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. madman

    Sarah Snide

    September 4, 2008 01:57 am at 1:57 am |
  2. JolleeDemocrat

    I am so excited about this ticket, I truly dont believe the last time I felt so energized by an election. I am a Democrat, female, 44 years old.

    I am pro-choice but respect people's pro-life stance. I even find myself being more toward pro-life just becuase I am a proud mother and just recently a proud grandmother.

    I like Sara Palin, she has more experience in Public office at city councel level, mayor level and Governership of the Oil rich state of Alaska.

    She has more experience then any of the running candidates. I like the fact that she is a reformer and fights corruptive government. She is also well verced in the oil industry, they know not to mess with her! I am voting for the Maverick who selected this great VP.

    #1. Go John McCain, we love you, from Anaheim, California

    September 4, 2008 01:58 am at 1:58 am |
  3. Jean

    A good point was made by one of the commentators during the GOP conventon tonight, that it is common practice for the Republicans to accuse the Press of being hard or unfair to them and history shows that the press always backs off – well, PRESS, will you go hard and bring the truth as you did in the Primaries (McCain has enjoyed a free ride long enough) or will you be a bunch of wussies and shut up?

    September 4, 2008 01:58 am at 1:58 am |
  4. Crystal

    It absolutely terrifies me thinking of how our country will deteriorate if McCain/Palin win. We can't afford to take another step backward for 4 years, because at that point, it might be too late to make up for Bush AND McCain's mistakes.

    What happened to discussing real issues rather than voting for a candidate because "she's so family oriented" or "he's a POW"?

    September 4, 2008 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  5. Penny

    Governor Palin doesn't seem to know or care how much she is being used by the same old-boys network" she claims to have beaten. She is naive beyond description.

    September 4, 2008 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  6. JB

    Those words weren't even her own – she very poorly parrotted what was written. I thought it was snarky and juvenile and exactly what the American electorate has grown tired of.


    September 4, 2008 02:00 am at 2:00 am |
  7. Artist3d

    Be not overly concerned, the Universe is unfolding as it should. Looks like I picked a great evening to NOT watch CNN.

    September 4, 2008 02:01 am at 2:01 am |
  8. Osa

    I'm a democrat, but I have to say Palin really convinced me that they are probably the best ticket than Obama who I am not sure has any substance to him.

    September 4, 2008 02:02 am at 2:02 am |
  9. William

    Palin's speech was funny few times. When she portrayed herself "Lipstick" between Hockey mom and a Pitbull I thought she might say "Read my lip".

    She is no "Hillery" Don't insult Hillery Clinton.

    September 4, 2008 02:03 am at 2:03 am |
  10. Lola

    She is a joke! I was supporting her before her speech tonight, after her speech, I lost respect for her. I am a woman and women are supposed to unite not divide, To govern a any country as a leader you need to bring people together, it not only Rnc living in unite state, the left are American citizen too. We American abroad here in Canada are disappointed and as woman and a mother, she failed the first test. When Obama was asked to comment on her daughters rumor, he defended her. On the first night of her fist introduction to the nation and America's abroad like me, she failed, just as she failed as a mother.

    September 4, 2008 02:03 am at 2:03 am |
  11. Jared

    I really think that most of the complaints about the speeches are just "sour grapes." Palin gave a great speech. So did Giuliani. NPR, are you kidding?
    Show me a politician that has no speech writer and I'll show you a liar! You really think Obama writes his own speeches? Ha!
    She mentioned nothing about his family. So because Obama didn't attack in reference to her daughter, Palin was to take the high ground and say nothing critical about him? Balderdash! She did exactly what she needed to do. Hit the Dem's and hit'em hard. Right in the baby maker. Besides, if she didn't do it, you would complain that she was "week" and inexperianced. You'll never be happy with her. So just move past so the big kids can talk. I think the little table is in the corner.
    I have no idea what Obama did as a community organizer. He could have sit in an office the whole time as far as I know. But what I do know is that it has nothing to do about writing and making policy. And who said that the community needed organizing anyway? I know if some dude showed up at my house wanting to "organize" me, he would be shown the property line.
    Obama scares the dickens out of me. I don't need anymore government "taking care of me" or "organizing" me! If McCain and Palin can shrink governent and not expand it futher into my home, I'm all for them.
    So I will just sit here clinging to my religion and holding on to my guns and hope (i think that's the term being used alot right now) that this country will see that the Rep's got it right. Or is it left? Ahh, I forget.

    September 4, 2008 02:04 am at 2:04 am |
  12. New York

    The speech was garbage. Sarah please do us all a favor and go back to Alaska.

    September 4, 2008 02:04 am at 2:04 am |
  13. Ian

    The woman flat out insulted every Community Organizer in the country and you think she delivered?

    September 4, 2008 02:07 am at 2:07 am |
  14. Northwest Washington

    I am so impressed I don't feel I need to run with John any more. Lets have Palin replace him and have him be the VP. "Palin, Palin, Palin, Palin, Palin, Palin, Palin. You go girl!!! Take over!! You have the power and we are all behind you!!! Whoopee! Whoopee!!

    September 4, 2008 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  15. Debra

    Really Gergen? Palin delivers? Exactly what did she deliver? She read a script written by the proteges of Karl Rove and stirred up the 30% of Americans who still support George Bush. Is the media really responding to the intimidation of the likes of John McCain? Who cares if he doesn't come on your shows? He just won't get the coverage he craves. Stop being pushovers and do your job. What Palin delivered was the same manure Republicans have been delivering for 8 years. Get a grip Gergen.

    September 4, 2008 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  16. Mark G

    The only thing she delivered was a mean, sarcastic, and inaccurate attack. I can't believe CNN correspondents fell for it. You got it very wrong...CNN

    September 4, 2008 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  17. Jeff, Denver, CO

    Palin's speech ws great...great for showing what she is truly about. She is about winning just to win. She could care less about anything else. McCain has fallen far from grace. I don't care really about her jabs to Obama or the dems – I expect that from the party. I'm in dismay that not one minute of her speech said how they were going to solve problems...only that their "opponents" were too busy "community organizing" to do anything about it. Has anyone noticed that her kids listened to this trash??? For a hockey mom (I think soccer might have played better in many more areas – who the hell plays hockey?), she sure doesn't care that shes teaches her kids to make a mockery of an American who pulled himself from his bootstraps without a father to be a history making candidate. She could show alittle respect and poise...

    September 4, 2008 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  18. ae

    If this woman lived next door to me, I would move. Promptly.

    September 4, 2008 02:09 am at 2:09 am |
  19. Doris, Memphis,TN

    Palin delivers but at what cost.

    September 4, 2008 02:10 am at 2:10 am |
  20. Hussein Means Handsome

    Palin is cut from the same cloth as the current administration: They outed a CIA agent and she tried to ruin the life of a public servant.

    September 4, 2008 02:15 am at 2:15 am |
  21. BK

    Community organizing does not qualify you to be the president. Obama did it for 3 years and got frustrated and quit. The area he worked in looks just like it did before. No change.

    September 4, 2008 02:15 am at 2:15 am |
  22. SIL

    Palin talk a lot about Omaba's not been participeting in any important laws or desicions been taking in Congress, I ask her.. Are you been there? because you talk like you know exactly what happen.
    McCain now is a Hero,because he went to a war, he just did what he got pay to do, just like any other soldier with the luck that not got killed in a Wa. And I ask again are you were there? or you are just reading what you been instruct it.

    We need a person that lives in a real life and knows the problems we have in America, no in Iraq or any other country. We need a real president who is going to defend our territory and not just Talk, Mr Giuliani 911 was in your time, republicants time, what did you guys had done to protect the country ,send our soldiers to another country to defend according with you freedom, what about secure our territory?Now you talking about have the experience to protect us, Osama still free,now you are talking about lower theGas price, just because is elections time.
    Do you really think people is going to belive and to put atention to the same song.

    Shame on you Republicans, shame on you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 4, 2008 02:15 am at 2:15 am |
  23. Vy, California

    Never though I'd actually be looking forwarding to the investigative ability of the ENQUIRER...

    I'm sure there's more to know about Mrs Palin. McOld's recklessness in trying to win an election in amazing!! This is a Marverick?

    I think not.

    September 4, 2008 02:16 am at 2:16 am |
  24. Rose Black

    After hearing her spew nothing but attacks, I'm confused how anyone at CNN could say that "she nocked it out of the ballpark". C'mon, where's the substance? I did not hear anything specific about how Republicans are going to repair this mess that American is in right now. In fact, I did not hear anything but bashing from all the speakers at this convention this evening. And after watching the majority of this convention, I am even further convinced that Obama/Biden actually care about all of America and not just the right wing fanatical base.

    I think that I can honestly say that Americans across this nation are tired of the Republican spin machine. If they are afraid of scrutiny, they attack the media. If they have no concrete plans to fix America, they attack the other candidate in an effort to tear him down. This party is a party full of sneaky, lying whiners who do not have all of America's best interest at heart. And I'm tired of the media and their party thinking that white women are the only ones who are going to vote in this election.

    September 4, 2008 02:18 am at 2:18 am |
  25. Celina

    Too little, too late for the republicans.
    Palin is in for a rude awakening and when she returns to Alaska it will be with her tail between her legs and a bruised ego.
    Palin is not ready, not now. Maybe she should run for president of Alaska.

    September 4, 2008 02:18 am at 2:18 am |
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