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. C. Polk, of Maryland

    Sarah (Failin) is only going to attract those stupid people who can't see that they would be voting for doom and gloom with this "repuglican" clan.
    What she nor McCain hopes that we realize is that if we don't want to be in four wars(Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran and Russia) within the next two years we have to vote for Obama/Biden.

    September 4, 2008 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  2. Jackie

    As a women I am offended, when people think a women will vote for any women. Why do people think women have one track mind and are not capable of thinking for themself and making intellegent and thoughtful decision. Why would I vote for a person that I do not agree and don't approve of. If any half wit person could run this country, why not vote for Brittney or Lindsy or another term for Mccain/Bush.... you get drama plus a mess that any good old countries can enjoy.

    Plaini... you better off running Alaskan farm, go home.

    September 4, 2008 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  3. Devin

    I think you are are a biased opinionist. So why don't you shut up and let American people make their own decisions?

    September 4, 2008 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  4. Doug Slagley

    The Repulicans are speaking to the real America, small town people and farmers Illinois. Has you known the City of Chicago and Obama do not represent the values that most people in downstate Illinois. I feel bad to actually live and pay the high taxes in our state that is controlled by Chicago Machine. Obama and Biden are the one's out of touch! And I pray every night and day that Repulicans will win! Just check Obama voting record in our state...he did nothing!

    September 4, 2008 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  5. Vet the VP

    I think it left me cold. And fearful that we're actually taking this absurd candidate seriously. Smug. Snide. Same Old Ugly one-liners. and a total turn off.

    September 4, 2008 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  6. Red Rotor

    I found Palin to be amateurishly rude in her disgusting put downs of people involved in community service. To denigrate Americans helping their fellow Americans in need only further crystallizes the Republican platform of conflict, hatred and mockery. Otherwise, she was smug and bizarre, blaming the media for her problems and lying about Obama having never written a law. This convention further sealed the Republicans fate, and we now better understand why this is a party in decline.

    September 4, 2008 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  7. SLT

    My sister and her group of very diverse friends are all offended by Sarah Palin and what she represents. They are dynamic mothers who have both worked outside the home in high powered jobs and have chosen to stay home. They have done both equally well. They are from cities where Palin needs to do well in the south, and they were ALL alienated by tonight's glib, smug, holier than thou speech. It sold to the hall, but not to the general public.

    September 4, 2008 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  8. TS from PA

    She solely appeals to the uneducated voters (who happen to make up the majority in this country) who see her solely as what she represents at face value – the first potential female VP.

    Most people do not know this woman – and what we do know seems to make her a walking contradiction.

    September 4, 2008 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  9. Trinity

    Heck no she wont appeal to them!! she's a tacky, robotic hypocrite with no experience, and a woman who needs to go take care of her kids because they need her...we surely do not!!!

    September 4, 2008 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  10. T hitz

    FYI... cities are not only populated with elitist, some of us small-town America types also make it out the sticks and populate cities across America.

    Just another small-town hick...

    September 4, 2008 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  11. RobWA

    GOD help us all if she does. Now that the teleprompters are OFF and the prepared by others words are SAID, lets have her sit down with the press and answer the up front candid questions on her leadership and knowledge of THE GOD D&@N ISSUES!!!!!!!!!

    September 4, 2008 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  12. Amy in Texas

    As a Clinton Democrat my vote(which was reserved for Obama-Clinton!), will go to Sarah Palin. Obama cannot take Clinton voters for granted! Time for a woman in the White House!

    September 4, 2008 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  13. Edgar Araiza


    I'm frankly appalled by the offensive tactics of Sarah Palin and the Republicans. I was proud of John McCain as being an Independent but after watching who he picked, I now that he sold his soul to the Extremist Right Conservative side. Shame on her, McCain and anyone else that thinks these Scare Tactics are the best way to lead a country.

    September 4, 2008 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  14. Tasha

    Hm...let's see. She didn't talk about one key issue or concern facing the American people today. She spent more time talking about how the democrats talk, that I have no real idea of where this woman's position lies on things I care about. So...NO she did win me over.

    OBAMA 08!!!! Independents of America!!!!

    September 4, 2008 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  15. dl

    David, she will do fine....
    She is a fighter and said what alot of women have wanted to say
    but had no voice

    September 4, 2008 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  16. TerryDo--Puma +40

    Guess where Clinton Democrats, who have not gone to the dark side, will be supporting come the general election!

    Guess who will be the next vice-president.

    A Woman of Substance, Sarah Palin, that is what she is.

    September 4, 2008 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  17. Phil

    Palin is obviously very charismatic and wasn't a bad speaker despite her obviously following the teleprompter the entire time. She is however very polarizing. She also attacked the Obamas quite a bit but didn't have much to say about herself other than she is a huge drilling advocate. Lots of bite with not much substance. The only one she really appeals to is the far right. McCain made a poor choice.

    September 4, 2008 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  18. xrev

    Great speech and a wonderful delivery. Now I know that she said no to the "bridge Under a compromise transportation spending bill, Alaska would still get the federal dollars — but the money would not be specifically used for the bridge, but used in other transportation projects. So they, Alaska, still got the money. I guess technically she said no to a specific porkbarrel project but still took the pork.

    September 4, 2008 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  19. David

    As a Democratic voter Sarah Parlin has really connected with me and I'm so surpise that she has so much euthasim she brings to RNC. However, I listened to Joe Biden and Obama they just couldnt connect with me at all.. I would truly consider voting for McCain/Palin ticket instead of Obama/Biden ticket which was hand picked by DNC company.

    September 4, 2008 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  20. Tricia

    I am a Dem. and a mother of 3 living in California and I thought she was fantastic. Even us city girls can relate to hockey moms. What we want is someone who represents us. Someone who shares our struggles as a parent. Someone who shares some of our views. I think she is a secret weapon which will surprise many in November. Remember just a short time ago it was "Obama who" well it seems like it's that way again. Palin is the Republican Obama but with experience.

    September 4, 2008 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  21. doh!

    Not in these suburbs!!!! GO HOME McCAIN! GO HOME PALIN!!!!

    September 4, 2008 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  22. jjg

    It's clear that US politics has risen or lowered to a level where confusion is the strategy of both parties. It is such a blur that ordinary citizens are puzzled even understanding their own party line. Speech through speech politicians are constantly changing their stance on even the most basic ideas. I which direction is the wind blowing?

    I say, skip all of this "stuff" and lets shorten the campaign to have the beginning of November be the start of the process, since we make our minds in the last week anyway... Save money, time and our sanity!

    September 4, 2008 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  23. CB

    Those signs the woman in the pic, and they were all holding ? Hand painted by the campaign and handed out to look like genuine "small town" stuff. Yup. Photo ops. Mission Accomplished.

    September 4, 2008 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  24. Tony

    4 more years... same ole attacks

    September 4, 2008 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  25. charles

    I think she will and thats not good for the Dems. Obama must put his policies out there so we can see exactly what he intends to do and get his act together. He should be leading by much more than 2 or 3 points by now. I don't think rual America relates much with Obama either. If the GOP gets momentum going in rual America It could be over before it really got started.

    September 4, 2008 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
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