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. slim Seattle, Wa

    Palin, deliver all right. I can’t Waite until Joe Biden tears her down from limb to limb. Biden is going to lay a smack down on her.

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

    The entire RNC attacks were on Obama and Biden was never mentioned. The Republicans, particularly the ring wing conservatives are liars, hate mongers, racist and the most evil group of people I have ever seen in my life. They call themselves born again Christians who love God. and place great emphasis on having values and morals, which in truth they lack.

    These individuals are HYPOCRITES and are very poor examples of a Christian. I pray that Obama wins and this group of demons including the new addition Palin are exposed and brpught to shame just like Bush Jr.

    September 4, 2008 02:20 am at 2:20 am |
  3. go away mongers- Ventura ca

    personal at times? That was gop format 101.........
    Go with personal attacks, innuendo and fabrication- all brought to you by the Karl Rove School of Filth!
    My Dad taught me that "you can never build yourself up by tearing someone else down"- He never went to Rove's School.

    September 4, 2008 02:20 am at 2:20 am |
  4. The RIGHT Change

    All right dollfaces, lets not smear your makeup with tears because Sarah Palin took a hard angle on Mr. Obama tonight. This is, by the way, a contest. Tit for tat, take that Democrat.

    McCain/Palin all the way to Penn. Ave!

    September 4, 2008 02:20 am at 2:20 am |
  5. Rob

    And now today. The media begins to explore the allegations of Palins Marital Infidelity reported by the Enquirer.

    September 4, 2008 02:20 am at 2:20 am |
  6. Gezellig

    "After all, there are still some serious questions about what kind of president she might be."

    Gergen, I like you. You are one of the few people who, when I channel surf, I stop every time I see you as I HAVE to watch. You always say something worth listening to. However, this sentence sent shivers up my spine. The thought of Palin as President is appalling. The combination of unqualified with extreme right-wing positions is a warning sign to all people who want to decide what is best for themselves and their families.

    September 4, 2008 02:20 am at 2:20 am |
  7. Rob Nelson

    She should be delivering pizza. Lets see, Obama a Ivy league grad, gave up the money to help the less fortunate. McCain marries rich, soccer mom is out of control give me Obama anyday

    September 4, 2008 02:20 am at 2:20 am |
  8. Ronald

    Delivers what exactly? A good speach? One liners? Attacks? Lies on earmarks, reform, bridges and being part of the good old boy network? Insults to liberals, media, African Amerians, Michelle Obama, Community Organizers, Barrak Obama? I may have missed a few of the insults after the hear is my familly you know the Dad who works for oil, got a dui and belong to a fanatical group that wants to seceed from the US. The pregnant daughter and her boyfriend who now have their entire lives under a microscope. But don't teach sex ed in schools. Her son going to Iraq on Sept 11th hope any terrorists are watching this or any enemies there. They have a picture, date and place now. (Really though god guide him throught out his service and keep him safe.) But the point is I would not personally give out that information to a national audience. Just seemed weird. No I was not impressed she answered no questions on her qualifications or the direction she wants to take this country nor any policy she believes in and will fight for other then drilling for oil.

    September 4, 2008 02:22 am at 2:22 am |
  9. Obama/Biden

    For people who said that Palin had more vote in her election as governer than Biden did as president, I want them to know that Biden was not on the barlot caucus past Iowa. You cannot take vote from one state and generalize the situation. I guess the same situation apply for that person when it come to his failed presidency bid as well. Biden is a long time experience senator with far more vote in all his reelection than that person who stated that comment and Palin combine. Biden is ready for the job when Palin is going to be an intern for the job.

    September 4, 2008 02:23 am at 2:23 am |
  10. ingram

    To Zen:

    Well said & I am in total agreement. I thought the snide remarks by Palin & Rudy were below the belt. I felt put off by the dismissive "jabs" at Obama's sacrifice & service. He was right. These guys think they own patriotism. Although the commentators thought her speech was a "home run," I think the media will be surprised at the reactions in the coming days. She also left herself open for more questions by sticking to her "reform" image & "bridgegate". La Times reports today over $100 million in earmarks requested by Palin & her support for the notorious bridge to nowhere. Finally, I hope that now commentators will stop saying Biden has to be "careful" while debating a woman. I'm surprised more women are not offended by this. I thought the goal is to treat everyone equally regardless of gender. Why should Biden or anyone have to "walk a fine line" if being attacked by a pitbull in lipstick as Palin referred to herself. I say go toe to toe & let the verbal blows fly. We may end up seeing a different breed at the debates without the help of GWB's speech writers. Perhaps a chiuaua. All bark no bite.

    September 4, 2008 02:24 am at 2:24 am |
  11. BD

    I am glad to see others also were insulted by the mockery of community work. I personally donate a great deal of my time trying to make my community a better place. Isn't that what strengthens us? Isn't that ultimately what makes our country what it is? How can Palin, Giuliani and the rest claim to be for the little guy... claim to be Patriots and yet make such ugly and condescending remarks about community organizing?

    Who are the real elitists here? And Gov. Palin... you call yourself a Christian and yet make a mockery of work that reaches out to help your fellow man?

    September 4, 2008 02:24 am at 2:24 am |
  12. Val

    The republicans are at it again...divide and conquer, a republican trade mark . It usually works as they keep the empty minds in America busy hating each other. It was scary watching this separatist movement ignite their sheep with blatant lies and anger. Isn't this how witches were burned at the cross?

    McClain has hired a female Don Rickles who I, as a woman find offensive. Granted mistakes do happen, however how dear Palin parade her daughter in front of my teenage daughter, as an example for other teen in America. Palin appears to know no shame, the big question is should she?

    Why not tell all teenager that having a child is ok, after all you will be like the teenager of the Vice President of America. Is this the best America has to offer? God help us.

    September 4, 2008 02:24 am at 2:24 am |
  13. willcnnapprovethis?

    Personal Stories and Tragic Events don't qualify you to be president. My Grandpa spent days hunkered down in Fox holes with little food and water while Nazis shot at his regiment and killed his friends during WWII. My great uncle fought the Japanese in the pacific and was only one of six people who survived when his ship sank after being torpedoed
    Those events didn't qualify them to be president. Those events didn't qualify them to lead a nation.

    September 4, 2008 02:27 am at 2:27 am |
  14. Terri

    Sarah Palin's speech unfortunately left a bad,bad feeling in my heart.
    Initially, I was hopeful that she being the righteous woman that she's being portrayed as, that she would deliver an informative and factual speech;but instead she lived-up to the FEMALE PITBULL with LIPSTICK on, as she so eloquently compared herself to.

    Mr. Gergen you are absolutey right, Palin did deliver!
    The Republicans got everything they could possibly want from her----BUCKETS and BUCKETS OF MOOSE NUGGETS!!!!!!!!!!

    September 4, 2008 02:27 am at 2:27 am |
  15. Tina

    Yeh. that's right alienate Community Organizers and all the people who live in big cities. I will give McCain this, putting her in the room made it look like there was someone other than old people there. And, i don't think Palin puts her childred first at all. Now, they'll get even less attention from their mom. Michelle O will never neglect her girls and she is a highly educated working woman.

    Can she answer this question?

    What's wrong with Community Organizers? They are selfless in their helping of people. Does she not intend to help people.

    Go ahead and call yourself a dog. I'm sure most of the rest of the world will too.

    September 4, 2008 02:28 am at 2:28 am |
  16. Ronald

    Guess if your happy over the last eight years then yes this speech did deliver. Just looking for some solutions, a direction and someone with substance. Im sure McCain will play the good cop tomorrow though. On another note I ?as extremely dissapointend in the commetary of the speach. The panel seems in goo goo for lack of a better word until you brought on some liberals to shed light that one this was good speach but not even in the same league as Obama and two she didn't say anything but attacks. Its like you people enjoy seeing the country divided and arguing. Guess it means more stories and revenue for you. But really extremely poor partisan coverage that left me thinking are these people actually paid to be journalists

    September 4, 2008 02:29 am at 2:29 am |
  17. Thomas, Illinois

    Hey Sarah-I liked that part of your speech when you talked about your son going off to war...But don't worry, Barrack will bring him home....Obama/Biden 08

    September 4, 2008 02:29 am at 2:29 am |
  18. mernoush

    First of all thanks God that she can read nicely from a prepared speech, but honestly this lady is really frightening. The speech she delivered, except the part about her life, was absolutely pointless and without any substance, rather it was one of the nastiest speeches I’ve ever heard from a person who is running for the highest office. What did she offer as real solutions for solving the problems that are mostly created by her own party? What kind of unity can she promote in this divided country by mocking members of the other party? What kind of respect does she have for her opponent who strongly defended her daughter from attacks and called her children “off-limit”?

    This lady hasn’t left any positive impression on me, she has no character and I think she is just a divisive, low level political figure who is running for a high office which simply is not her place.

    I’m so surprised that some of the so called “best political team” on CNN were excited about the fact that she is a mother and she loves her children, and she has a DS infant!!! Come on, this is not something unique about her, everybody loves her children. Please talk about her experience and important issues that were missing completely in her speech.

    Obama/Biden= Hope, prosperity, unity, restoring American dream
    McCain/Palin= hatred, fear-mongering, disunity, low-level politics, more 4 year of Bush

    Please post it CNN

    September 4, 2008 02:30 am at 2:30 am |
  19. Lalonde

    Just another sleazy, fast talking loudmouth lippy dame that would no more represent the women or anybody else in this country. I am fed up with these stupid ignorant holy rolling morons!! FED UP!

    September 4, 2008 02:30 am at 2:30 am |
  20. D. Beauchamp

    Oh please!! How can you people be so blind? She only made the cracks against the "community organizer" tonight because they, the drive-by media and Obama camp, have been taking pot shots at her all day long about her "lack" of experience. Funny how Obama only mentions her as a mayor of some hick town and convieniently leaves out the fact that she is currently a govenor, a govenor who has a list of accomplishments far longer than Obamas. What can Obama claim he's done for his constituents? I didn't think so!
    Mrs. Palin knows all too well how important a community organizer can be. That's the basis of her background, starting out small in the community and working her way up the civil/political ladder. It just shows who really has more executive experience here, and it's not Obama!

    September 4, 2008 02:31 am at 2:31 am |
  21. Norman

    I liked her example of Harry Truman in speaking about small town America. The Kansas City Area with Independence Mo. has a lot more people and will vote for another democrat again, Obama.

    September 4, 2008 02:32 am at 2:32 am |
  22. Seattle

    I am not a great fan of Hillary Clinton, but I will take her anytime compared to Palin. Palin is shallow and have no substance. Hillary is intelligent and has the experience. It is incredulous that Palin belittled Obama being a community organizer! Shame on her!

    It is also very insulting that the Republicans think that they will be able to sway Clinton voters to Palin. Hillary is way smarter and have more experience. Furthermore, Clinton and Palin stand very differently on a lot of issues. Go Obama-Biden!

    September 4, 2008 02:33 am at 2:33 am |
  23. Matt MC

    Note how all the CNN commentators gave her speech an A or B, while the public gave her an F...

    As mildly ignorant as CNN commentators are, there is no way that they would truthfully give her obviously Rove-prepped and prepared speech, a.k.a. pile of vile nonsense sputum an A...please...

    The media is attempting to keep this race close because it sells ad space, but they can only hold out for so long...the Republicans lack of "bounce" after this convention should be evidence enough for them...unless CNN doctors the polls...again...(cross-reference other major polls if you're a non-believer)

    September 4, 2008 02:33 am at 2:33 am |
  24. David

    Reading these bloggers' comments points out the absolute lack of objectivity most people have. I think Gergan says it well and accurately. Palin was a home run for the Republican base. Obviously annoying to blogging Dems. The question is how she plays to the undecideds. I think they will like her generally. Whether they will vote for her is the question. The quality of this blog would be elevated significantly if we could leave the vitriol to the politicians!!!

    September 4, 2008 02:34 am at 2:34 am |
  25. mike

    The only thing Palin delivers is less experience then Obama and an extreme far right Candidacy.

    She is a disgrace and she is under investigation.

    September 4, 2008 02:35 am at 2:35 am |
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