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. Sandy

    oh, it was good but now the game is on. Republicans like to throw the first punch but we will see who gets knocked out.

    September 4, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  2. Chris

    For me her speech just further justified my choice to pick the Obama/Biden ticket to lead this country. Throughout her speech I felt as if she was at times outright lying, or just insulting urban voters. She says she left Alaska in a surplus when in fact it's not hard when your sitting under oil. Then she credits herself with fighting wasteful spending even though she campaigned for the bridge to nowhere which cost the state of Alaska some $250mil.

    And honestly, why would anyone say Community Organizers don't require responsibility?

    September 4, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  3. Yves Langlois

    It seems to me that the ambition of Mrs Palin are more important than the interest of her kids. Sadly she will sacrifice the family life to be a bulldog for John Mc Cain . It shows also how Mc Cain care about people and how bad his judgement is.
    Wake up people, the issue here is economy. Stong economy meen strong dollard, and everything follow.

    September 4, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  4. J. Marty

    Palin is a real ballbuster! Republicans finally got it right. Get the women out of the kitchen and into leadership positions.

    September 4, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  5. Bryan

    It was such a depressing speech...attack attack attack.

    I wish the Republicans would do something different. Great speech...but it only served to push me further to the left.

    September 4, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  6. D PERSON

    I HEARD PALIN'S SPEECH, SHE DID WELL READING WHAT WAS WRITTEN FOR HER, BUT, I REALLY DO NOT CARE ABOUT HER LOVING FAMILY OR HOW MUCH SHE LOVES HER CHILDREN. WHAT I DO CARE ABOUT IS : WHAT IS SHE GOING TO DO TO HELP ME GET MY HEALTH INSURANCE BACK, HELP MY HUSBAND GET A JOB, HELP MY 93 YEAR OLD DAD PAY FOR HIS PRECRIPTIONS, HELP ME KEEP MY MOTHER IN THE NURSING HOME, AND HOW WILL SHE HELP ME PUT BREAD ON MY TABLE AND MILK IN THE FRIG? THERE ARE REAL LIFE ISSURES ON THE TABLE AND SHE DID NOT REALLY TALK ABOUT THOSE CONCERNS. YES IT IS NICE TO SEE A WOMEN ON THE TICKET, BUT WHEN THE BABY CRIES WILL SHE BE THERE FOR ME OR THE BABY. I KNOW THE ANSWER, I AM A MOTHER OF TWIN BOYS.

    September 4, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  7. shawn

    Palin's speech tonight was awful in my opinion. It had horrible flow and she came off as condesending about Obama. It is surprising that she would give a negative view of herself the first time people are see her.

    September 4, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  8. Musicpromo

    Wow it's funny that the old guy has to send a Woman to do his fighting?

    I think she mad MCcain seem like he been sleep this whole time.

    I understand why they picked her who were they gonna get Meg Whitmen from ebay? But they are wrong for the country. I'm not going to give them another for years to fix the last eight. They the GOP had their shot let's give Obama a try.

    September 4, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  9. joe

    WOW!!! The libs did not expect this. If I was Biden I would start get ready for Sarah the Baracuda in the VP debate.

    September 4, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  10. Christina

    Wow! Is that speech really hitting it out of the ballpark.? It was nothing more than "traditional" politics. Nothing but low blows and empty promises. She should pick up some tips on delivering a speach "real" woman style from Mrs. Clinton!! As I see it, that was not a speech from a potential Vice President but more like a speak from the PTG President. Stick to you day job lady!

    September 4, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  11. oscar

    What did she deliver? Rubbish!!! what did she say about how she will go about bettering the economy.Frankly speaking, Americans are not after personality and past glory, what they want is one who will rescue the nation from it;s economic woes. Since this republican convention started, they have only succeeded in singing praises of their nominees and forgeting the crucial issues at stake.they even foolishly and blindly sing the praises of their so called v.p nominee who is not ashamed to talk of family values when she couldn't teach her daughter enough on chastity and discipline. I pity the so called evangelicals who are rallying behind her and singing her praises.They should wait for God's visitation.they who thought that Abortion alone is sin while sex and pregnancy out of wedlock should be a thing of praises.God will pay back when tenagers began to get pregnant because of the red light they are giving them now.

    September 4, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  12. Vegas Barbie for Obama

    Her jabs at Obama were low and are bound to offend many, not just Obama supporters. Further, her smug, sarcastic tone, combined with her whiny, screechy delivery served to make her come across more as a student council debater than a potential VP.

    September 4, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  13. lester

    Well, maybe I'm just a "blue collar' teacher with a BS in Engineering and two Master's degrees....but I like Palin. This is someone I can support.

    September 4, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  14. Tracy

    Take the gloves off people and go after these guys.

    Just say no to 4 more years.

    September 4, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  15. Samuel in Florida

    I tuned in tonight to hear a woman named Sarah Palin but she successfully caused me to not see her as a woman, but as a person, and someone plenty capable of serving as President BUT, I heard no solutions or real ideas tonight. I'm not a fan of attack politics, especially when it doesn't address real issues, and especially especially, when it doesn't come with any positives about the deliverer that would make me feel good about them. The country has changed, the younger generation can see through the real bitterness that is this type of politics.

    Obama may take the gloves off but the state of the electorate is all about solutions, issues, and ideas, not biographies, geographies, and personalities.... far too much is at stake.

    September 4, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  16. Mark V.

    Write this down.
    Tonight the Republican's have officially lost this election. I can see a pretty large upswing coming in the polls for Obama and eventually a (fairly) large victory in November.
    The GOP showed the people of the United States that they have absolutely nothing to offer to make their lives any better than they are at this very moment. It's the same old lines over and over; insult, scare, insult, scare.
    I believe what this country needs more than anything at this time in our history is a leader with a completly different point of view.
    That leader is not in the Republican Party.

    September 4, 2008 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  17. John, US Army Veteran

    David I could not disagree more. I was a life long Republican until the last few years. I am no longer a Republican because of the the type of insults, half truths and complete disrespect for ones opponent that this brand of the RNC has become. The politics of Personal Destruction. Ike, Goldwater and Reagan never had to go there. They were all conservatives and decent men with honor and dignitaty. What I saw out of this convention today makes me furious. I see why Mr. Romney and Mr. Guilliani did not win the nominations with their uninspiring slander ridden speeches tonight. For Sarah Palin to except her parties nomination in the mocking tone and complete disregard for Senator Obama is not only low and trashing, it is downright UN American! I hope she stays in Alaska with here Ind. Alaska Party and never get the privilege to be part of the rest of the 49 other States that make up this great nation. Shameful, downright shameful. I am glad I got off the bus with this party with Mr. Dole in 1996 at a high water mark.

    September 4, 2008 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  18. dialuz

    She is completely divisive and an insult to the intelligence of most voters.
    It is exactly what I expected from the republicans – no surprise, more of the same. And further, any glimmers of reason in her speech were stolen from the democrats!

    September 4, 2008 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  19. AZSTATE

    The way I saw her speech? Well, I see a lot of resumes and most of them look real good. However, the interviewing process has yet to begin and I'm curious as to how she is going to perform in that arena. My bet – Not good.

    September 4, 2008 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  20. Puffy

    This was a joke!! Big joke.

    September 4, 2008 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  21. Michelle

    That's all fine and dandy, Mr. Gergen, but wait until girlfriend doesn't have someone writing the speech for her. She was as nasty as can be. My family found it most unappealing, totally disrespectful and ultimately unimpressive.

    Game on, Palin.

    September 4, 2008 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  22. Kiran

    Palin's first time on the national stage and all she did was spit out LOW BROW and INSULTING attacks against Obama and all the intelligent voters out there.

    September 4, 2008 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  23. Jan, Toledo, OH

    It looks like to me that the Republican complaints about the media is working. I have been listening to the commentary of Sarah Palin's speech and it seems like everyone is second guessing what they should be saying. It worked for them before and it looks like it will work again. Are we still going to hear about how Biden should treat her in a debate. Funny, I never heard that people should treat Hillary diffently in a debate. Maybe, it was that she was qualified and hold her own.

    September 4, 2008 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  24. sharon

    don't insult Ann Richards..she was more like Ann Coulter.

    September 4, 2008 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  25. The winner is 'NOT US

    Gergen,
    Gag me with a blender.
    Have you lost your mind?

    September 4, 2008 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
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