September 3rd, 2008
11:48 PM ET
13 years ago

Gergen: Palin delivers

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. Unshrub

    THe republicans shouldn't get too cocky. They are down my 6 points and even more where it counts. It doesn't take much to be able to read a script. I bet if they looked carefully, they could see the strings where she was tied up with.

    September 3, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  2. Bob

    Nothing to offer except anger and ridicule. If America elects these two, they deserve whatever they get.

    September 3, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  3. Dian

    I disagree. No substance. Just another attack ad!

    September 3, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  4. cindy


    September 3, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  5. Hillary Supporter

    All she did was attack. She gave no solutions only more scare tactics.

    September 3, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  6. Matt

    Doubtful. I may not agree with some of what Giuliani stands for, but what he said tonight was spot on.

    September 3, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  7. Ann

    Her contempt slimed me. So I made a contribution to her opponent. Sometimes you just have to take action.

    September 3, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  8. Peter - Denver

    Don't give Palin so much credit. Her speech was written by Bush's speech writer. It was divisive and full of lies and distortions. Typical Republican crap.

    September 3, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  9. kathy in ohio

    love this woman.............did you notice the crowd the had genuine smiles on their faces her jabs at obama hit the nail on the head she is america. i think obama lost a lot of women tonight. she is our fighter.

    September 3, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  10. Barbara

    Can you tell me what executive experience does John McCain have?

    September 3, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  11. NO Extremeright Palin 08

    She may deliver a good speech but the questions about her experience, her ethics and family values are still unanswered. And now we can all agree she attacks first.
    The gloves are off, she better get ready.

    September 3, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  12. LT for Obama

    Yeah, she delivers lies and more lies, lots of bashing with NO SUBSTANCE. What is she going to do for the country?

    Like I keep saying, she is the gift that keeps on giving. Oh yeah, what about the ethics investigation of Palin regarding Tom Lamal? How did she use her office to get him a job?

    She is a true republican through and through.

    September 3, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  13. Pete

    David, I respectfully disagree with you. Obama pointedly said that her daughter's situation was off limits, and Palin responded tonight by insulting Michelle Obama, making fun of his name, implying that HIS name wouldn't be the one you'd see on a war memorial, and openly accused him of being a traitor to the country for wanting the Iraq War to end. This was an appalling and disgraceful display that will lose the middle, a group of voters incredibly tired with the slash and burn pettiness of the GOP.

    September 3, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  14. Carl, Illinois

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE – Do not confuse "energy" and "oil drilling"

    September 3, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  15. Amy-Texas

    You bet she delivered. All the way to the White House. This was a grand slam. So sorry all you liberals out there you can't knock this woman down, she takes a punch and gets back up and delivers serveral rounds herself. I have never been so proud to be a woman in my life. Thank you Sarah Palin and God Bless you!
    Also Paul Begala....quit your crying, you actually complained and said this speech was written before she took on the VP nomination. Have you liberals stooped so low that now you have to make things up because you don't have anything else to say??? Democrats are so scared and I'm loving it!
    Vote McCain/Palin!!!

    September 3, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  16. Mr Bubbles Worcester Ma

    Yeah yeah yeah…. Ok Ms Palin’s speech was the best I have heard coming from that side of the party. But I hope she understands that this means WAR with the DEMS and Mr Obama and Joe. The speech was…. good but like I knew she was going to attack Obama and that she did. I just hope after Joe bring’s her down to earth I hope people dont start saying… Wait she only a woman. That train has left the gloves are on, Joe go get her!
    It doesnt matter what she feels it’s all about how McCain feels.
    The Republican National Convention was just that word’s for the convention. I still dont know what makes her ready to lead this Country.
    But this was a good speech if this was a boxing fight Obama went down in the fouth round but now we are waiting for Obama to get up plus this is a tag team… JOE RIP HER APART!!!! McCain is not a danger this… Ms Palin is.

    September 3, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  17. Blue Collar Woman for Obama!

    Substantive depth? The word substantive doesn't belong anywhere NEAR a description of this speech.

    September 3, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  18. Tony in Oregon

    Her ugly and nasty remarks turned me off. The Republican ticket has not hing of substance and nothing positive to offer the nation to resolve our problems. I was so sick that half way through the speech I turned the TV off.

    September 3, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  19. Marty, FL

    Tonight, these Republicans continued to deliver their misguided approach of using schoolyard antics, instead of civil discourse. Since when do our potential leaders, including Palin, belittle and mock the volunteer service of community organizers? Please show a little respect to the American people, who give their time for a greater cause.

    Definitely time for a new direction. Eight is enough!

    Obama/Biden '08

    September 3, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  20. Bob

    Is this the best that Republicans have to offer? This was nothing but a litany of the same old politics of fear.

    September 3, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  21. Linda Feldman

    The Republican Party rekindled the culture war tonight. Only they forgot that they won the war in 2000 & 2008 by appealing to the same voters who voted against their own interests and elected George W. Bush. How many victory laps can this country endure? Will voters allow themselves to forget the last 8 years?

    September 3, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  22. voter

    what did she deliver division? it was condensing and arrogant. she still has not said what are her qualifications. if she wants to take the gloves off, then don't cry sexism. take it like a grown up.

    September 3, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  23. Dave

    I thought that the personal jabs at Obama and his wife were rather tasteless given how Obama has told the media and everyone to back off her family this week. I really wish the republicans would have discussed their differences in a logical manner instead of this mocking/sarcastic crap (especially Giuliani). The reality is that she is dangerously unqualified for the job of president. I would also like to point out that she has more "executive experience" than McCain.

    September 3, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  24. Alfred

    Let's not forget that country is prone to elect people based on who would be a better beer buddy. The Republicans did a great job again of framing the issue as character and experience instead of issues and solutions.

    September 3, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  25. bryan

    I had no idea what to expect today, and I'm blown away – she's the real deal. a powerful speaker with substance and experience to back it up. Obama is definitely old news and timing couldn't be any better

    September 3, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45