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. INDEPENDANT VET

    MEDIA ALREADY STARTED THE DIRTY TRICKS , EVEN BEFORE HER SPECH WAS OVER .

    WHEN THE TRUTH COMES OUT , THEY GOT TO COVER IT UP QUICKLY . MOST WITH AN OPEN MIND KNOWS THIS THE MEDIAS SHOW FOR THE MUSLIM, AN THE IRAN LOVER. NOW I SEE THEY ARE TRYING TO FORGE OUT A BIRTH CERTIFICATE ON HIM , AN THEY CAN NOT GET THE ORIGNIAL , FOR THERE IS NONE . AN NO ONE HAS JUMPED ON HIM (BARRACK ) ABOUT HIS FATHER , ALL SHOWS THAT HE WAS NOT DEVORCED FROM HIS FIRST WIFE. , OR EVER WAS MARRIED TO HS MOTHER, OF HIS FATHER 3 WOMEN IN HIS LIFE.

    AFTER TOMORROWS NITE , MAYBE THE NET WORKS WILL CANCELL THAT SHOWING , AN RUN , RERUNS OF THE MUSLIM BUNCH .

    AS THE SAYING GOES NOW , DRIL;L , BABIE DRILL . USA , USA

    September 4, 2008 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  2. ohio

    Don Rickles in a dress. This is for the Presidentcy of the United States... So Much for reaching across party lines...More grid lock Carl Rov tactic This is so sad.... Waht ever happen to I will run a clean respectable campaign... omg bless us all if he wins... He is doing the same thing now Bush did to him anything to win.....This is a very sad day because people will fall for this... and we will have 4 more years

    September 4, 2008 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  3. changing times

    Gergen she is a liar and she stood in front of millions of people and lied about her record:
    Bridge to NoWhere-she suppported it and pushed for it, dropped it when the money was cut in half
    Earmarks- $300/person for her tiny Wasilla. The record shows McCain railed against her request(I guess he forgot about that)
    Ethics reform- really? fired police office & Librarian while mayor and pending abuse of power as Governor.i
    Social Conservative: refuses to teach sex education, lauds teen pregnancy by putting daughter and foul mouth boyfriend on large political stage (just great for my 17 year old daughter to see)

    Not only that she was cruel, childish and reminded me of Reese Witherspoon's character as the crazy high school student.

    She was not presidential, she was a Republican attack dog and that's all she was.

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

    Anyone who votes for this terrible bunch , should seek help! To even contemplate that McCain could win , is a terrible commentary on America. For John McCain to revert to this type of division of the country to win the election, flies in the face of his great self proclaimed ability, and desire, to reach across party lines , for the good of the country. I would really like to know how anyone would consider this putting the country first !!!

    September 4, 2008 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  5. Mary

    The bull dogs are out of the pin with one being a female.
    Watch out Palin, this will be a no holds bar!

    September 4, 2008 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  6. Anonymous

    Any body at CNN want to research anything concerning Sarah Palin's oldest son's ultimatum to either go to jail or join the army? Where was he during her campaign for governor? Sent off to boarding school? I have no real information. I just think you should look into it...

    September 4, 2008 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  7. Allison H

    The girl next door? Only if your neighbor was a harpie. Holy cow she was strident and sarcastic. She's Karl Rove in drag!

    September 4, 2008 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  8. Clinton voter for Palin!

    She hit a home run. Stand by for nasty attacks and baseless rumors being released by Zero's campaign. They just got punched in the nose by a woman. No woman gets in Zero's way, right?

    September 4, 2008 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  9. tedious898

    The republicans have found the perfect attack dog. If Obama says one thing, Americans will (especially white Americans) totally decry Obama for being a "mean black man" ....a common ghetto hoodlum.

    I never saw this coming. They found a soccer mom that Obama nor Biden can attack. Heck they can't even call her a liar without serious recriminations.

    September 4, 2008 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  10. Steve - southern Illinois

    Well with all due respect CNN seems to be bending over backward to not find anything negative about this arrogant speech tonight. Looks to me like maybe CNN is caving in to the McCain Campaign's game of chicken.

    September 4, 2008 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  11. Ricky gop 4 dnc

    and not one Ireprt thought she did a great job not one...since ya'll pride your self on no bias no bull

    September 4, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  12. No Way, No How, No George McCain!

    After a full night of Obama bashing what did you learn about Palin and the issues?

    What did you learn about her ability to handle being the President if she had to?

    The only two issues she talked about was energy where she only talked about oil and distorted Obama's tax plan again.

    Where were her views on the issues???

    September 4, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  13. Jesus of Nazarath

    all I see is the Republican party demanding the highest morals, for everyone but them selfs. What did hockey moms do to drug down so low?

    September 4, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  14. Woman in Oklahoma City

    THIS WOMAN IS A JOKE!!!!!!!!!! She spoke on experience when she does not have any worth noting. Go back to the PTA

    September 4, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  15. Not Swaying anymore!

    That does it for me... More hate in one room than I can tolerate! I've decided to go with Sen. Obama!

    Can she take a punch? My mama always told me that if I throw a punch, I'd better be ready to take a punch!

    September 4, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  16. Karen

    Gov. Palin did a great job delivering the speech tonight. Her family should feel very proud of her. She really connected with the heart of America. McCain has my vote. Now go shake up Washington.

    September 4, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  17. Cathy

    One more thought as I was checking in on this event tonight. Doesn't all the attacking and the tone of tonight's speakers cut against the McCain "maverick" image and their new reform message. To me, it sounded like the same old politics of the past.

    September 4, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  18. a jackson

    mr gergen, where were the people of color here.. is this the america that we all share in or is this the america of the white folk... these speeches tonight were truly in bad taste... wow and this is what we have come too. were is the true critical ananlysis....

    September 4, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  19. Jayne

    I was disgusted with the tone of the speeches tonight.
    I can firmly say that I am an ex republican today.
    This kind of politics will not solve the problems the country has.
    McCain and Pulin .... you just lost my vote.

    September 4, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  20. cj

    All she delivered was venemous rhetoric. No substance, no relevance and no answers. She, like the others who spoke tonight, demonstrated a total disconnnect from reality. They sounded like angry elitists. It was scary.

    September 4, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  21. Adrienne

    I did not find her endearing. Yuck! She took a really low road for a first introduction. And that voice. However, I think she was better than Hillary at giving body blows. i would like to see those two women have at it. lol

    September 4, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  22. Ranger

    Talk about flip floppers, is this the same party that 4 years ago belittled the military tradition of awarding service men and woman purple hearts?????

    September 4, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  23. John Szostek

    All I see and hear in this Republican theatre is a bizarre form of revivalist hate fest. Sad really.

    September 4, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  24. McClenny

    This race have become a referendum on Abortion. Make no mistake, McCain / Palin will make lifetime appoints of justices to the supreme court that will promise to over turn Roe V. Wade.
    Other than that it will be Republican business as usual, tax cuts for the rich and deficits for the rest of us.

    September 4, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  25. Will Shephard

    This speech was pathetic, negative and says everything about her and the desparate state of the Republican party. It sickened me to hear this vile ultra right wing overly simplistic rhetoric again. It's time to put an end to it once and for all America.

    September 4, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
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