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. Booc

    Palin came out with her socker mom smile on and did't say nothing,
    If McCCain thinks that women will fall for her Bull he's crazier than I thought. Now Mrs. Socker Mom needs to know that if she wants to play in the big league she better be ready to get her feelings hurt more than once. If she can dish it I hope she's can take it.

    She really needs to take care of her kids one pregant and the other one spitting on the baby's head come on. They put them in the spot light and then they say hay the family is off limits come on get real I'm a woman and a mother and we all know something is wrong with this picture. Next all we will hear is that we are attacking the good old soccer mom.

    September 4, 2008 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  2. jason

    If only she told the truth

    September 4, 2008 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  3. Donald

    She can be engaging, funny, sarcastic, lie on command and just generally draw down the whole tone of the dialog. I contrast the mocking sarcasm as lacking in content as the people delivering it are full of IT I've been listening to all this evening with what was for the most part solution oriented content dialog from our democratic Americans last week.

    The fig leaf of mature dialog extended throughout Barack Obama's campaign has been repeatedly dismissed, ridiculed and taken as a sign of weakness and yet... the campaign continues to pick it up and extend it. There must be a God in heaven if this campaign wins in November – and it will – because that sort of behavior is not that of a dog-eat-dog, God-less universe.

    The hypocracy of the republican party compounds itself every day. As a Christian and long-time republican/independent who is voting for Barack Obama I am dismayed and outraged at the betrayal of what are basic, civilized values that we should be able to take for granted in our society because SOMEBODY should be telling us when somebody is LYING to the nation but instead we find ourselves INDIVIDUALLY fighting for them all over again. Can't we even get a basic value like telling the truth right? And let's not hear the trite, mindless response, "What is truth?" to dismiss what we should all be able to expect.

    September 4, 2008 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  4. Sherry

    Palin drew the line in the sand, so she can't scream someone is being sexist if the Democrats hit her hard right back. Unless she has a double standard, she should take exactly what she dishes out.

    September 4, 2008 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  5. Tony

    nice speech... written by same people who designed the attacks on McCain in his bid against George Bush. Humm hiring the same guy that smeared you! interesting...

    September 4, 2008 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  6. Tierra H.

    Hello to all, first I would like to start off by saying I was a die heart Hillary fan, but now I am unsure voter but I will say that gov. Palin is a woman and I would love to see a women in office but I will not be tricked by the Republican party and I hope that other Hillary supporters will be smarter then that. So now I will be an OBAMA fan thanks Hillary.

    September 4, 2008 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  7. mary

    This country has gone nuts! This is not a gender contest or a beauty contest! This country is in a crisis! I think Ms. Palin's speech sounded more like a person running for PTA vice-president rather than vice president of the USA. Her speech was an attack on character rather than issues. This country should be focusing on getting a president and vice president that have the ability to govern a very troubled country, not a "girl next door" like you indicated, a soccer mom, a beauty contestant, or mere wife and mother. This woman's education and experience are an insult to women, Mrs. Clinton in particular, and this country as a whole, to suggest she is qualified for vice president of the USA. I see Ms. Palin as a neglectful mother driven by ambition. McCain and all the Republican party should be ashamed!

    September 4, 2008 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  8. Texico From Mexico

    All she did was attack Obama...thats it. Nothing special, did what she was supposed to to help solidify their base and thats all. If you think her sppech was even in the same ballpark as Obama you are out of your head....and I don't care what party you are for..Obama's was the best speech by a poitician since John F. Kennedy and his had substance, full of hope and a promise. Hers was nothing more than jabs ...oh and another thing...Obama wrote his speech HIMSELF!!! She had it written for her then had to be coached how to read it!

    September 4, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  9. QG

    The pitbull stance won't work... Biden will eat her lunch!

    September 4, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  10. interview her

    Dr. Laura,

    I am aghast with the McCain VP selection. As a voting Conservative Republican, the proud mother of children that include a soldier and an airman (my soldier is deployed), and who is raising 3 additional children 13 and 6 year-old twins who have various disabilities, HOW IN THE WORLD DO YOU LEAVE A DISABLED INFANT TO GO BACK TO WORK THE THIRD DAY, when you do NOT absolutely have to????? What kind of serious mother does that? She said her family came first. SHE LIED. I am so totally outraged with this I could scream. Did we want to win so badly that we would absolutely destroy the values of HOME, motherhood, family values? I am sickened by it all. Soccer mom? Unbelievable. Even the dad wasn't holding the baby. The child was carrying the baby. I'm sorry, was I foolish enough to have accepted such a nomination, I would have been carrying my baby. I think she is emotionally detached from the baby, personally.

    God Save America from itself and the craziness we do.

    September 4, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  11. 08 media election

    Sarah the last laugh laugh best. If she and the media thinks that the American people are so dumb and believe her rederick ha! Your conservative values is full of crap. I rather take a hooker from Pahrump values before I take hers and her family. Everyone is saying that they should lay off her because its sexist. Well, I didn't see the same Love given to Senator Clinton. Repbulicans are such bigots and hyprocites. At first I taught maybe McCain might not be so bad. But its seems for power they would do and say anything as if we the people are so dumb. Thank goodness for internet technology. And also, I beginning to see more Religion play into politics. Wow is this America. We are definetely on a sinking ship. We were undecided, but after McCain and his leaders desperation to win. And their sorry pick, they have not convince nor sway us. So I guess Obama/Biden 2008 here we come.

    September 4, 2008 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  12. Johnson in St. Louis

    she's a true right wing Republican..attack...attack..attack with very little talk about the issues. Lots of red meat there for sure. Perhaps the GOP, as mean as they are, have something. All the mean folks like Cheney, Rove, Limbaugh, seem to prosper. But when the Dems go mean it's just considered unacceptable. Yet the GOP seems to be able to pull it off. I hope if they go after her since she's taken the gloves off we won't hear the cries of sexism anymore though. I'd still take Michelle Obama over her in a good cat fight .

    September 4, 2008 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  13. lets be honest



    September 4, 2008 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  14. seka

    Mrs Palin don't forget that Jesus was a community organizer

    September 4, 2008 12:58 am at 12:58 am |

    This was not a "great speech" like the CNN pundits like to call it. All I heard was this whiney voiced woman read off a tyrade of attacks. It was really ugly. I had to turn away a couple of times because I couldn't stand to hear it. Where was the plan to lead this country into a different direction? What about the economy? Just bash, mock, bash, mock. Horrible speech.

    September 4, 2008 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  16. Annette, Washington, DC

    She delivered a bunch of low punches, anybody can do that?? But what she did not do is introduce herself as a person who can relate to working moms, her speech was scripted with decisive punches at Obama. She showed all of us she can be a hard hitting woman. That was the easy part, or should I say the milk. Where's the beef?

    September 4, 2008 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  17. Tyrone Brown

    Palin may talk a good game, but she has not seen anything yet. She is has the luxury of being in a Republican bubble for now, but wait until she meets the real world in the form of Hillary and Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and Joe Biden, and the millions of Americans who are completely disollutioned by the failures of the Republican Party, her extreme stance on everything from individual freedom to education, and the erratic behaviour of John McCain.

    No Way, No How, No McCain/Palin.

    Yes! We! Can!

    Obama/Biden '08

    September 4, 2008 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  18. ME ex-pat

    Governor Palin not only delivered, she hit the ball out of the park. The speech was amazing, and she proved tonight that she won't be bullied by the media or the political elite on the left. She should style, sincerity, and a toughness that topped every speech I've heard during this election. Of course, 95% of the comments submitted to CNN will trash the speech, because most of CNN's readers/viewers are flaming liberals, but Gov. Palin spoke the heartland of American on Wednesday night, and did so effectively.

    September 4, 2008 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  19. KC

    Boy she was good, lets see how she does in the debates. Hey and I'm for Obama.

    September 4, 2008 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  20. Keith

    There was a state guv'nor named Palin
    Who saw her candidate failin'
    She stepped into the VP breach
    Can "prez" be far out of reach?
    Let's hope John McCain isn't ailin!

    September 4, 2008 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  21. oh my

    she gave a great bio, POW and attack speech...what would you expect, they spent hours preparing her...yet through all of the attacks what did she say about the issues? nothing

    September 4, 2008 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  22. Aiden Shaw

    What a fantastic speech! She really fought back against all the snobbery against her and against those who tried to portray her as a hick. She's nobody's fool. Action speaks louder than words and she's a woman of action. She also made some compelling arguments in favor of McCain and exposing the risk of electing Obama. Powerful stuff!

    September 4, 2008 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  23. Chuck

    With Gergen and Crowley giving good, unbiased, opinions why does CNN need any other pundit?

    Thanks David. It's nice to see a PROFESSIONAL journalist in the age of fast news.

    September 4, 2008 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  24. dvn

    Suburban America likes her! She is to the point, and stand up for herself and others that she believes. No more to be said.

    September 4, 2008 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  25. Matt

    she attacked "liberals" in one breath and then said we must come together, regardless of politics in the next breath.

    September 4, 2008 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
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