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. marianne Robbins

    Agree on all point that our family was disappointed with was the mocking tone about inidividuals who are community organizers. This took much lustre off the speech for us, and we hope
    she will better state what she intended by this comment.

    September 4, 2008 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  2. Chuck

    Yup! I'm sitting here hugging my Bible and my gun right now, wiping a tear away because America will survive the Liberal Congress.

    Thank God for Sarah Palin!!!

    September 4, 2008 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  3. Joe

    The media has gone mum on a very devisive and negative day at the Republican Convention. The republicans have declared war on the media as well as the Democrats. What I have seen lately is the media is now pulling back and being less critical.

    September 4, 2008 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  4. tess

    i think you are part of the liberal elite that just doesn't get it – she has so much more on the ball than anyone else in this race!! america sees it and will put her in the white house now and in 4 or 8 years as president!!! the most fun is watching the dems and media self-destruct and not being able to control themselves even as they continue to look foolish – but i am loving every minute of it !!!!!!

    September 4, 2008 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  5. dee

    Are you her number one fan?


    September 4, 2008 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  6. Roger

    Thank God for her pro-life stance. I think we all realize that is the correct position to take – life begins at conception.

    Pleasanton, CA

    September 4, 2008 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  7. American for Change

    What do I think? I think you ought to find another line of work.

    Do you see anyone else that can offer change? I mean change for the better? No I don't and neither does anyone else. Like she said, Obama is only interested in his career. Since when does a community organizer qualify you to run a country?

    September 4, 2008 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  8. AA

    who wants the girl next door to be president

    September 4, 2008 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  9. Francisco Cordova Veteran

    My grandmother use to tell me when an individual is afraid of themselves or the unknown. He/She will try to destroy you. And that is what this Republican Convention is all about.

    We Need DEBATES DEBATES DEBATES. These debates will show America and the world Pulin's true colors. This speech was to perfect and that is not what she is. I am not attacking here motherhood just her lack of National Leadership.

    September 4, 2008 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  10. LANCE


    GO PALIN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 4, 2008 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  11. Zorro

    She'll do great in the suburbs..
    ..of Salt Lake City

    September 4, 2008 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  12. John, US Army Veteran

    She will fire up the Redneck wing of the GOP. As a former Republican I am done with this style of campaigning. I just sent the Obama Campaign a large donation because I want my Country back from this decisive mocking tone found in these speakers tonight. I gave Mr. McCain a chance to win be back after the last 8 years but what I saw tonight was worse then the Bush 43 years. Shameful.

    September 4, 2008 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  13. vote obama

    No her speech will not appeal. This speech was sickening. What happened to the issues? No substance. What's with bashing Obama? She has no experience. And while we are on the level, why can't we discuss why rudy gilligan put his wife out and move in his mistress in? Or why mcSame left his first wife and married his botox barbie before the divorce papers were signed? They are all liars.

    September 4, 2008 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  14. Democrats No Matter What!!

    I think she's fair game for the Dems. She attacked Obama, Michelle and every Democrat in this country, and there's more of us than them!

    We recognize that the McCain campaign wrote her speech. And that blowing kisses to the crowd was absolutely disgusting! She represents a STEP BACK for women in this country and it pisses me off! This isn't small town Alaska! This is the major league and they won't be able to protect her for long by covering up her "deeds" and her absolute lack of national KNOWLEDGE on just about everything involved in this election. She is totally out of her league and she will NEVER work as the President in Waiting (because McWar is just TOO OLD)

    September 4, 2008 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  15. Kate from MI

    The whole Wednesday RNC spectacle was disgusting: all the hate, anger, gleeful vituperation, and sheer malice was extremely disturbing and frightening. If the Dems weren't motivated before, they are now. I think the whole night will backfire terribly.

    September 4, 2008 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  16. Joe

    Is it just me or is there a problem brewing with Sarah Palin's husband. Her husband has not once but twice registered with the Alaskin Independance Party. This group wants secession from the United States and wants to create its own counrty. Can we have a VP or possible a President that has a spouce who is or has been a member of a party that wants to seperate from the United states. The person who we love the most and stands beside us does not want to be a part of the United States. Its not that he joined and decided wow this was not for me, no he joined the Alaskin Independance Party twice. I am a Republican and this concerns me greatly enough that I may have to vote with the Dems.

    September 4, 2008 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  17. Shirley-Ohio

    I think you are wrong Mr. Gergen, she is going to turn lots of American away from her. Lots of people don't like there pit bulls in skirts they like them in pants if you know what I mean.

    September 4, 2008 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  18. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Good evening,

    No! Is she going to just whine about he is an elitist, he is this and that!

    They are already whining about media by labelling typical media!

    A word will be used and then instant sexism! Well,guess what public life is public life!

    September 4, 2008 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  19. Mark Kahle

    Palin will not draw any support from anywhere, after her speech and the rest of the speeches tonight, they have further distanced themselves from "average" america, and they have themselves put themselves into the ELITIST category...
    Since when did doing something for your community become a bad thing? Being a community organizer is bad?? do they not know that AMERICA, and AMERICANS are part of one LARGE COMMUNITY???

    DEMOCRATS 08!!

    OBAMA/BIDEN 08!!!


    September 4, 2008 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  20. Billy

    She seems like a snarky, angry woman. No humility at all in this woman.

    It looks like it's her way or the highway, and that explains a lot of the firing controversies she's having in Alaska right now.

    I also think she should've worn the American flag on her jacket rather than the Alaska First one.

    September 4, 2008 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  21. hick

    not here she wont. we dont like hypocrites here.

    September 4, 2008 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  22. Diana

    She's too snarky for my taste. I'm tired of the negativity at the RNC.

    September 4, 2008 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  23. BHO FTL

    At first I was very dissapointed John Mccain appointed Sarah Palin.. as it appeared he took an unqualified candidate just to appease women... but now I see he clearly chose the best candidate.

    September 4, 2008 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  24. Kevin - Jonesboro, GA

    Very, very divisive!!! If McCain follows thru with the same tone tomorrow night, he can kise!s the White House good-by

    September 4, 2008 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  25. marie

    I think she is a smug, arrogant GOP puppet . The pit bull description fits her aptly. It is not a compliment.
    I wanted to hear solutions, ideas, vision.
    instead I heard venom, lies, and republican rhetoric.

    I am a woman. this is NOT sexism. She is BAD NEWS.

    September 4, 2008 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
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