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. Muckinello

    No programs, just rethoric and the trite accusation to Obama to raise taxes, As usual, without any proof (not like independent tax research that shows actually the Dems plan to be superior).
    She convinced me allright, she convinced me to open again my checkbook for Barack

    September 4, 2008 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  2. lwa


    I don't think she delivered. I sat wondering if she was running for President or Vice-President.

    Is she suggesting that Air Force One is a waste of tax dollars? Did she say we were going to build new nuclear reactors? Didn't we just make N.Korea blow up theirs? Does she want to make her story mine.... As a women, work, have babies (go back to work 3 days after having these babies), bring the babies to work with you? What are her views on the top issues facing American's today? Did she always have good health care coverage for the kids? Have her personal taxes increased or decreased? He husband is a fisherman, how has his livelyhood been impacted by global warming if any. How did she juggle childcare and working? Prayer in schools? Immigration? FMLA – is she for it or aganist it. Gay marriage – for or against?

    I wanted to hear more about her position on the top issues facing us today and not able the Dems.

    She had the nerve to take personal jabs at Obama after he stated that family issues were off limits. Not smart.

    September 4, 2008 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  3. BKoi

    You pundits are like leaves in a wind storm, whichever way the wind blows , so too do you ! For heavens sake! The speech was written for her ! She has been coached for days and nites ! So what does it prove? SHE CAN READ A TELEPROMPTER !!

    September 4, 2008 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  4. Lesley

    I found her speech to be offensive, and she's blatantly using her kids for political gain. I'm so disgusted by the Republicans right now.

    September 4, 2008 12:01 am at 12:01 am |


    September 4, 2008 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  6. justing

    Yes, it was very effective at the base of the RNC. I think the Dems will underestimate her at their peril, but it was extremely harsh and divisive. I'm not sure Independents will go for such anger, and nastiness when we want to unite this country.

    September 4, 2008 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  7. Cam

    One more thing: her disrespectful comments about community organizers were not warranted at all.

    September 4, 2008 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  8. Don from California

    She delivered. But she also belittled community organization. BIG MISTAKE.

    September 4, 2008 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  9. Cathy

    I think she did very, very well and her speech was well received in the convention hall but I really question how well this will play to the average viewer like me. I heard very little about the issues that are important to people like me, i.e. the economy, yet I did hear a lot of attacks tonight.

    September 4, 2008 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  10. I am Sick of the Repugs!

    Palin and the Repugs who spoke this evening were unbelievably disgusting! Most of the Republicans who spoke tonight are liars, cheaters, haters of high intellect, and lovers of money to the point that they will sell their souls to the devil..They like their steaks bloody red.

    September 4, 2008 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  11. ledel

    Palin reminded me of a small town young lady giving a high school speech. There was nothing above the ordinary, no depth of conviction, no analysis of issues. No indication she has any understanding of national or international challenges .I'm not sure I'd want to take the chance on her being president even if I were a life long Republican (which I'm not)

    September 4, 2008 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  12. Eugene

    It will be helpful to see how Gov. Palin does in press conferences and in debates to get a better sense of her grasp on ideas and facts.

    September 4, 2008 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  13. John WA

    Well, it was a well written political speech, and it was delivered well. McCain's speech writers are as good as any others. But you know, when you act like an attack dog, cheapshots and familial attacks included, please now don't complain about when you and yours get attacked. You can't have it both ways.

    Sarah, stand by for incoming. You have invited it. Lets put it another way. When you decide to get in the mud and play with the pigs, then two things happen. You get dirty, and the pigs are happy.

    September 4, 2008 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  14. Ron Griggs

    What’s going on with this country, I can’t believe anyone can honestly say this women could be president anytime soon. McCain is 72 years old and had cancer twice. He would be the oldest president to serve. In America the average life span of a man is 75. She has not done one interview and has spent one week locked in some hotel learning some speech she reads on a prompter. You can spin this all you want but the entire speech she was reading and not very well I might add. It was not strong because she did not know the policies coming from her mouth. Is this who you want to possibly be commander and chief? I don’t care if she’s a woman. I think she’s a nice person but I know allot of nice people and I’m not voting for them to be VP. CNN and the media need to be honest. Stop saying she hit it out of the park because Rep's are saying you are picking on her. Be fair and balanced I heard the speech and most of viewers seeing it on TV agree. It sounded like she was reading from a book.

    September 4, 2008 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  15. Tanya

    I'm wondering if you are reading any of the comments from your viewers? They have overwhelmingly negative reactions to her speech, not just from Democrats but from independents as well. Doesn't McCain need independents to win in November? There was no substance to this speech and nothing that told us she is ready to be a leader.

    September 4, 2008 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  16. Reoublicans Hate America

    Obama and Biden will mop the floor with that beehive do of hers.

    September 4, 2008 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  17. Pam in AZ

    What a hateful speech. As a woman I am truly disappointed by this speech. She is no Hillary. This Hillary voter just made up her mind on who to vote for.

    September 4, 2008 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  18. Dr. J

    Tragic. She did not deliver and this campaign is going south. She was medicore if that. Wow, tragic. McCain's body langage is a sign that this was the wrong choice. Also, Peggy Noonan and friends agree. Tragic.

    September 4, 2008 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  19. Listen Up...

    So in other words Mr. Gergen, there is no longer any need to keep the kid gloves on when relating to Mrs. Palin? What she did tonight was display her role in the ZERO ISSUE republican campaign. It's no wonder people get tired of hearing about Obama, his opponents prefer to bash him instead of talking about their own agenda (not including POW and surge).

    September 4, 2008 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  20. Tomas in Alaska

    Can anyone answer or tell me what occurred with that woman being led off during Palin's speech?

    September 4, 2008 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  21. JB

    For someone the American people are not familiar with, even after her speech of her lifetime, Sarah Palin came off very cocky. Her attitude to me is disturbing and I am a woman. Don't be mistaken the American people are not looking for someone who appears to not be a push-over the average woman can talk sh&*! no Big deal. The question is are her hands, the hands we can put our lives in and the lives of our children. That is the question. I don't trust her. Yes her speech was well written out and some-what delivered. But what does she really stand for. What were her thoughts on the economy, the bridge to nowhere blah blah before all of her new found fame. I don't trust her. Now the media can't do there job because she is too sensitive, but they can terrorize Barack and his family. The Republican party is still politics as usual. I pray that all the truths have unfold before November 4th 2008.


    September 4, 2008 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  22. mike

    You should never compare her to Ann Richards. Ann was one of the greatest politicians and Democrate. She believed in rights for ALL people gay, straight, black, white, hispanic, etc. She also believed in abortion rights for women. She also believed in birth control and sex education. This 'lady', this 'mother' should be taking care of her Downs Syndrom child. to say this baby has 'hope in his eyes,' this child will never understand the concept of what hope is. Why does she leave it upto her daughters to care for this special child. Sarah Palin is not a mother. She is a politicain just like the rest of them, with a great speech writer.

    September 4, 2008 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  23. Mothers Against Disorderly Democrats

    Feminists, Media, Barack, Joe BRING IT ON! I am over the top for the first female VP. Not only am I sure I am voting for the McCain Ticket, but sign me up to help with the campaign.

    September 4, 2008 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  24. Dennis, Amarillo Texas

    What would be interesting is to find out what actual improvements Obama's "Community Service Groups" made to the communities he serviced. Are those Communities better off today, or are they existing pretty much the same as 3 1/2 years ago when he became a Senator?
    Take a look at Michigan. Michigan is Democrat from top to bottom, and has been for decades. Last time I heard Michigan was backrupted by the Democrat leaders who promised to make Michigan better off. Take a look at Texas. Republican top to bottom, and billions in surplus. Democrats don't follow through to really help, they just keep promising to help.

    September 4, 2008 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  25. Fred

    tonight she made it clear that republicans are the worst form of hypocrites on planet earth

    September 4, 2008 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
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