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. Bel

    Palin hit a grand-slam!!!
    I was a Hillary supporter, and voting for McCain-Palin!!!

    September 4, 2008 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  2. Raymond

    Like most of the tele-prompted speeches we hear, it was a good script. Good script writers....hope she paid them well.

    September 4, 2008 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  3. Jerry D

    Gov Palin is digging herself a hole that she will not be able to climb out of with an elephant's trunk.
    Once the truth is told about how she was picked, there will be no one in America with a brain that will want to see her anywhere near Washington.
    The experience charge will come back to smack the Republicans in the face hard!!

    September 4, 2008 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  4. RR

    I love how the dems call her speech "divisive" but praise Biden's attack speech last week! Can you say "hypocricy"?

    September 4, 2008 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  5. Jay

    May have voted for McCain as he has something to offer. BUT he is not in control and the rep machine is telling him what to do. Palin is sneering, looks down on people, cheap-shot, not intelligent, sarcastic, hypocrite, belittling everyone, and a shame if she ever comes to the lower 48. She comes across as a cheap woman, doesnt seem to have judgement, is loud mouth and a just a good cheerleader but imagine if we had a hockey mom as our first president instead of George Washington!!!!!!!!!!!! Presidency requires an extradorinary person as you are entrusted with the country's future esp. in these times. NO MORE of upto possible 12 years BUSH-type reign if she gets elected. SHE reminds you of Carly Forina who also came gung-ho and made a mess of HP. SHE is a hypocrite on family values, she really is prochoice (as she said she encouraged her daughter to have the baby – SO SHE GAVE HER THE CHOICE!!! so is she pro-choice), she hired a lobbing agent to get earmarks for her town and she now opposes them, she kept the money (over $200 million) for the bridge to nowhere. McCain is just using a pretty gal allowing herself to be used for politics....oh! dont they do it when you want to sell a lemon to someone!

    September 4, 2008 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  6. Bill

    Why does Bill Schneider in his post below say that Palin made fun of Michelle Obama??? His post is closed off now. Palin didn't even say anything about Michelle Obama. Not even close. He even suggests that other Republicans bashed her. Maybe some did. But those I saw didn't. For what it's worth, I voted for Clinton.

    September 4, 2008 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  7. Aaron

    Sarah Palin and Rudy just secured my vote....for Obama. I was actually sickened by what I heard from them, Especially Rudy, I actually paused the TV and explained to my 8 year old that he should NEVER laugh at someone who serves thier comunity. He told me that he already knew that....8 years old and already knew that degrading someone for helping in the community was wrong. It was sickening to hear the laughter from the crowd, like it was above them to do community organizing or service....sick....Im disgusted.

    Do you know what the difference is between that Hockey mom and This Hockey dad....I have morals, and respect and Im proud of it. Absolutley disgusted is what I am with the GOP

    September 4, 2008 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  8. Nolan Kamitaki

    I'd totally tap Palin.

    September 4, 2008 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  9. Annette, Washington, DC

    No, absolutely not. Her speech was distasteful and appalling. She has no appeal to the surburban woman, because she does not GET IT! if she is the tough stuff she wants to be, then all is fair. I am a mom of 4 kids and raised my brother-in-law, a flutist, I told hold a bachelor degree, full-time professional, a grandmother, nothing she is doing is unique, or extraordinary as a mom, so to lay the case she is this hockey mom, please.

    September 4, 2008 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  10. ohio

    ENOUGH !!!!!!!!

    September 4, 2008 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  11. lets be honest














    September 4, 2008 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  12. Michelle

    What the hell was Guiliani on....she is NOT SENATOR PALIN...and she won't be VICE PRESIDENT either.
    Ms Palin , you are cheap, no substance, very aggressive and the combination of you and that PTSD patient in the White House....NO WAY, NOW HOW,NO MCCAIN/PALIN !

    September 4, 2008 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  13. Maria

    She doesn't appeal to me. Somewhere in Alaska, a librarian, a police officer, and a commissioner who tried to stand up for what he believed... are probably scared, too. I AM SCARED of the path she is leading us to and of HER as a person. I won't vote for her, now way, not today, not ever.

    September 4, 2008 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  14. Vote Smart

    Sarah Palin sounds and acts like the bully head cheerleader that everyone secretly hates. The one that usually gets pregnant after high school and for some Godaweful reason can't stop reproducing until the fifth or sixth one. Well guess what... she's back and she wants to rule your life. The same lady who judged you back then is here to judge you again. But this time the evil cheerleader is going to be in your face ruling your life telling you when and when not to have babies. She is complete with the narcissistic lip licking and teeth sucking that you remember from high school and the holier than thou attitude that made you happy to you made it out of your small town. Well, if you felt like the Republican party was evil before, your fears are confirmed. She is the political gold digger that will have John McCain smiling as he stares at her bum regretting that he can only leave one wife for a younger woman before the American public takes notice.

    September 4, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  15. ericdelatorre

    Palin who? Sounded more like Bush in a dress.

    September 4, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  16. djb

    If you are asking whether she appeals to me, the answer is a resounding, "NO"! She obviously was reading a speech prepared for her because she couldn't have dug up "all that dirt" in the short time she has been on the national scene. The fact that she outright lied in at least two statements—the first about Barack Obama's tax plan and the second about how she refused to build "the bridge to nowhere" but KEPT THE MONEY—were enough to convince me that, even though she probably knew the truth, she was "mouthing the party line. What a difference in tone from the Democratic convention.

    September 4, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  17. Barbara in Central California

    I think Palen is a tough gal who can stand quite well on her own two feet. Let the Dems say what they want. As for me, (a Democrat turned Republican), Palin and McCain have my vote. If only those people chosing Obama and Biden realize what it will cost our Country if they vote the Dem ticket on November 4th. As an employer, I always chose the qualified applicant for the position at hand. That is why I will be voting for McCain and Palin, they are the most qualified and because it is the right thing to do for our Country's future as well as my childrens.

    September 4, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  18. Dollar Bill

    Tonight Gov Palin tried to sound like one of the big dogs, but really all she is is a puppy in pound full of muts.

    September 4, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  19. MamaTee

    Governor Palin's speech was pointless she failed to tell us what she and McCain plan to do for this country economically, healthcare wise and correcting all that we have suffered in the past 8 years. She used her family as props and spoke untruths of her opponents. She isn't qualified to be a Vice President let alone take over the business of this country if McCain would become unable to do so. She took cheap jabs that were unfounded and all irrelevant. This woman can't watch her kids. Governor Palin as a choice is an offense to the American people. She has nothing to run on and a debate will prove that...anyone can snipe and attack and say things against an adversary. The question is what do you stand for what can you do for the people of this country other than run your mouth. As a woman I can say that she set us back on all fronts across the board.

    September 4, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  20. patrick

    She is way off base ! First she treats Hilary supporters like they are a given and that she deserves them. Palin clearly is not the person she introduced herself to be. She flopped on the Bridge to nowhere project, yet the fundz were never returned . I also really think she had a significant role in getting her brother in law fired. I think she may be a control freak waiting to lose her bearings.

    September 4, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  21. Ron Forester

    She has appeal and the liberal media is scared to death
    of her.

    September 4, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  22. Rich

    McCain picked a GREAT mate and the fact remains that the GOP ticket is far and ABOVE the experience than Obama Biden.

    Obama voted AGAINST saving babies and Biden is an old hack that has one speech, "a noun, a verb, and I'm from Scranton".

    Obama is not ready.

    McCain is ready, willing, and able to put COUNTRY first.

    September 4, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  23. MikeH

    No, there's a big skeleton about to fall out of her closet.

    September 4, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  24. Brenda

    I don't think so, not yet, not now. She has to convince America that she can run this country if, God forbids that something happens to McCain. She has proven to me an independent that she's a good puppet though. She's no Hillary Clinton and the Republicans still don't get it. This election should be about the people all the people not the party.

    September 4, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  25. Deborah Jonas

    Sarah Palin appears mean-spirited, angry and devisive. We have had 8 years of our Nation being divided. The GOP can't get enough of their mud-slinging and dirty politics.
    As a women and a parent I find Palin a huge disappointment. She seems very petty.
    I think McCain's choice of Palin as VP reveals extremely poor judgement on his part and this decision alone reveals that his thinking is not sound to lead our Nation.

    September 4, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
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