicans, you can party tonight, but your hangover is going to last a long time!!

    September 4, 2008 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  9. BeeJay

    Delivered what? Sarcasm and cynicism. She did not write her own speech. And with enough practice, anyone who is not afraid of public speaking could have done the same. At least we don't have to worry about Joe Biden manhandling her. She invited it. Can't wait until the debates.

    September 4, 2008 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  10. tess

    slam dunk!!!!!! we just saw the first woman president of the united states and it is a republican!!!

    September 4, 2008 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  11. Caribou Barbie Stinks

    Unimpressed, empty, shell of a performance. She reminded me of Kathleen Harris with all that make up. We don't need more ethics violations coming from the vice presidency, and we don't need Sarah Palin. Enough of the GOP and Rove McCain.

    September 4, 2008 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  12. Amy Noir

    Gov. Palin Showed NO respect for others. You have to earn respect.
    Sad day for American Women, lady shows no dignity.
    No substance, same Mc-Same old politics

    September 4, 2008 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  13. euphman21

    Please don't use my real name if you post my earlier comment.

    September 4, 2008 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  14. kate

    She was simply amazing!
    I'm a former Clinton supporter now voting for McCain and I couldn't be more proud of my choice!
    She had the same questions about Obama that Hillary and Biden had and she hit the nail on the head. She has more experience and responsibilty in her years as a mayor and Governor then he has as a community organizer! She hit it out of the ball park!

    Go McCain /Palin 08!

    September 4, 2008 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  15. Ricky gop 4 dnc

    lol wow no she didnt...that speech only "rocked " in that hall but ever blog every thing i've read about every speech that was given by the GOP was negative, hatefull, boring and america is tired of it...why isnt anyone talking about what those 3 GOP were talking about on the open mic? because that is real and the truth...

    September 4, 2008 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  16. dude

    Mr Gergen, I respectfully disagree. You feel she delivered an extremely well crafted speech... I feel she delivered a speech reminiscent of an audience member on the set of the Jerry Springer Show.

    September 4, 2008 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  17. SNPhx

    I was just listening to the discussions after Gov.Sara Palin’s speech. I should say that although her speech was very well written and well delivered, it did not answer people’s questions and did not deliver anything new. We already new what she is stand for and who is she and who is her family thanks to media…in my mind as a voter it didn’t gave me anything new to ensure me that she is a good pick. Sure it gave some huuraays for Republicans in convention but I don’t think it inspired Americans and voters.
    Lets now talk about what Pailin has really done. Why suddenly her personal story is so important.. I actually think Obama’s personal story is a lot more real. Is she would be a VP she cant have time to take care of her kids specially the little one. Who is she going to resonate with the moms that have scarified everything to take care of their kids with special needs?

    September 4, 2008 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  18. Michael Parrish

    Why did CNN say on the bottom screen ticker that John Mccain git the democratic nomination instead of republican. You need to correct and make statement about your mistake.

    September 4, 2008 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  19. ebony

    Before she started trying to tear Obama down she needed to establish herself! I did have respect for her as a mother and woman but I lost that! If she can't be tough without being just down right nasty then she doesn't deserve respect from anyone!!

    September 4, 2008 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  20. Lori

    She is so full of crap...speaking out of both sides of her mouth. How dare she belittle community organizers?

    BTW...if I hear "Sexist" from the Republicans one more time, I'll puke. Did anyone else notice the "Hottest VP" and "Hottie" buttons on those people at the convention?

    September 4, 2008 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  21. John Marra

    Rudy Giuliani's speech was pathetic. It should have been delivered in a comedy club. The man has no tact, and he had to have turned off anyone who hasn't already decided on their vote in this election. Barack Obama is on the verge of bringing together this divided nation. And Rudy has the gall to say that he "barely" beat Hillary Clinton? Barack is a good family man and is intelligent. He can bring the world together. Barack picked Joe Biden as a running mate, a wise choice. John McCain picked an attractive women, but a governor of a small state. A desperate choice by a desperate candidate. The rhetoric tonight proves a John McCain Presidency would be the equivalent of a 3rd Bush term. Palin may have given a good speech tonight, but her record will be brought out in the next 2 months and will wash any positives away. The Republican party is not capable of stealing a 3rd consecutive election with fearmongering, in my opinion.

    September 4, 2008 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  22. Pam

    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.
    _________________________________

    If Biden or Obama said that, republicans would be screaming for them to step down.

    September 4, 2008 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  23. Monroe W. DeVos

    I'm struck, as you noted, that the tone by Palin (as well Giuliani) was delivered in a bullying, rude tone. That's what scares me! There are millions of voters out there that are motivated by this type of tone. they view it as a position of strength and somehow admire those who can pull it off because of their own insecurities. For me, I'd rather be motivated by hope as opposed to fear.

    Having to look for a job makes this election that much more important to me in that the economy is the number one issue. This speech did not tell me a single thing that would convince me that the Republicans would be able to change what is happening to use now.

    Finally.....to have someone like Sara Palin a heartbeat from the Presidency would cause me to sell everything I own and move to an isolated part of the country if they somehow succeed in pulling off this travesty.

    Enough with the bullying and more importantly the insult of trying to shove someone with here qualifications down my throat.

    September 4, 2008 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  24. Reese from NC

    The sexism card is officially off the table. The gloves are off. She wants to play with the boys, now she going to take hits like the boys. Treat her like any other candidate. No more playing the victim by the McCain campaign we are not hearing it.

    September 4, 2008 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  25. E S

    Hilary Clinton voters are NOT going to WALK on that BRIDGE TO NOWHERE!

    Obama 08!

    September 4, 2008 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
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