September 4th, 2008
12:22 AM ET
14 years ago

Gergen: Will Sarah Palin appeal in suburban America?


Palin wowed the RNC Wednesday, but how will she play in suburbia? (Photo credit: E.M. Pio Roda / CNN )

It is clear from tonight's national debut that Sarah Palin may connect extremely well in rural, small-town America. And no doubt, Republicans will be sending her there in key states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and the like. Her pit bull style, combined with her humor and presence along with her roots, will likely draw people to her. Lots of people there will look forward to hearing her in person.

The question for me is whether she will also appeal in suburban America. I am not at all certain that she will: her combative, anti-elitist style - along with her staunch conservatism on issues like abortion - may just leave a lot of voters cool if not cold.

The answer to that question could have a big bearing on the election. What do you think?

soundoff (1,169 Responses)
  1. changing times

    I'll say it again Gergen she was disgrace!

    September 4, 2008 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  2. Theresa(Hillary Supporter)

    I was inpress but will McCain?Palin get my vote? Probably not because everything she said was wrote for her. Not her own words. As a woman I am very proud of her but as an American she didn't anwer any important questions that Amercians have and that's the ecomony. All I really heard was about the war (same thing we heard 4 years ago with Bush.) If they are talking about they are not like Bush McCain and Palin they need to distance themselves from him if they want to win.

    September 4, 2008 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  3. Elisabeth

    Yes, Palin will connect with some rural Americans. There are still some of us Americans that will believe the fear approach that the Republicans are trying to win on, again. However, fear is not a reason to make a decision this important. Especially fear such as the Republicans are trying to sell – the Bogey Man. Democrats have and can lead in times of war. Our goal, however, should be greater than that.

    September 4, 2008 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  4. Gia M

    That voice! It reminds me of "Goldie" on the 70's TV show "Laugh In"...
    I found her obnoxious and offensive. Many of us could deliver
    that speech with success. Professional speech writers obviously
    created it. Is that plagiarism when you call something your own
    when it was written by another person?

    Mr. Gergen: you are very perceptive! I really enjoy hearing, and
    reading, your political analysis!


    September 4, 2008 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  5. John

    Its all about the economy and McWAR and Palin (who was awesome) have no solutions

    September 4, 2008 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  6. Barbara

    Does this mean we get rid of the 747 for a privately owned Leer Jet?

    September 4, 2008 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  7. Hillary Supporter

    Great speech, but I wonder if her husband still wants to separate from the united States?

    September 4, 2008 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  8. Norman White

    Her lack of responsibility by having children when she is at increased risk of birth defects, because of her age is mirrored by her daughters lack of good judgement. I don't think that she would make a good leader. One has to wonder if with two strikes if there is a thrid.

    September 4, 2008 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  9. Ginger

    Tomorrow, all the COMMUNITY ORGANIZERS working on the McCain Campaign should quit. Since their efforts clearly aren't appreciated by the Republican nominees, they obviously aren't needed by the RNC.

    September 4, 2008 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  10. Rose

    If she were a man, you would not be calling her "combative".....CNN be very careful of your's showing.

    September 4, 2008 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  11. Lisa Brown

    As a resident of a major suburban city, I totally agree with you. I am left cold by Guliani and Palin's venom, rudeness and downright hatred. This is a party four years ago that vilified John Kerry for his war record against someone who had never served and now it is the complete opposite and that's all they can talk about.

    September 4, 2008 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  12. a d


    You go girl; don't give up like HRC. It is Game On big time. O'Biden and company are all pissing in their pants from fear because they can no longer peddle their lies. Senators, get ready to FINALLY get back to work in the Senate not the WH.

    September 4, 2008 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  13. Doug

    Based on their convention, Republicans are willing to end civil discourse in America, in their effort to retain power. We just saw a group of adults acting like the most immature of high school kids.

    Tonight's Republican convention makes me fear for our nation's future. If the Republicans can foster fear, spread deceit, and lower the intelligence of our national dialogue then our future is as over as the Roman's fall was certain. The stakes for this election just went up.

    September 4, 2008 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  14. Jon in GA.

    I find her belief that creationism should be taught in schools scary. Is it just me but didn't the current administration abuse thier power a little bit? Is it just me that they picked a vp CURRENTLY under investigation for abusing power? Her opposition to abortion even in the cases of incest and rape is pretty far right as well. I'm republican and i'll be voting Obama/Biden.

    I'm sorry but aware, thoughtful Americans will most likely vote for Obama.

    September 4, 2008 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  15. DB

    I am sorry but I feel that republicans are looking for anything to be excited form. The speeches are soporific. I know politicians on both sides are full of rhetoric. But for god's sake, the speech I heard from Ms. Sarah Palin was boring, full of one-liners. There was no connection coming into the living rooms.

    If you watched the camera shots, people were forcing themselves to stay awake.


    I am not trying to be mean guys, just sharing my thoughts.

    September 4, 2008 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  16. Kasey

    What did she say about anything that matters? Drill Baby Drill?

    September 4, 2008 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  17. Sam

    There are a lot of great people who do A LOT of community organizing all throughout Michigan. Like myself, I'm sure they won't be voting for someone who belittled their existence and hard work in the communities that need them.

    September 4, 2008 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  18. Sharon Musser

    Her speech was so snotty and demeaning I hope I never have to hear her again. I am a middle aged rural Ohio woman, go Obama.

    September 4, 2008 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  19. Margaret Tyson

    I found Governor Palin's style also combative and not all that "refreshing", nor feminine. It is odd to me how one day, her party says stay away form her personal life and the next day she herself makes crude jokes about columns and Hollywood that are nothing but cheap shots of a personal nature. It is just those kind of remarks that America has grown tired of hearing.

    I live in Georgia, a town of 9,000. We have soccer moms who do not appear cocky and sarcastic. I wonder if her reform of Alaska was accomplished in the same perhaps of a bully?

    September 4, 2008 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  20. Ken

    Not really big on McCain or Obama but Gergen should go back home. Man has flip flopped between administrations to keep his ego and bank account padded. Sarah Palin did a super job and will make a difference – something Gergen and his crowd can not stand. GO SARAH

    September 4, 2008 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  21. Anne

    I think anybody who was at all sympathetic toward Obama, but not sure who they will vote for was totally turned off by Palin's negative, ridiculing tone toward Barack and Michelle Obama in her speech. Way to win over independents and undecided voters...not.

    September 4, 2008 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  22. Kim

    She is no more qualified to be Vice President than our local mayor in West Virginia. The big turnoff of tonight, though, was Giuliani. They should not have let him speak. I haven't seen anyone act like that since junior high.

    September 4, 2008 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  23. Bill Hayes

    One of Palin's first acts as mayor of Wasilla was to try to ban certain books in the town library. When the town librarian said she rejected censorship, Mayor Palin fired her. This is an autocratic, un-American style. Mr. Gergen is right. It will play well in rural areas, but in the suburbs and cities where most of us live, knowledge of Palin's positions will kill any support for her.

    September 4, 2008 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  24. Hillary Supporter

    Well, so much for the economy. I guess its more important to chant USA over and over again instead of talking about the problems facing this country.

    September 4, 2008 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  25. AllthatMatters

    Palin is perfect for showing that Bush policy would continue, your children will go to war and Iraq will be around for 1hundred years..Republicans love war..they are proud Americans..that will continue to kill minorty citizens in their wars of greed. Republicans have destroyed the US economy..they never ever have cared about Americans..always foreign interest. Mccain is a sexest and Palin is a Panderer's Creation. They will never be accepted as long as we continue to loose jobs and be pushed into more debt and foreclosures. Obama 08 no lame McPalin

    September 4, 2008 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
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