September 3rd, 2008
11:48 PM ET
11 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. emily

    she still spoke to an all white audience! which isnt the america i live in! not one word about the economy, how to end the war, poverty in america or how to get america back to it glory days. she should be attacked just as she dished it out!! if you run with the big dogs.......sad day to see a national convention with this type of rhetoric of hate! America it will be a sad day here in the US if we elect this ticket of mccain/palin to have four more years of mcbush!

    September 4, 2008 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  2. Julie Snider

    I am compelled to share my voice and concerns following tonight's speech by Gov. Palin. She was entertaining, pointed and totally inappropriate for Vice-President. Her tone was sarcastic. She is nasty and low, certainly ill-fit for the call of presidential diplomacy.

    September 4, 2008 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  3. G.B.

    Ok. One more...Does it occur to anyone that has a teen daughetr/son when suddenly confronted with a sex craved teen that blurts the words,"The Vice Presidents daughter can have sex and a baby and the whole country approves, why cant I????????

    September 4, 2008 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  4. Kim K, Michigan

    I could only be impressed with the women if she showed enough intelligence to remove herself from the ticket.

    President, Vice President, Supreme Court judge – these are jobs for people who have spent most of their adult life preparing for them. No need to be rich, or snobby or elite. But thrust into the role?

    She goes on about all her wonderful "choices", but from where I sit she hasn't made any choices. She wants to have it all – no hard choices, just yes to all. Bring on the power trip.

    She at one time diminishes both motherhood and politics.

    September 4, 2008 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  5. Vanessa From New York

    I did not like it, she has no experience, Miss Hockey Mom. and she has never author a law either. I dont like her. She has no experience, but she is ready...interesting concept

    September 4, 2008 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  6. NY4O

    She sucks. Belittling Obama's community service.Community work is of major importance in building our nation. Being an example and inspiration to young minds is critical. I love the way they attempt to deceive the nation with lies, thinking if they say it enough we'll believe it.
    What I find impressive about her is that she's a trailblazer. She's the only candidate to come under investigation after such a short period of time... Might be a GOP Record too.. but I doubt it cause that party breeds snakes and liars (Rumsfeld, Cheney, Rove, Bush... should I continue??)

    September 4, 2008 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  7. Tommy Hussein in St. Louis (I only have one house...that I know of)

    As much as Rudy Giuliani incensed me tonight, there is one thing he said that I completely agree with: it is absolutely wrong to ask, how can Sarah Palin be the Vice-President and a mother of five at the same time?

    I would never walk up to any of my female co-workers and ask them, how can they perform their jobs and take care of their children at the same time? That is disgustingly sexist, and it comes from the party that's supposed to be fighting sexism. If Barack Obama could tell you left-wing partisans who ask this question to shut up and refrain from speaking on his behalf, I'm sure he would (and I'm sure you're the same ones who asked, if Hillary can't please her husband, then how can she run the country?).

    September 4, 2008 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  8. keith

    Palin didn't do or say anything that was change related as far as the GOP is concerned. Well written speech, but the only thing wrong with it is everything after her life story wasn't her words. She is a puppet for the Mcain/Bush
    agenda. Maybe she doesn't fully understand her roll as a puppet, or maybe she does.. After all
    that speech is from the GOP play book.

    September 4, 2008 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  9. george

    We should have a rough and tumble race down the stretch Mr. Gergen. Mrs. Palin took the first shot ;so much for reformed politics. I hope Obama and Biden wake up and smell the season and not be fearful of dishing it out to Palin as necessary, reasonable women and men will understand.

    September 4, 2008 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  10. Pam

    For some reason CNN spokespersons keep comparing the Palin situation to the movie American President with Anette Bening. The true movie comparison should be to The Contender with Joan Allen.

    September 4, 2008 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  11. rachel

    i don't understand MSM praise o Sarah Palin's speech tonight.

    Did we watch different speeches?

    were expectations set so low that her speech gets such high marks?

    i think she was just blah. "hockey mom" speech, she didn't sound convincing about bringing change, just slogans.

    September 4, 2008 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  12. Ashu Rathor

    Mr. Gergen her talk was same old mudslinging and small town politician bantering. This was disgraceful and insulting – outright scary. I can see a world war in McCain/Palin regime. Someone who will win a war over election is a dictator. People's will has to be respected in a democracy. I mean her gestures scared the heck out of me.

    September 4, 2008 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  13. oldsoldierboy

    Obama bashing not going to get it done. She wants to shake up washington what does that say about their own party the last 8 years? I'm not willing to take another risk that they will get it right this time.

    September 4, 2008 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  14. Barbara

    I am not a person who gets angry often but Palin is not a woman I would vote for. When Palin's daughter was attacked by the press Obama stood up for her. But tonight Palin attacked both Obama and his wife in her speech. That lacked integrity. She will do anything the Republican Party requires of her including attacking someone who chose not to attack her and dragging her daughter’s boy friend out to be trotted around like a pony.

    September 4, 2008 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  15. Sande

    I'm just curious, how is she such a great governor and half the people in Alaska don't have water or heat? Also their greatest revenue is oil profits. What about the rest of America? Will Alaska share it's profits with other Americans? Will gas prices go down because we can now have more of Alaska's oil. By the way, I saw her on Glen Beck a few months ago. She said that we should tap the oil reserves then. She must have changed her mind about that tonight. Boy those Republicans, always changing their minds. Like McCain changing his mind on the MLK holiday. Hhhhmmmm

    September 4, 2008 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  16. Anonymous

    Delivered what? Competition for the vitorl found on television wrestling shows? What a waste of the talents of an obviously bright individual who could be strong in her faith and not come across as the school yard bully in heels.

    September 4, 2008 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  17. Sande

    She delivers children. The Palin Bunch!

    September 4, 2008 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  18. Steve Baxter

    She is fantastic and I trust her!

    September 4, 2008 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  19. JB

    It's sickening to see them cart around the baby like it's a prop. He should have been in bed.


    September 4, 2008 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  20. Paul

    I wonder why her attacks seem personal to you, after all the attack dogs of the MSM have been attacking her and her family for the last few days. Maybe if you all had stayed away from her family she might have stayed away from the personal attacks.

    September 4, 2008 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  21. bayrrej

    Let's remember we live in a country that elected George Bush TWICE (well once fer sure and once w/ the help of a conservative Supreme Court) and revels in American Idol and Dancing With the Stars along with 50 other "reality" shows. The Republicans have out-Paris-Hiltoned the Democrats with Sarah Palin. Between McCain's acclamation of the Rove innuendo strategy and the Obama/Biden "high road" of campaigning, the Republicans have the American "idiots" by the proverbials and, consequently, the white house. I have NO confidence in the American public's discernment –NONE! To paraphase the London Daily Mirror after the 2004 election: "How can 52 million Americans (STILL!) be so stupid!" God knows, but he's apparently not telling... Gotta give McCain credit - he has "us" figured out.

    September 4, 2008 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  22. Tipper1000

    David: I look forward to your insightful commentary on nights like this but tonight I think your commens following Gov. Palin's speech were off the mark. I had expected to like her after this speech but instead found her to be cynical and arrogant especially in light of her thin resume. The concern I have had about her since McCain introduced her as his running mate was that she doesn't know what she doesn't know and the sarcastic tone she used tonight doubly underscored for me that those concerns are well founded. I think the CNN panel tonight got caught up in the enthusiasm of the very friendly crowd. However, I find it hard to believe that average folks at home found her delivery as appealing. Also, unlike the women on the panel (whose views I also appreciate hearing), as a woman I was not moved by her family introduction (although I was touched by her little girl tidying up the baby's hair). Rather, as a Mom with a troubled teen I am put off that she would expose her pregnant daughter to world wide scrutiny. I have a feeling the Dems are going to win the White House this year and I think come February the media is going to scratch its head and wonder what they were thinking being so generous to this Republican campaign that so far has been incredibly lousy.

    September 4, 2008 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  23. Young Republican

    She should do stand-up.

    September 4, 2008 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  24. ObamaDrama

    I wonder if Mccain will pay her less than other vp's? Since you know he voted against equal pay?

    September 4, 2008 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  25. LinnieFB

    More 'us' versus 'them.' More division. More rewriting facts to pander to supporters. Is this the only way they know how to win?

    This is not a Reese Witherspoon movie where the spunky, unqualified girl saves the day...our problems are more serious than this.

    Eight years ago we made a big mistake and our families are paying for it today..... we won't make that mistake again.

    Palin can throw a punch....let's see if she can take one. She obviously has a lot more to her story which is why her strategists are trying to bully the press into backing off.

    And the attack on Community Organizers from this wanna-be was a real low point, although it is obvious she is very comfortable in the mud. She's probably spent a lot of time there.

    September 4, 2008 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
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