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. Carmen Cameron

    Lots of red meat (and blood) on the RNC floor. But where was the substance, David? (Hidden in all the hot air?)

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

    same posts here.. Looks like paid obama operatives at work..

    September 4, 2008 02:36 am at 2:36 am |
  3. Philip C.

    I just switch my support from Hillary to McCain-Palin. Democrates give us a talker without any true experiences. Obama is the least qualified nominee I have seen since I became a US citizien in 1987. I donated more than a thousand dollar to Hillary. Too bad they chose empty words over experiences. I checked the record of Obama through Google and could not find a single major reform bill he wrote or sponsored in either Illinois or in US Senate. He may be good in speeches, but speeches cannot substitute true work results and experiences. McCain had major bills with Democrates and he proved to be able to write and sponsor bipartisan bills. I have just donated $500 to the McCain-Palin campaign. Will donate more now after I heard Gov. Palin's speech tonight. She is at least as capable as Obama to be the commander-in-chief. If Obama wants to compare his experiences with Palin, I still think that Perlin has more experience than he, except maybe in making empty promises. Go McCain-Palin.

    September 4, 2008 02:36 am at 2:36 am |
  4. Sabrina From NM

    Is there a new church for nasty, hateful, hypocrites that I didn't know about?

    September 4, 2008 02:36 am at 2:36 am |
  5. Latino

    Oops!!! Karl Rove couldn't help her last night. Any guy who had his first dinner with the courtship's family knows he has to impress, but above all, he must not let his negative traits surface. The Karl Rove tactics have become so strongly internalized by most republicans now that Palin also could not keep them inside. The American public gave her one chance and now no matter what she does, the first impression will stick. Live by fear and smear, die by fear and smear. What goes around comes around!!!

    September 4, 2008 02:37 am at 2:37 am |
  6. female

    why won't you post my comments!!??

    September 4, 2008 02:38 am at 2:38 am |
  7. Sabrina From NM

    My favorite part of the speech was when Sarah's daughter licked her hand an then smoothed the baby's hair. The rest of it needed to be thrown out.

    September 4, 2008 02:39 am at 2:39 am |
  8. NoShame

    I don't need to find out anymore about Sara Palin after tonite it is just to clear that she is more of the same if not worst. That dog don't hurt!


    September 4, 2008 02:41 am at 2:41 am |
  9. Lisa from VA

    I just don't get how you think she did a good job. All she did was make me dislike her immensely. She dares to belittle people for doing community service. What...does she think she is too good for community service. She is full of herself and it shows.

    September 4, 2008 02:41 am at 2:41 am |
  10. Lalonde

    ole Cindy better watch out... Ole John might be starting to have a second mid-life crisis

    September 4, 2008 02:44 am at 2:44 am |
  11. Peter (CA)

    Palin has opened the box. Now, the Republicans can't give us the
    "sexism" drivel when Obama and Biden hit back.

    I would have hoped Palin would have come out and tried to sell America on who she was. Instead, she turned into a shrill attack dog. Why should she stoop so low? Isn't that the reason Giuliani was there??

    September 4, 2008 02:44 am at 2:44 am |
  12. ouch

    Palin didn't belittle helping your community. She merely pointed out that as an elected governor, she's done more as a "community organizer" than Obama has. Ironically, running the executive branch of a thinly populated state like Alaska requires more leadership and helps more people than being a "community organizer" (whatever that is) in a south Chicago neighborhood.

    September 4, 2008 02:45 am at 2:45 am |
  13. Doug from Cali

    Gergan, are you serious in your analysis? This was a very forgettable speech. Not inspiring, no vision, just pandering to the basest instincts of the thuggish GOP. How pathetic and what a joke to think that she could be president. I'm amazed that you think she could be. I use to have respect for you but I think your losing it in your old age. Who in the heck was your Democrat friend that thought she is like Ann Richards? Nothing at all if you ask me. Not even close.

    September 4, 2008 02:45 am at 2:45 am |
  14. Donna

    The girl next door, you say? Yes, she's about as qualified to be VP as is the girl next door. She fired up the convention hall, I'll give her that. But all that talk comes back to one thing: the social conservatives still want to control this country. Well, we've seen how bitterly divisive they are for this country–and Palin did NOTHING to change that. She may be good for the GOP, but she (like the extreme right wing of her party) is bad for the country.

    September 4, 2008 02:48 am at 2:48 am |
  15. Dori in AZ

    Sorry, David. I feel very differently about this than you. I've lived in big cities, overseas, and in small town America. I can't imagine anywhere I've lived where we would invite this woman into our homes.

    September 4, 2008 02:50 am at 2:50 am |
  16. Johnny_FL

    Not sure about this choice though. I saw a great lack of confidence here. Besides I could careless about a pit bull as VP. We've been bitten enough and we don't need any more bites. She may good as mayor or governor BUT not VP. I think she is a naturally tough lady but a VP is same as president and I don't think she is there yet. Just my 2 cents.

    September 4, 2008 02:51 am at 2:51 am |
  17. Sherry

    Governor Palin had the media & analysts melting like butter in the palm of her hand! I think the media & analysts did the major flip-flopping on this candidate! What a difference a day makes.

    The fact remains she was chosen over far more qualified candidates, inspite of just a few months ago not even knowing what the VP job required. Her speech was nicely delivered and she delivered the punches, just as she was suppose to, but failed to detail what she and McCain are going to do for the American people, to ensure that more money goes into our pockets and not theirs.

    You started the sharp rhetoric Governor Palin . . . If you can't take the heat, you better hire your chef back and stay out of the kitchen.

    September 4, 2008 02:52 am at 2:52 am |
  18. unamerican

    Its public displays of childlike tantrums and name calling like this debacle tonight that make all americans look stupid. That entire crowd was cheering for their own ignorance and stupidity. We're doomed.

    September 4, 2008 02:54 am at 2:54 am |
  19. An actual thinker

    For someone who won the run for Mayor of her tiny home town on the fact that she was the runner up to Miss Alaska, she is asking for a lot of leeway on her experience.

    She had the chance tonight to show what she was capable of and "Being Mayor is like being a Community Organizer but with responsibility" is the best she can come up with?

    Biden is going to eat her alive at the debate.

    And 2 (and a half) days and counting and still no mention of any issues.

    September 4, 2008 02:54 am at 2:54 am |
  20. Buneva Everett

    Plain as Vp and possible President is frightening, minimizing Obama as a community leader, helping the senior citizens and the poor, speaking and referred to as a "Pitt Bull" and your credentials as a mom of five children, a very young baby who needs his motherly love 24/7 and a pregrant teenager, AND TO WATCH HOW pLAIN WAS CHEERED AND PRAISED FOR A GREAT SPEECH, AND TO THINK SHE HAS THE GUTS TO MINIMIZE oBAMA'S WORK SERVING THE COMMUNITY ORGANIZATION. vERY DISAPPOINTED.

    September 4, 2008 02:54 am at 2:54 am |
  21. Fred

    Her speech is typical Republican who cannot relate to the common folks. If you do a survey of the number of volunteer hours done by the Republicans vs Democrates, you will see why there is such a division among the two parties. Most folks are not born with silver spoon. No matter how successful a Democrate becomes, they are less likely to forget their roots, where they came from, or how to relate to the people who are less fortunate. As an independent, after viewing both conventions, I feel more aligned to Obama's vision rather than offensive postures of the Republicans.

    September 4, 2008 02:55 am at 2:55 am |
  22. Proud American

    Now the gloves come off. If Palin wants to talk tuff and wants to get in the ring with the boys dont go crying sexism or any other foul if your feelings are hurt. I have a funny feeling this so called pit bull is really a chiuaua.

    September 4, 2008 02:55 am at 2:55 am |
  23. Dennis

    Wow, I can't believe some of the glowing reviews of this speech . . .did your reporters watch the same one I did? It was a lame, canned rehash of the same old right-wing platform and attack, with no substance on the issues at all. It was painful to watch her attempts to keep up with the teleprompter.

    Bizzare praise for a boring speech.

    September 4, 2008 02:55 am at 2:55 am |
  24. DB

    Sarah Palin's rhetoric played out GREAT in that convention room- but it's the NATIONAL stage now.
    Her personal attacks on Obama meant that "the gloves are off " – and NO need to worry about attacking some supposedly "nice" woman.
    She is ISN'T nice .


    September 4, 2008 02:56 am at 2:56 am |
  25. hahaha


    September 4, 2008 02:58 am at 2:58 am |
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