September 4, 2008


Scorecard: Second-Night Speeches: Sarah Palin: Grade: A+ (Mark Halperin, 9/04/08, TIME)

The Alaska Governor was poised, stirring, charming, confident, snarky, cozy, well-rehearsed, biting, utterly fearless, unflappable, and self-assured. [...] She rocked the hall (and likely the country) with a tough, conservative message, steely offense, glowing optimism, and boundless charisma. The start of something truly big — or the best night of her candidacy.

The Top Five Reasons The Dems Should Be Worried This Eve (Hotline On Call, 9/04/08)
1. Sarah Palin's obviously a quick study. Not six days on the national scene, the first-term governor, nailed a hard-charging speech laced with strong knocks against the Democratic nominee's experience and judgment. In front of the world.

2. With the soft tones of an 'every Mom' coaxing her littlest one to finish what's on his plate, she slammed the national media for a week of prying into her personal and professional life, prompting chants of "NBC, NBC" from an adoring crowd, a cry, by the way, that could've been embraced equally at a Hillary Clinton rally.

Kristol: The Speech (Bill Kristol, 9/04/08, Weekly Standard: The Blog)

Now we see why the liberal establishment has been trying for the last few days to destroy Sarah Palin. She is a threat to their hopes to take the White House this year, a threat to their broader claims to speak for youth, for women, and for the future, and a threat to their attempt to control the high ground in the culture war. After her stunning success last night, some in the liberal media may retire from the ring for a while. Others, with the threat now even more evident, may redouble their assaults and become even more desperate and vicious. Surely they’ll fail.

A star was born last night--but I won’t belabor that fact, especially since it was the title of my New York Times column Monday. Nor will I analyze the whole speech, which I’m sure will be ably done by others. I’ll just make three points. [...]

2. The attack on Obama was very deft. Palin went right for Obama’s fundamental weakness--that he’s never done anything impressive.

Palin's hometown crowd: "She thumped 'em" (MARY PEMBERTON, 9/04/08, Associated Press)
"She's a true blue, dyed-in-the-wool honest person and everyone is scared to death of her," said the resident of nearby Palmer who described himself as a conservative Republican. "Now I've got someone to root for again."

Myers wasn't alone in his unabashed enthusiasm for Palin during her speech.

Minor Smith, 57, a North Slope worker from Wasilla, who was baptized in the same church as Palin and knows her husband, Todd, said he wasn't worried that Sarah Palin would crumble under the pressure. In fact, he said, it's just the type of fight she likes.

"She is perfectly able to defend herself. She's a little tiger," he said of the woman he got to know at church picnics. "She loves this stuff. This is what she lives for."

Palin was born in Idaho, but moved to Wasilla as an infant with her parents, Chuck and Sally Heath.

The giddy crowd flashed their McCain-Palin shirts - what they call "Sarah wear" - and swapped stories about the Palin and Heath families they all had heard a thousand times before.

When Palin took the stage, they leapt to their feet like the hometown team was taking the field for the Super Bowl.

The Natural (Fred Barnes, 9/04/08, Weekly Standard: The Blog)
[A]s governor of Alaska, Palin had never addressed as large a crowd as she did last night at the Republican convention. She’d never before given a nationally televised speech in prime time. And she’d never had to deal with a situation filled with such political peril for her, McCain, and the Republican party.

So how in the world could this 44-year-old woman with no national political experience handle the whole thing with poise and composure and seeming effortlessness? Simple. She’s a natural, gifted with the ability to connect with people in a way that few politicians can and to perform under extreme pressure. She has star quality.

Palin Assails Critics and Electrifies Party (ELISABETH BUMILLER and MICHAEL COOPER, 9/04/08, NY Times)
Ms. Palin’s appearance electrified a convention that has been consumed by questions of whether she was up to the job, as she launched slashing attacks on Mr. Obama’s claims of experience.

“Before I became governor of the great state of Alaska, I was mayor of my hometown,” Ms. Palin told the delegates in a speech that sought to eviscerate Mr. Obama, as delegates waved signs that said “I love hockey moms.” “And since our opponents in this presidential election seem to look down on that experience, let me explain to them what the job involves. I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a ‘community organizer,’ except that you have actual responsibilities.”

As the crowd cheered its approval, Ms. Palin went on: “I might add that in small towns we don’t quite know what to make of a candidate who lavishes praise on working people when they are listening, and then talks about how bitterly they cling to their religion and guns when those people aren’t listening.”

Ms. Palin was referring to Mr. Obama’s experience as a community organizer in Chicago before he served in the Illinois legislature and was elected to the United States Senate in 2004 as well as comments he made at a fundraiser in California about bitter rural voters who “cling” to guns and religion.

Palin wows GOP, puts Dems on notice (JEANNE CUMMINGS & BETH FRERKING | 9/4/08, Politico)
In her first national address, vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin wowed the Republican convention using wit, sarcasm, charm and ridicule in a full-scale assault on a now familiar cast of GOP targets: an elitist adversary, biased media and high taxes.

Without mentioning Democrat Barack Obama’s name and rarely losing a smile, the Alaska governor delivered one riposte after another.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 4, 2008 7:35 AM
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