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. Substance

    No-Way! It is an insult.

    September 4, 2008 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  2. 3McY


    September 4, 2008 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  3. Lorraine

    I thought Sarah Palins true colors showed tonight. She was arrogant and rude just like the Bush administration but even worse.
    In Alaska Sarah Palin is also known as Cruella Depalin.

    September 4, 2008 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  4. Bobette

    Generally, Palin read her speech well. I am very disappointed that after Senator Obama emphatically backed her family a few days ago, she took a swipe at his wife.

    Another thing I have noticed is that all the bashers and mud-slingers are all losers: Huckabee, Romey, Guilliani – not to mention Leiberman who cannot be trusted. he is from one party to the next and independent in between. These people all tried for the presidency and it is apparent they are holding on to McCain's tailcoat for personal gain.

    Senator Obama is just too clean for these creatures. He is in Rome he will have to do as the Romans do whether he likes it or not.

    September 4, 2008 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  5. Brian, Pittsbrugh

    Pro-Guns... Pro-Life... Pro-Death Penalty... Pro-War... Pro-Drilling...

    And now... Pro-Partisan Politics!

    No thanks. Not in my neighborhood.

    September 4, 2008 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  6. judy

    Watching the Republican convention makes me feel like showering...........just more nasty, dirty trash!

    September 4, 2008 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  7. boss will

    only in a swim suite posing with a gun she is a Joke.

    September 4, 2008 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  8. Reality check #1

    Yes, she appeals, big time! Home run for Sarah!

    September 4, 2008 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  9. Greg

    She won't play that well in small town America. There are no jobs left in small town America and, as usual, another politician slings lot of mud but doesn't say anything about how she will fix the economy.

    September 4, 2008 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  10. Jenni

    As an Independent, white, suburbanite who grew up in a small town and now lives in the heart of the Bible Belt, a pro-life, Christian conservative, I can honestly say NO WAY! I have actually spent the last few weeks trying to convince myself that maybe, just maybe, this election could make me believe in America again (I've started to question our motives of late). We have a noble veteran and an hopeful visionary going after the same job–what a country! But instead of Sarah Palin making me see the wonder of a woman candidate and the historic, hopeful moment of America at it's best, she took me back in time to previous elections when I just wanted them to be over because of all the hateful, partisan bickering. I want an election that makes me hope, not hate. I'll vote for Bob Barr before I vote for her.

    September 4, 2008 12:33 am at 12:33 am |

    It was very clear Sarah Palin did not write the speech she just uttered.
    Her tone was very masculine so she better prepare herself for the Democrats and the media questions to come. I was not impressed.
    McCain is on his last leg.

    September 4, 2008 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  12. Molly

    She is a really bad joke that the media is attempting to deliver as legitimate to the American people. I have news for her. It isn't working. Put that tabloid queen down in the "bad" parts of those towns in OH and PA. I bet she doesn't go over so well there. Angry little shrill. The gloves are off, now.

    September 4, 2008 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  13. James in RI

    No way. She's a far right, science-hating, environment-destroying, anti-women's rights, no-experience neo-con, who is so unsure of herself she has to resort to petty insults and sarcastic whining. She'll gi iver like hot sauce on ice cream...

    September 4, 2008 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  14. Frank

    Sara Palin connects with all of America as a real person. She is what America is really all about. This is a person with a genuine family that I trust and believ in. Now I believe and trust in McCain as never before. They represent me and my family values as well as political views. I am very enthusiastic about this like never before. Good by to the Obamas.

    McCain/Palin all the way.

    September 4, 2008 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  15. David Simmons

    David: You have spent too many years in the Washington-New York-Boston world to understand what anyone west of the Blue Ridge thinks. Sarah Palin speaks to all Americans, rural and suburban, who are sick and tired of being talked down to by inside the beltway types such as yourself. Chevy Chase is not a true representation of suburban America out here in the sticks.

    September 4, 2008 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  16. eric c

    Her introduction to the country and the world, was sad, devisive, arrogant, and unrelated to the common americans needs.

    September 4, 2008 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  17. robert

    Palin will doom the Republican ticket.

    September 4, 2008 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  18. Afm

    She comes off very manly. Also she comes off mean spirited.

    September 4, 2008 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  19. Bill

    Oh my God....Campbell Brown and Dana Bash are saying the word "shrill" is a pejorative that has sexist overtones (quote: I have never heard it used to describe a male) – You morons, don't say things you know nothing about. Google the terms "he" and "sounded shrill" and you will find dozens of times when the term has been used to describe a male, including politicians (even an opponent of FDR's in the 1930's), hell it even appears in the text of The Picture of Dorian Gray. Christ you just spun Harry Reid's comment as sexist when you had no basis for doing so. CNN......I expect so much more from journalists......please do your homework. Your coverage tonight was fawning and completely lacking in critical analysis. Thank GOD for PBS – they did a much more intelligent job tonight.

    September 4, 2008 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  20. Kathy, Small Town, USA

    Her staunch conservatism is a HUGE turn-off. btw, everyone seems to be making such a big deal over her speech. Didn't they basically keep her holed up in her hotel room, surrounded by McCain's team telling what to do, what to say, & how to say it? Is she the "My Fair Lady" of the GOP? 😉 I'd be more interested in seeing her on Meet the Press, et al and the VP debate.

    September 4, 2008 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  21. MKP

    I am a Republican who was disgusted with McCain, but waited for his VP pick. I am even more disgusted with "the hockey mom would be v.p." What will they do to help get this country going again? What will she add? All I heard were barbs, no substance.

    I was considering staying home on Nov. 4, but with this charade, I will probably vote for a Democrat for the first time in my life.

    MKP, Hawaii

    September 4, 2008 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  22. Frank in NYC

    I think these people who vote for the Republicans this year are seriously under the influence of mental is scary watching this stuff

    September 4, 2008 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  23. laila

    She certainly cannot win my vote.

    September 4, 2008 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  24. Stacey Fish

    I think she need stay away. She was VERY EXCLUSIVE....leaving out many many Americans–and yes a note to Palin and McCain (a man I USE to respect ) I am an AMERICAN and a CHRISTIAN too ! Being republican does not make you a better American-Patriot-Christian-that was an insult that should never be thrown from one citizen to another. My Bible teaches me a lesson those so called Christians seem to have been absent –throwing stones-judging one another–how un-Christian like can one get !
    This will not fair well in our free American and that it should not !

    September 4, 2008 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  25. mizblkpatriot

    Guiliani is a LOSER, Obama did something that neither Romney, Huckabee nor Guiliani could do; WIN THE NOMINATION. Why are these people so angry and mean spirited, they have all the money and have had all the power for the last eight years.

    If Palin thinks that as a virtual unknown she can be a political snob and condescending to SENATOR BARACK OBAMA than she is in for a knock down drag out fight. She will not be the VP of the USA

    September 4, 2008 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
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