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. Hillary 4 McCain/Palin

    I agree. Sarah Palin was FANTASTIC. She is still no Hillary Clinton BUT she is darn good.

    I now have no doubts about voting for McCain/Palin especially in light of Obama's choice of Biden (instead of Hillary) for VP.

    This will be the first time I vote Republican in my life (as a lifelong democrat). But I do not believe that Obama has the experience to be POTUS.

    September 4, 2008 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  2. Mike

    Have you all lost your minds!!!...This speech was dull and was full of personal jabs at obama...I feel she should have centered more on the issues instead of throwing low blows at obama...The content of her speech at times seemed to get going but then would mess it up with the personal attacks and jokes on obama...I definitely don't want someone like that in the white house. Its said because i kind of liked mcain but palin is a drawback.

    September 4, 2008 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  3. SM

    This nasty sarcasm won't work. Maybe someone could turn the mike off on Peggy Noonen again so that we can hear what all those experts REALLY think.

    September 4, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  4. Saad, NJ

    Wow! I respect all four candidates for what they have done in their capacity for our country. However, due to teh fact that what we have ben through in the last 8 years, I want Obama and Biden to be our leaders – in hope for a change and in hope for them to get us out of the downward slope we have experienced. But – I must admit that out of the four candidates, Palin should now take the 'gifted speaker' title away from Senator Obama and have it all to herself. Wow!

    September 4, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  5. mia

    She was only negative and nasty, I heard nothing on issues. Only bashing.

    September 4, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  6. Matt

    Good grief did anyone hear the crowd chanting "drill baby drill" How scary is that!!!!

    September 4, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  7. Lori

    And another thing...I lived in Alaska for 3 years...when they started the Natural Gas Pipeline...and it wasn't because of her. This was a few years ago.

    Please people...and mostly women. Do not vote for her becuase she is a woman. As a woman, I am all about equality...just not this woman.

    And I am a registered Republican...voting for Obama and Biden!

    September 4, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  8. renaj

    You better believe she will be questioned!!! I was glad to see she can through a punch now let's see if you can take a punch. We don't want hear sexism and they are to tough on her. She went all out tonight with negativity but no substance as to how she can fix this broken economy. Once again her neither McKiller can speak on the economy.

    So, Mr. Biden don't go lightly on her. Remind her why she should have stayed in the little league and left the big stuff to you and Obama. Old McKiller can't even come to her defense after he used her like an old dish rag. She wanted to bring Michelle and her family into this and she want to discuss experience. My god what a toe stumper; Biden you should nail her to the wall and have her begging to get back to the little state of Alaska. Make her wish she had never been noticed or vetted. She has to much trash going on with her to target Michelle. Well, maybe not Biden sicka her Michelle bite with the hard bite we know you have. Chew her up and spit her out like old vomit. They can't cry sexism then. Michelle is a poweful black woman with a lot of intelligence and she has humph!!! She will send old disfunctional moma (Palin) home crying. That's where she need to be home tending to that baby and her pregnant daughter instead of galavanten all over the country leaving other people to take care of her children. You are sick and have no experience beauty queen and I don't see how you got that because you are not all that good looking and not that smart either. I know a lot of women who can put their family and country in debt. So if you call that an accomplishment my goodness what do you call failing at a job? Give us real leaders (Obama/Biden) and NOT Soldier Killers McKiller and Disfunctional moma(Palin)

    September 4, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  9. Joe

    She did forget to leave out that her husband was as of 2000 a member of a party that supported Alaska's separation from the union. She forget to mention the investigation that she is still under, the millions and millions of pork barrel spending she has accepted from the federal government for her small town and her irrelevant state. She also lied about Obama's tax plan, and the fact that she never supported the bridge to nowhere. This country is in real trouble if this ticket wins regardless. God forbid, something would happen to McCain, This lady would have to pray to god in the "tongue" that her church has that she wouldn't destroy our country forever.

    September 4, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  10. S. Boatman

    Not I Thing In Her Entire Speech Told Americans What They Plan To Do To Make The Lives Of Americans Better! No Talk Of The Economy, No Talk Of Health Care, No Talk Of Foreign Policy, No Talk Of Anything But How Bad Everyone Else Is And How Good They Are!

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

    Mr. Gergen: I think you're off the mark.

    Although she seemed somewhat personable, she also came off as hateful and spiteful. She appeared to mock Democrats who have been very careful to treat her with respect. She gave little to no substance. The "parting the waters" comment was incredibly offensive.

    I am an independent and I will now vote for Obama/Biden.

    Bottom line: Disappointingly, Republicans are campaigning on fear and mockery of their opponents–very UNpresidential.

    September 4, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  12. Lucille Carter

    I was starting to feel sorry for Palin and her family and the way the press was treating her. No More. This woman was picked by McCain in order to attract more women voters and notthing else.
    The whole Republican convention was mean spirited.
    I will no longer vote Republican.
    Palin did not even write her own speech. She is just a "yes" man. Nothing more.

    September 4, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  13. Tamara

    Jimmeny!

    These are supposed to be adults leading our country? Christians???

    The petty rants, sarcastic tirades and personal attacks when our country is so far in debt amazes me!

    If China was to call in their chips, we would have factories up and running again in this country...and our children would have to work in them to help us survive! I guess the upswing would be we would not have to worry about health care, mortages and food costs! The overwhelming morbid obesity rate will drop dramatically. Geesh, I could go on and on!

    Great pick, Mc Cain. Make a mockery of this woman, her family and her great snake-charmer values! Country first...sure, but who's?

    September 4, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  14. kane,va

    she delivered a bunch of attacks! did i hear anything about education or healthcare or the economy or houses being foreclosed?

    September 4, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  15. American for Change

    Incredible Job Palin!!!!!! You showed America what you're all about!

    JOHN MCCAIN – SARAH PALIN '08

    September 4, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  16. A GEORGIA MAMA THAT LOVES OBAMA!!!!

    WHO IS SHE? SHE HAS NO RIGHT TO ATTACK OBAMA. MORALLY

    SHE LEAVES A LOT TO BE DESIRED. WHAT GIVES HER THE

    RIGHT TO FIRE THE HEAD OF STATE PATROL BECAUSE SHE 'S

    TICKED AT HIM FOR NOT FIRING HER BROTHER IN LAW BECAUSE

    HE DIVORCED HER SISTER ? AND THIS IS REVELANT BECAUSE

    SHE IS RUNNING FOR "PUBLIC" OFFICE! I AM A WOMAN AND THIS

    IS SO TYPICAL OF WHY MEN SAY THAT WOMEN WOULD NOT DO

    WELL IN PRESIDENCY. SHE'D BE PMS'ING ONE DAY AND WANT

    TO BLOW SOMEONE UP! ........

    ALSO, IT IS SHAMEFUL AND A DISGRACE

    THAT HER 17 YEAR OLD IS WALKING OUT ON THE STAGE ON THE

    VERGE OF BEING BAREFOOT AND ALREADY PREGNANT? WHERE

    ARE YOUR SMALL TIME VALUES PALIN? LOOKS LIKE YOU

    ALREADY HAVE YOUR HANDS FULL WITH HOUSEHOLD

    PROBLEMS THAT YOU CAN'T EVEN DEAL WITH, HOW ARE YOU

    GOING TO DEAL WITH MY COUNTRY? YOU FOR OUR VICE AND

    POSSIBLY PRESIDENT IF MCCAIN GETS SICK OR KICKS THE

    BUCKET? I THINK NOT!!!

    OBAMA/BIDEN '08

    September 4, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  17. waziri

    She will cramble like a cookie when she takes the game outside. Campaign and follow up investigations in far away Alaska at the same time, plus the todler? The defense will be the magic word, "sexism".
    Seems being in the press or organising communities are jobs below her. She has no decency to address her opponents per their current titles, senators.I think this is a woman with her nose up in the air.

    September 4, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  18. Jason from Arizona

    Isn't the news media going to bring up the nude photos of Sarah or the porn tape that is also found on the net???? Come on CNN.. do your job.. I did!!

    She is clearly wrong for the job of Vice President, let alone being the Governor of Alaska.. She is unfit to be gov..

    She may have improperly fired a state official, and the emails will sink her.. She has smoked pot.. The gloves need to come off. You need to treat her like ANY other candidate for that office. Sarah Palin = neo-Con to the 10th degree. She will end all woman's rights, make it harder to make choices.

    McCain and Palin = More War, Higher Taxes, Higher Energy prices (her husband is tied to Big Oil BP).. Just what America needs a oil woman as the VP. America will get what it deserves if WE elect McCain/Palin...We already have an oil man, see where that has gotten America..

    Just say No to McCain/Palin!!!!

    September 4, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  19. TiredofGOP

    She was very personal with her comments on Obama for a newcomer, I was taken aback. I cannot wait for her to debate Biden. The woman doesn't even know how to pronounce Iraq and Iran...

    September 4, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  20. Roney Ohio

    delivers disaster with no experiance. She will lead Iraq war if something happens to Mcdrill.

    September 4, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  21. Joseph, Los Angeles

    Her speech was to the base, not the American people.

    September 4, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  22. Darrell

    I am sickend by the pundits comments about Palins speech.It was no hit out of any park.My God she offended more then half of America to say the least..Are you serious that this is, whaty is going to get her more votes.She simply reinterated that if you are not Rebulblican you don't love you country.If you support your community it means less the Family Values which is her references,For this inexperieinced American to try and tell the world that she has the knowlege that Jonn McCain is the best canidate for Presidecy must tell the average American that she is out to lunch. She is a basket case that could very well be your next President (nex few days is possible) scares the living crap out of the rest of the world.May God have mercy on the world and let Obama win.Joke of World is Republican Party.

    September 4, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  23. Lara Talverdian

    Governor Palin proved to be a tough cookie tonight with her speech, a speech strewn with jabs and sarcasm. I am not interested in her private family matters. But I doubt that she has the experience to be VP, just a step away from the Presidency, a position for which she would indeed need on the job training as the Republicans criticize would be the case if Barack Obama is elected president.

    Some of the analysis that I've heard about how Joe Biden should be careful in seeming too aggressive when he debates Palin is I think a double standard. If Palin won't hold back, as this speech suggests she won't, Biden shouldn't either. Americans pride themselves on gender equality and Republicans pride themselves on having a woman on the ticket. So let's allow the gloves to come off and not say that she can take a swing and he must only duck.

    September 4, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  24. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Good evening,

    I agree with your last part of your text. Tonight was great live theater from the girl next door! But her real problem will be to deal with the dilemma of every woman in politics to decide when are you going to be tough and when are you going to be sensitive! I have my own view on that subject. The country is not in the mode of attack dogs! But she will have to answer question to very specifics and her tone of voice was how dare you question my qualifications…yes we dare and we should because she could be in one of the most important position in the world! So in fact, she is applying for two jobs!

    September 4, 2008 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  25. Nellie

    I let my children watch Obaba's speech. But after leaving our Pentacostal Wednesday night Church service tonight, I didn't feel comfortable letting them listen to the divisive and hateful talk I heard coming out of the Republican Camp.

    I also thought it was inappropriate for my kids to see Americans applauding a pregnant teen and her boyfriend as if they had done something to be proud of.

    September 4, 2008 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
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