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. Dee

    I DO NOT WANT TO HEAR ONE WOMAN crying when Joe hits back, talking bout how could to talk that way to a woman.

    September 4, 2008 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  2. Butleroy

    Where's the substance in that speech? Sarah was slick in her blatant attacks, however, I didn't hear anything about her policies or her beliefs. How would that speech sway anyone who's critically thinking?

    September 4, 2008 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  3. james

    She came across as very mean and condescending, She just turned alot of woman off. Just read the blogs.

    September 4, 2008 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  4. Patrick

    Democrat here who was very impressed with Palin's speech. Job well done. However, still likely leading towards Obama, but not for sure.

    September 4, 2008 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  5. GOP no more!

    So it's back to the old tricks – tell lies enough times and people will believe you – I hope that after 8 years Americans figure the deal. As to Palin's speech – you show some skill I'll give you that, but you're short on substance – you see Republican majority senate is responsible for 6 years of failed policies followed by almost 2 years of bush's veto to Democratic majority senate – so the only way to fix this raped country is to get a Democratic president – and we Americans get it.

    September 4, 2008 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  6. George Bernard

    Questions....Will a VP Palin live in Washington D.C. with family,Will she endorse Ted Stevens,How many oil wells have been drilled in all of Alaska over the Last Eight Years ? THANK YOU-David Gergen for President !!!!

    September 4, 2008 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  7. The Lady

    deliered what???

    September 4, 2008 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  8. Palin

    Palin was very submissive to the Repulican base and delivered the intended speech as prepared by the McCain Campaign. I must admit that after hearing the sarcasm, condesending remarks and seeing the fingerpointing, I am convinced that she tried to use her political status to have her ex-brother-in-law fired! 100%

    September 4, 2008 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  9. henriettap

    She speaks tough like she can handle whatever might be thrown her way so let the show began and their should be no kid gloves when you pick a fight you are expected to be tough enough to handle whatever comes your way so lets see the what she is made of.

    September 4, 2008 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  10. working mom in mi

    Oh come on.....all this complaining today of sexist and piling on, give me a break. Talk about double talk....where I come from, "thanks, but no thanks" means you give the money back for the bridge to nowhere, NOT keep it and spend it elsewhere. That's shaking up Washington and reforming...sounds more like the same old, same old. Where's the beef about the economy, health care, and how to end the billion dollar war!!! Don't tell me what is wrong with the Dems...tell me what you can do for me, middle america.

    September 4, 2008 12:18 am at 12:18 am |

    It was a good speech, they have a great writer and she had 4 days and nights to practice. It doesnt change the fact that it will still be 4 more years of the last 8 we have had. I heard drill, and I heard war among many other things!!! We need change and a McCain Palin ticket wont give us that change!!

    Also she cant claim sexism anymore....many of the buttons the reublicans were wearing were callign her a HOT VP from a cold sate! That is sexist!!!

    Game on!!!

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 4, 2008 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  12. scott

    Looks like Roseann Barr is alive and well

    September 4, 2008 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  13. LA33ROSS

    Amazing that CNN is only reporting support for this terrible speech. More of the same empty speech. Our country is ready to move on from hatred and division. As an African American woman I was uplifted to see all kinds of people together supporting a common cause at the DNC. I admit I had hardened a bit and forgotten what this country was about. When I saw the DNC it reminded me that we are all in this together. We all were Gods people. What in the world was this tonight. Put gender and race aside and vote common sense. Vote for who genuinely cares for the common person. Don't be fooled by fear and lies. Enough eight years is enough!

    September 4, 2008 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  14. James from Stone Moutain, GA

    It seems well delivered. But sounded like someone else wrote it. I was hoping for something more authentic. I guess it was a good sermon for the choir.

    September 4, 2008 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  15. Ken, LA California

    Gloves are off, so dont complain any more when we speak our minds about how incompetent she is, America is not a third world country, we will not accept this woman as a vp to half dead 72 year old.

    September 4, 2008 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  16. adam

    If you thought she was coarse, rude, insulting and undignafied you're obviously sexist.

    September 4, 2008 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  17. Cynthia

    Campbell and Tara are both wrong. If she comes out and says negative things about them – they should be able to come out the same about her. As the saying goes – if you want to stomp with the big dogs you also have to accept being stepped on.

    September 4, 2008 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  18. Mike, Toronto Canada

    Following Gov. Palin's speech, tonight the Democrats have increased their lead in the fight for the Presidency of the United States.

    September 4, 2008 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  19. Clare

    Sarah Palin, was very right when she described hockey moms as pittbulls with lipstick. She came across as a pittbull tonight. She took herself from the position of victim in the wake of her breaking family scandals, to the position of attack dog for the republican party. She went on a harsh tirade that blasted her Democratic competitors and showed her lack of knowledge or utter disregard for many of the factsof their campaign. She needs to stop twisting facts and say it straight. I feel that her speak and nomination is an attempt by the Republican party to refocuse the election from the issues that truely face the nation and get it back to the good ole boy politics of mud throwing. I will say that I am very disappointed in her. I was excitied to have two historic political tickets to chose from, but now know the Republicans never intended to take her seriously. She is a hack for the Republican party and I expect and election season in which she throws many dirty blows in an attempt to muddle the political waters.

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

    Me First!! Delivers what?

    September 4, 2008 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  21. randy

    Campbell Brown just did it.

    Palin can use what ever language she likes, yet the word shrill is too tough to use against a woman...

    Campbell, you don't have to pander because a senator got in a tiff because of you questioning Tucker. I'm glad to see him off the air...


    September 4, 2008 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  22. Lynn

    I agree with the comments. The delivery of the speech was flawless. She was a bit tough on Obama, but then again she is running against the Obama/Biden ticket. I can't wait to see more of her over the next few weeks and see how she does in unscripted interviews. I suspect she will hold her own.

    September 4, 2008 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  23. Dee

    I DO NOT WANT TO HEAR ONE WOMAN crying when Joe hits back, talking about how could he talk that way to a woman.

    September 4, 2008 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  24. Concerned Voter

    What? Seriously? You found this to be a good speech? As an independent, I was not really impressed. The speech was packed full of the usual Republican fear-mongering (911, evil terrorists), references to McCain's time as a POW, a long with the usual jokes and patriotic lines to get standing ovations–it was like a big show. Palin failed to fully clarify who she is, and her vision for this country–she only re-stated what the press has been saying about her for the past few weeks. I don't feel that I know her any better. Sorry.

    September 4, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  25. LANCE

    yes she is a pitbull, just ask her daughter. more importantly her son-in-forced-law. those poor kids never had a chance to choose their life plan.
    thats the republican way, they have been that way since the beginning of time. and this time all of AMERICA was watching.

    are you better of than you were 4 yrs ago- 8 years ago?

    study now shows average people do better when dems in office

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