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. Eve

    McCain and Palin can't beat the media too. They act as they are in a war with fellow ameicans. Just division, pure hatred and vitriol. This will backfire on them. Too many people are hurting, we don't want this divisivise Karl Rove, Right Wing Crap. And if anybody in rural america falls for this, you think you are poor now, just look back in four years if you vote these 2 in office. Not to mention reinacting the draft to take your sons and daughters away from home. Sad, Sad, Sad

    September 4, 2008 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
  2. No McSane and Putin in 08

    She sure delivered a devising message. Same old republican smear campaing. McCain I thought you were better than this. But I guess you'll do anything to win an election.

    September 4, 2008 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
  3. The Republicans are a constant source of comedy.

    Who writes these? Sheesh...
    She was shill, and a aww gee shucks folksy bore.
    AND she had her speech written before she was even chosen.

    September 4, 2008 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  4. Independentandlovingit

    McCain's new ad puts another stitch in what we've called his pattern of deceit on Obama's tax plan. This one claims Obama and congressional Democrats plan to push forward "painful tax increases on working American families" and that they will bring about "years of deficits," "no balanced budgets" and "billions in new government spending."

    The ad is plain wrong about higher taxes on working families. In fact, Obama's economic plan would produce a tax cut for the majority of American households, with middle-income earners benefiting most. As for "years of deficits," exactly the same claim could be made about McCain's program. It's unlikely either Obama or McCain would balance the budget, and both are projected to increase the debt by trillions.

    We've already reported on at least three other ads, in both Spanish and English, from Sen. John McCain's campaign that distort his rival's tax policy. The ads claim that, for example, Democratic Sen. Barack Obama would raise taxes "on the sale of your home" and that he has a "history of raising taxes" and that he wanted to raise taxes on "families" making just $42,000 a year.

    Claims like these have led us to say that McCain's campaign is engaging in a "pattern of deceit" when it comes to describing Obama's tax plan. This most recent ad fits right into the template.

    September 4, 2008 01:45 am at 1:45 am |
  5. KC

    I am a recovering republican. I have watched both conventions. I must say that "yes" I am afraid, very afraid that the republicans will get into office one more time. I have grown older and wiser and fear that America has lost its way. What did I hear tonight? War! Win at all costs! Make no acceptions! Who do you see in the crowd? Old white Americans(by the way I'm not to old but I am white) God help us the GOP continues to cut funds for education and community projects, what does that leave for the average to poor American? Well there is always the militayr!!!!!!

    September 4, 2008 01:45 am at 1:45 am |
  6. Stephen

    How can you mention Katrina... and only lament over the strategic petroleum reserve being opened during the shortfall and say nothing about the devastation to hundreds of thousands of peoples lives, homes and communities. Not to mention over 1800 people died.... but it is really sad that we tapped our oil reserve?

    Sounds REALLY out of touch to me

    September 4, 2008 01:46 am at 1:46 am |
  7. MB

    You say that "she was a large, confident personality" What I saw was someone who was simply nasty – snide and personal, angry and viscious, petty and wrong about facts.

    You note that "she delivered an extremely well crafted speech". I heard falsehoods delivered with a ring of sincerity. Outright lies apparently swallowed whole and replayed from a true believer. that's scary!.

    September 4, 2008 01:46 am at 1:46 am |
  8. Tylenol 666

    Hillary ,,where are you? She is not you and will not even come close to you

    Obama . Biden 08

    September 4, 2008 01:46 am at 1:46 am |
  9. Chloe

    Heaven help the U.S. A. if she becomes vice president. The possibility of this person possibly becomng our President if something happened to John M............??????????? What was he thinking?

    September 4, 2008 01:46 am at 1:46 am |
  10. Jerry

    Although a Democrat I will have to vote for the Republican candidates.
    As a tax preparer Obama scares me. The American people are taxed enough and I am not so stupid as to think all the money for his "change" will come from God and NOT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. I feel he lacks the experience necessary to Lead the People. He says "what the people WANT to hear, but without much substance. Watching the CNN report on Obama and McCain helped make up my mind about how untrustworthy Obama is and how much ambition drives him. He can keep his "present" votes as it says alot about him, his convictions and desire to be President. I am NOT ASHAMED to put my hand over my heart and believe in America saying the pledge, one symbol He cannot grasp.

    September 4, 2008 01:46 am at 1:46 am |
  11. Shalini Bhatia / NJ

    This GOP convention is making so easy for OBAMA to be our next president. Stop attacking you racists....start helping americans.

    September 4, 2008 01:47 am at 1:47 am |
  12. Renee

    I LOVED her speech. She hit the nail right on the head about everything about Obama. I think you are seriously still underestimating this woman and this ticket.

    September 4, 2008 01:47 am at 1:47 am |
  13. cessy

    I am independent from ohio and she did not do it. the politics of tearing each other apart is over.
    I expected her as a reformer as she says to try and walk above all this, take the high road. i was extremely dissapointed.
    How cam she look down on community organizer.

    As a woman, i dont think the sexiest issue should come up again, she is fair game period.

    September 4, 2008 01:49 am at 1:49 am |
  14. sarb

    Get serious fellows. community organizing is for churches . She is not demeaning that line of work so don,t take it so personally. But it does not qualify you to run a country. Tell me How this gives the foreign policy experience. Be careful democrats this is the real trap . They are roping you in. Good Luck in November . Long way to go yet so dont open that bottle just yet. PS – If community organizing is the paramount qualification for American President not student council then should I send you resume of well a lot of people with all kinds of diverse stories and backgrounds. But word of caution they may not deliver the kind of speech your guy does. And is that the paramount qualifications. And oh yes Obama does not throw any jabs at Mccain or Palin. What you expect him to just take it. Grow up its an election year.

    September 4, 2008 01:49 am at 1:49 am |
  15. Sherri

    She solidified her GOP base. She also fired up the Democratic base to stand against her strong and hard. She was mean spirited and fear mongering. Shame on her. We don't need a female version of George Bush anywhere near the White House. Democrats unite.

    September 4, 2008 01:51 am at 1:51 am |
  16. DeAnnya

    I must say I am happy to see so many positive headline on this woman.

    As you can see by the comments that's not going to help her,because we the people DO NOT want that running our country.!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 4, 2008 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  17. Todd for McCain

    What a great speech. She topped Osama Ben Bama. Way to go girl.

    September 4, 2008 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  18. Allan

    That was the most horrific way for a candidate to introduce herself to America. The Republicans had already written this script for a man, so when McCain pulled a fast one and threw Palin into the fire, they tried to pretty it up a bit. But the relentless negativity and attacking tone were completely repulsive. And because Giuliani went on too long, the pulled the video introduction that might have given her personal story some warmth and grace, compounding the shocking effect of her nasty attacks.

    The Republicans blew it big time.

    And because she attacked so hard and so personally, she and the Republicans cannot hide behind their skirts and cry sexism when we drag every sleazy scandal out of this monster's closet and pick them apart for the next two months.

    September 4, 2008 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  19. Ron Cram

    Palin gave an outstanding performance tonight. More importantly, she has a record of accomplishment to back it up. She negotiated eyeball to eyeball with Big Oil and got a much better deal for her state. So much so that she returned $1200 to every adult in Alaska. If you think she cannot hold her own at the negotiating table with foreign leaders, you are uninformed or living in a fantasy world. This woman is the real deal. No wonder the Dems are so panicked by her nomination.

    September 4, 2008 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  20. Pick Me! Pick Me!

    Cute beauty pagent speech. Heavy on the fluff nothing on substance.

    September 4, 2008 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  21. Highlyblessed

    She is portraying herself like a pitbull, but when the hard questions come, they'll claim sexism or keep her hidden from media so she can't answer questions on her own, which is sexists or exhibits McCain's poor judgement in selecting a candidate that can't comment on domestic and foreign affairs without Great Grand Daddy McCain beside her, or heck Lieberman...because we all know McCain has problems himself answering questions...

    The debate was so divisive and made me dislike Palin more than I already had. I was hoping to alteast come away with some keen insight into the woman she may be, and all I got was a woman doing McCain's dirty work of trash talk, which I find distasteful.

    September 4, 2008 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  22. Heidi Salmon

    I think it is sad that CNN only posts the liberal comments on this website. I have read through all the comments and do not see one viewpoint from a conservative person or someone who actually listened to what she said. Their plan for the economy is to LOWER TAXES for Americans AND NOT RAISE TAXES FOR SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS -SO THAT IT CAN AFFECT ALL AMERICANS WHO WORK FOR A SMALL BUSINESS OWNER OR WHO BUY GOODS AND SERVICES FROM A SMALL BUSINESS OWNER! Their energy plan is to DRILL in America while being eco-friendly because American people are the priority right now. Their energy plan is to build pipeline (as she stated!), explore new technology (as she stated!), and to utilize our own natural resources by drilling (as she stated!).

    September 4, 2008 01:53 am at 1:53 am |
  23. Obama 08: 60, white, female.

    Instead of appauding the "red meat" you and the panel seem to revel in, why don't you do your job and fact check what this sarcastic, arrogant woman had to say.

    McCain has become a distasteful politician who wants to define what the press says about his campaign and yet wants to be able to say, attack, lie and belittle the other side. Let's see if the media has the guts to stand up to him and do their job!!

    September 4, 2008 01:54 am at 1:54 am |
  24. Frank

    The hateful diatribes that American heard tonight cannot possibly do the Republican Party any good.

    When they are compared with the hopeful and forward looking message being delivered by the Democrats, it is hard to imagine that people will choose another four year of the same kind of venality that has sickened our culture for the last eight years.

    Instead of "God bless America" I suspect that many of us tonight are praying "God please rescue America.

    September 4, 2008 01:55 am at 1:55 am |
  25. delivered what?

    Certainly, not to me!!!!! Those kinds of politics are not "trendy" to me and people around me! No, but thanks!!!!
    It is for those kind of attitudes that nothing gets accomplished in Washington. We are looking for ways to ACCOMPLISH WHAT AMERICA NEEDS AND WANTS, not for "pit bulls with lipstick". Dalila

    September 4, 2008 01:56 am at 1:56 am |
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