September 3rd, 2008
11:48 PM ET
12 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. Lily

    She was so condescending. 95% of her speech was about Obama and making fun of him. God help us if this ticket wins.

    September 3, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  2. Cynthia

    Yes she did but not in a good way. She opened the door for the Democrats to clean her clock. All I came away from her speech is that she is a nasty attack dog for McCain. My advice to Biden is to look at her as a candidate who happens to wear lipstick. The media might as well not say anything when they attack back. She must learn in order to get treated respectful you have to do the same thing.

    September 3, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  3. Jeff an Independent

    I thought she came across as caustic and nasty. Took about three minutes to get sick of her whine. NOTHING about economics, policy, anything positive or constructive.

    September 3, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  4. Consider

    Obama paints an impossible picture – less taxes, more spending and bigger government, and pay off the deficit. The 18 somethings that are running the campaign can't add because of not having school choice. This does not add up.

    McCain plan – stop government spending, keep taxes the same, become energy dependent. This adds up. It just isn't what everyone wants to hear.

    Those who didn't like Palin was never going to giver he a chance anyway. The "progressive" and "open minded" party.

    September 3, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  5. Go Obama!!!

    Maybe I missed it in the last few elections, but the Republicans are a very hateful, disingeneous party. To attack someone for being a community organizer is deplorable. Don't we want to promote public service???

    Palin started off well but when the speech turned to rifdiculous attacks on Obama she lost me.

    September 3, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  6. Unshrub

    Does she even know what the constitution is?

    September 3, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  7. Pat H

    It was a scarsastic speech. She is not a victim as the RNC tried to portray her. She told many lies and how dare her attack Michelle Obama who said nothing about her. The gloves are off. She should not have gone there.

    We still have questions about her. She brought nothing to the table.

    September 3, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  8. Tom

    David, how is it that Ms. Palin criticizes the media for invading the privacy of her children, and yet she parades them in front of every camera? If she really wants to keep her kids out of the public eye, then don't trot them out for every single photo op.

    September 3, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  9. Sue

    The hypocrisy in the Media from both sides and the middle is astounding!! Barack Obama has been in congress and the senate and has been the only candidate who ran his campaign with integrity, honesty and honesty the most effectively ran one. He has had over 20 debates campaigned in 49 states and 7 territories for over 18 months; yet the American public via the media will not concede that he won the nomination. On the other hand a white woman from a state of 600,000 people is considered ready to lead on day one and Obama is not??? Help me understand. Please tell me it has nothing to do with race.....I know you can't. And since you can't why don't you begin to report the TRUTH and stop peddling John McCain's talking points.

    September 3, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  10. dw

    Doesn't David Gergen mean Vice President?? I think he's secretly so impressed by her, he views her as presidential pudding. The proof is in the punditry.

    I watched Sara Palin's speech and Barack Obama's speech. In my opinion, Sarah Palin has a better record for change so far than Obama.

    September 3, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  11. Kimberly, Raleigh, NC


    I mean, really?

    I don't give a flying f*&^ who you're supporting, but someone with approximately 4 yrs. experience, in-CLU-ding 2 yrs. in the city council, to back up a potential president who is 72 and has known and RECENT cancer scares?

    Yeah, THIS is who I want trying to mediate peace in the Middle East... or East LA.

    McCain – maybe, but with Palin as a running partner??? NO WAY!!!

    September 3, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  12. dEMOBRAT

    She is open for attack now but I think she'll be able to take it.

    Numerous insults were thrown at the Republicans @ the DNC convention. They just didn't have such great material to use.


    September 3, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  13. Reoublicans Hate America

    Wow talk about lying through her teeth

    September 3, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  14. Arden

    Gov. Palin really stepped in it. The speech was written for her and it did what it what suppose to do, grab hold of the Republican bleeding hearts because McCain can't get it done. But going after Michelle Obama was just plain out of line. I hope the press nails her for it.

    September 3, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  15. tim

    If only Hillary could have given a speech like Rudy we would
    not have a race between McCain and a hot air ballon. Yes is was
    painful to watch but not because it was untrue. Obama is such a
    nothing that watching him is the most painful of all.

    September 3, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  16. Carla

    She was much too sarcastic and flippant. She is trying to make a first impression and I am not impressed. She never gave us any substance about what she did except to sell her airplane. Big deal, I think you may need one of those in Alaska. When will we hear about her raising taxes in Alaska, or when will we hear about her being in favor of the Bridge to Nowhere? She will not get my vote.l

    September 3, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  17. Joyce Aldrich

    Sarah rocks! We all love Sarah and will support her all the way. Palin for President in 2012! Imagine a tough, beautiful, and smart woman that has tons of executive experience. She must scare alot of men!

    September 3, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  18. Jaded

    I would disagree. As an Independent scoping out both conventions, I think she came across as sarcastic, mocking and petty. Where is the "bipartisan" effort? Their policies were NOT mentioned once. I think Mitt / Giuliani / Palin turned alot of undecided toward Obama.

    September 3, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  19. madtown

    Yuck!!! Nasty & divisive! Not what this country needs to move forward! Certainly not the same John McCain I supported in 2000!

    September 3, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  20. Frank in NYC

    This is great tv!!

    September 3, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  21. John Kahle

    What do you think of the comment Sarah Palin had about if they needed to build a bridge in Alaska they built it themselves and didn't need anyone's help. Isn't that kind of slamming the poor Minnesotans that lost loved ones in the bridge collapse last summer.

    September 3, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  22. diva

    Palin proved she is mean. She isn't respectful of all those hard-working community organizers across the nation that are reformers. She took the gloves off and she deserves no softballs.

    18 million people voted for Obama whom she belittled and mocked throughout her speech. That's far more votes than her guy got.

    Enjoy the praise tonight. It's a fight to the finish tomorrow.

    September 3, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  23. Independent, white female for Obama

    She is too negative! too bullish and sarcastic! she is not presidential or commander in chief material. She is another politician who is into tearing people down and spinning and not telling the whole truth. As an independent I was willing to listen and watch what the republicans and democrats have to offer, and I am a very confident and honored supporter of Obama/Biden. I look forward to casting my vote for the first African American into the white house. At least he has been mostly, taking the high road. That's what I want in my president! Mccain made a big mistake choosing Palin!

    September 3, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  24. David from Miami

    I am offended by the way she and the republican party treated community organizers. How dare she treat us as if we have no experience or actual work? I am disgusted by the treatment of the most respectful people in our community. How dare the republican party treat them like that.

    September 3, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  25. diana

    what kind of values does the palin family have? i can understand supporting your daughter through a bad decision. but to promote, laud, and condone her actions is ridiculous. why put levi so much in the spotlight, they are not married, they are both dependent children, and neither has a job or means to support a child. what message are you sending to the american teenagers? i doubt if mccain knew of this pregnancy in advance. shame on you palin why isnt levi charged with statutory rape.

    all palin could discuss in detail was john mccains qualities. what about her own. she spent two minutes on that. good thing she had a speech writer. she recited word for word.

    i think she is the plastic doll she seems to be. she better pray if john mccain wins nothing happens to him. she will get the marilyn monroe treatment. gone in 30 mins

    September 3, 2008 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
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