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. Joshua College Station Texas

    Her sarcasm is going to backfire. What a snot! Her attitude is impressive but coupled with her lack of depth, it's going to blow up on her.

    September 3, 2008 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  2. Barbara

    She delivers alright! After one of her family members was attacked by the press Obama stood up to protect her, but he was sucker punched. Palin attacked both him and his wife in her speech. Well now it's on! Go Obama, Go Biden.

    September 3, 2008 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  3. Linda31

    She is no girl next door. nasty nasty nasty no solution or substance. all about dividing americans

    September 3, 2008 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  4. Skip

    This speech may be the best thing and the worst thing that ever happened to her.

    Best thing: she proves she can read a teleprompter full of a speech writer's words

    Worst thing: she just opened her self up to attacks from Obama and his campaign.

    It's over.

    September 3, 2008 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  5. KH

    Yes, she delivered alright. Delivered more of the mocking superiority I've come to expect from the Republican Party. Who sounds elite tonight?

    September 3, 2008 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  6. Kay

    O come on, Mr. Gergen, this speech was typical mudslinging republican rhetoric. I am really surprised how your republican background is coming through so loud and clear on this one. I have always thought you were more broadminded about politics seeing you have been involved in past political administrations on both sides. I am sorry but I no longer feel that way, sir.

    September 3, 2008 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  7. Todd M

    She gave a very good presentation. It was just the thing that the Republicans are good at. Insult and belittle your opponent. They were so good it almost made you forget the the Republicans are the very people responsible for the mess we find ourselves in right now.

    Bottom line, they increased gov't spending, they increased the deficit $3.5 TRILLION, they killed 4500 American soldiers by going into Iraq and we still don't have Osama Bin Laden's head.

    They want us to let them go in and clean up their own mess. That usually doesn't work.

    September 3, 2008 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  8. Angela

    I found her speech to be nasty and divisive.....So for sure, I am voting Obama/Biden 08.

    September 3, 2008 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  9. Seema

    If a MALE politician called hockey moms "dogs in lipstick" he'd get lynched and possibly fired. Palin does it and the crowd leaps to its feet in cheers. The comment isn't any less sexist just because it was uttered by a woman. Good job insulting your gender, Palin.

    September 3, 2008 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  10. Belle, NC

    I would have to say that I think the political pundits have it a bit wrong. I think that speech may have worked if you were watching it live but it came across terribly over the television. It was too long, filled with excessive rhethoric and didn't make anyone feel comfortable about her knowledge of the issues. She further went on to belittle community organizers who play an important part in the betterment of many communities around the US. Finally, she emplores that we must stay away from her family which Barack Obama supported but decides to take a swipe at his wife Michelle (who is not running for president or VP). I was watching with an open mind but I feel we have gone back about 20 years. John McCain wants to make this election about right and left (essentially, small things). Very disappointed.

    September 3, 2008 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  11. suzanne

    I thought it was a terrific speech and I'm a Democrat. The left wing media slime machine and vicious Obama bloggers will probably think otherwise. I supported Hillary Clinton and watched her dragged through the mud. I love how the Obama people can dish it out but can't take it.

    September 3, 2008 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  12. Hannah Storm

    Did not like Palin's speech at all....the only good thing to come out of it is the gloves can come off. It is on!!!!!!!!!!!

    Obama/Biden '08

    September 3, 2008 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  13. robert

    She sucks!!! I am so angry right now at the republicans and I can't believe that the repubs are Christians it is just horrible!!!

    September 3, 2008 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  14. Steve

    That's all well and good, but I still haven't heard a word about what the McCain/Palin ticket will actually do for average Americans.

    The number one issue is still the economy, and it seems as though the Republicans want to pretend that everything is great.

    September 4, 2008 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  15. Cam

    I think the speech was underwhelming at best. Other than presenting herself as glib, divisive, and petty, it really didn't accomplish much.

    With her remarks about Obama and the way she delivered them, I think more people than not will question whether or not she really can reach out to the other party or if she will just tear down those who don't agree with her.

    I think she is disgusting and would feel the same way if she were a man.

    September 4, 2008 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  16. Heather (R) Washington

    Her speech just made me feel sad. I don't know when mockery became honorable and dignified, or when community service became a joke. This speech is why I am so sick of politicians. I find nothing funny about the state of our nation–and certainly don't feel any better that a hockey mom might be running it soon. Yuck!

    September 4, 2008 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  17. Rob

    "With all due respect, again, to Governor Kaine, he's been a governor for three years. He's been able, but undistinguished. I don't think people could really name a big, important thing that he's done. He was mayor of the 105th-largest city in America. And, again, with all due respect to Richmond, Virginia, it's smaller than Chula Vista, California, Aurora, Colorado, Mesa or Gilbert, Arizona, North Las Vegas, or Henderson, Nevada. It's not a big town. If he were to pick Governor Kaine, it would be an intensely political choice, where he's said, 'You know what? I'm really not first and foremost concerned with, is this person capable of being president of the United States? What I'm concerned about is, can he bring me the electoral votes of the state of Virginia, the 13 electoral votes in Virginia?'"

    -Karl Rove on small town mayors and small state governors as VP nominees

    September 4, 2008 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  18. my

    she rip the media and they have nothing but nice thing to say about her. I still don't know her.

    September 4, 2008 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  19. JA Cook

    I'm bothered by the nasty tone, started by Giuliani, then carried on by Palin.

    I have yet to know who this candidate is. She has not earned the right to mock her opponents when she has yet to utter a word of her own. She even continues to lie about her position on the bridge to nowhere and other matters.

    Where was anything offered about the economy or issues? It was an insult to my intelligence and a waste of my time.

    Sarah, we hardly know you!

    September 4, 2008 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  20. eugene

    this woman is crazy,now i beleive she had that guy fired in alaska,america dont need this crazy physco in the whitehouse shes nuts

    September 4, 2008 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  21. Marie-Lynn

    No way... that was not her speech so who care gop???????

    September 4, 2008 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  22. Leigh

    Hillary and Sarah! Nevermind the men!

    September 4, 2008 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  23. Monica

    She's a winner. What a great pick! As for personal attacks, what she said was true unlike some of the garbage that's been thrown at her.

    September 4, 2008 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  24. Lisa, MD

    Whatever she continue to bash Obama and that is the type of VP this country need? I don't think so. Talk about the problems that this country is facing today. No she is to busy being in the spot light. I can't got for that no no. Obama continue to do what is right. Palin please remember when you did one whole make sure you dig two !!!

    Obama/Biden08

    September 4, 2008 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  25. BOOTSTOMPER

    Are you kidding me? After 8 years it was the same old GOP fear and patriotism crap. Were all going to die if you elect Obama. Please dont elect these creeps.

    September 4, 2008 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
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