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. Kevin - Jonesboro, GA

    Two words – GAME ON!!!

    One big point of contention that I have is Carly's comments about the sexist treatment that Palin has been receiving. When asked to specifically state an example, she cited someone refering to Palin as a "chearleader of the West". Meanwhile, they showed two different buttons worn by the delegates, one stating "Hot VP from the coolest state" and another one calling her a "Hot Chick".


    September 3, 2008 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  2. Olegringo, NM

    Palin's speech was spectacular! Great piece of Americana.

    September 3, 2008 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  3. Bobby

    Palin did a great job and the women of this country should be proud. She was remarkable!!!!

    September 3, 2008 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  4. Independent

    A very very negative speech, attacking Obama not on policies but personally. I have no problems with attacks on policy. But a personal attack on the person who protected your daughter's privacy this week is NOT impressive.

    Plus a lot of factual errors and dubious claims.

    The Republican ticket: (i) A presidential candidate who is to the right of Bush on foreign policy. (ii) A vice-presidential candidate who is to the right of Bush on domestic policy. Not looking very attractive at the moment.

    September 3, 2008 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  5. carl


    God bless Barack obama he will make a great president.
    Bush has been the worst president we've ever had.
    why would people think mccain would be any different he voted with BUSH 95% OF THE TIME.

    September 3, 2008 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  6. Abby

    Can give a GREAT speech just like obama – only SHE can smile-
    AND attract VOTERS!!!!!!!

    Obama and his gang should be worried!

    September 3, 2008 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  7. Dante in Madison, WI

    Points for having a perfectly crafted Republican propaganda speech: 10
    Points for sticking to the party misdirection and talking points: 10
    Points for having a lot of ad hominems: 10

    Points for credibility: -10
    Points for substance: -10
    Points for addressing real issues: -10

    Sarah Palin's credibility, integrity, and qualifications to be V.P. are much like 7-Up's relationship to caffeine: Never had it, never will.

    September 3, 2008 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  8. roger

    Who cares! She is just McCain's pawn. She can talk all that stuff about the DNC candidates now because she was schooled on what to say. Wait until she has to debate face to face with Biden. Then we'll see how tough she is without a rehersal.

    September 3, 2008 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  9. C

    I’m Sorry! I went to asleep.

    September 3, 2008 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  10. Disgusted

    I was very disappointed in her speech. It was FILLED with hatred and lies and NOTHING about the issues. This is more of the same, its just coming from a newbie. And as a woman, I don't feel that I have anything in common with Sarah Palin.

    Sorry're GIMMICK didn't work.

    September 3, 2008 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  11. Jesse from Maryland

    If there was any hope in Palin it was lost after her disgusting negative speech. She reminded me of the teacher you had in grade school that tried so hard to diminish your dreams, but really she is the one who stopped dreaming. Everyone knows that she is just a token female.

    Palin and McBush aka Dream Killers.

    Obama / Biden 08

    September 3, 2008 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  12. Hillary Supporter

    Now we need to stand together. Please don't let this country fall into the hands of the religious right.

    September 3, 2008 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  13. People make no sense

    The only experience McCain has is being captured and tortured. Explain to me how was he fighting for our country while being tied up and beaten? IT is clearly on record that he spoke up and degraded America that is why his people hid his military records.

    In addition, the guy who is on tape degrading, in Palin's name, the agency not getting rid of her trooper brother in law has now refused to testify, after McCains 25 lawyers went to Alaska.

    If you like attacks and lies then Palin is your girl. I'm glad that I'm rich cause you poor people are going to suffer. DUMMIES!

    September 3, 2008 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  14. I am at a lost, I wanted to vote for her, but I can't She is too stupid~

    To be honest, it was a joke. We americans are hurting, we need help. We want our president/vp to help us. I will stop paying my taxes if this woman gets into office, I will not support this woman, she is so stupid. This is one reason why men call us stupid, we don't have serious values.
    Hillary never once sound this stupid. Hillary stuck to the values of what she can do for this country, this woman didn't say anything about bring this country back to a proud nation.
    Please don't let her get into office, she is my quaify for Saturday night live then being Vice President.

    September 3, 2008 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  15. Jack


    McCain/Palin – Next President of the USA

    September 3, 2008 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |


    September 3, 2008 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  17. Cecil

    The Whole GOP Sad!

    Mean, Evil And Attack Very Sad!

    September 3, 2008 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  18. Lee from FL

    she did, she brought hate

    September 3, 2008 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  19. Dustin

    All this talk about women and family and honor. What do women think of a man, like John McCain, who at forty-three divorced his wife and three children to marry his twenty six year old mistress? Where was his honor then? Why do family values voters ignore this poor example in favor of rhetoric?

    September 3, 2008 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  20. Jeff

    Both sides traded jabs, but I think Palin is the clear winner, as she relates to real people. Too bad for the Dems. Full panic mode now.

    September 3, 2008 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  21. Appalled In Arizona

    What a joke that was! Palin has set women's rights back at least 50 years with her smarmy, no substance speech tonight. I can't imagine what Hillary must be thinking right now? She has spent her adult like in politics, is Ivy League educated and has decades of experience only to see this born-again beauty queen act like she can step into Hillary's shoes and lead the country. Are you kidding me!

    September 3, 2008 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |

    I watched her speech to see if there would be anything new and the answer is "no." She already reshuffeled comments she made Saturday. Anway, how could she fail before this adoring republican crowd.

    I live in the St. Louis area and it is very spooky to think this woman deals with a state with a population of – what? – 607,000 and thinks she's prepared to deal with the world.

    Already I am sick of her family. It's more of the Religious Right's "DO AS WE SAY, NOT AS WE DO" approach. For the sake of discretion, why didn't her daughter get married quietly over the weekend.

    I could go on an on but my head is still reeling - it's like a 2 hour LIFETIME movie - bad.

    Diane Griffin
    Sullivan, MO
    Smalltown USA

    September 3, 2008 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  23. christian

    As an independent voter they have my vote. She will fight for the small towns . I was so impressed but even though I am in the midwest I had heard about her for past 2 years of how a great governor she is. I was glad to see she went after Obama , he cannot deliver how he said he would. No way. Do people realize if you own a home worth so many thousands , taxes will go up. One thing I will give credit for to McCain is he doesn't raise taxes. This was one of the greatest speeches I have ever heard and she delivered. Only thing I always wonder is why don't they write own. Even Michelle Obama, she has been married to Obama for 19 years and yet she needed someone to write a speech. So this proud AirForce wife votes Mccain/Palin.

    September 3, 2008 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  24. CharlieL

    The speech writers had done a good job. Palin delivered it. Now, we will see how she fares in the impromptu Q & A without all the preparations.

    September 3, 2008 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  25. fa

    Obama vs Palin is a distortion by the GOP to undermine Barack's leadership capacity in a subliminal way.

    Obama is matched in candidacy for president with McCain.

    Biden is matched in candidacy for vice-president with Palin.


    September 3, 2008 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
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