Wednesday, September 3, 2008

She Hit It Out Of The Park...

That's the ticket: Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin
after Palin's landmark speech at the GOP convention
Wednesday evening in St. Paul, Minn.

...or at least out of the arena.

That's what Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin did tonight as she accepted her party's nomination to be Sen. John McCain's running mate.

Before an electrified crowd of wildly cheering supporters (she was interrupted by periods of applause for almost as long as she spoke), Palin laid out her life, beliefs and politics for all of America. If the audience's reaction in the Xcel Energy Center -- and the callers to local Minnesota radio shows after the rally -- are any indication, there are a lot of people out there who just signed up for the Palin fan club tonight.

As Clive Crook writes over at The "Astonishing. It was a fine convention speech--but, reading the text, no better than very good. What was just sensational, far exceeding my expectations, was the delivery. After the thrashing she has received from press and television in the past few days, knowing what was at stake for the party and for John McCain as she stood at the podium, with a good part of the nation watching and waiting for her to trip, her composure and self-assurance were simply amazing.

"Who could fail to be moved by this?" he adds. "And it was even more impressive than it looked, because the waves of adulation from the audience kept interrupting her momentum: they did not know it, but at times the audience was making it harder for her. Yet she never looked hesitant or thrown. She paused when she had to and controlled the timing. She actually seemed comfortable. If ever there were a political natural, we saw one tonight.

But before Palin made her history making speech, the stage was set for her by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. Some samples from their speeches:

  • "Barack Obama’s excellent adventure to Europe took his campaign for change to hundreds of thousands of people who don’t even vote or pay taxes here. But let me hasten to say that it’s not what he took there that concerns me. It’s what he brought back: European ideas that give the government the chance to grab even more of our liberty and destroy our hard-earned livelihood." -- Huckabee
  • "Our economy is under attack. China is acting like Adam Smith on steroids, buying oil from the world's worst, and selling nuclear technology. Russia and the oil states are siphoning more than 500 billion dollars a year from us in what could become the greatest transfer of economic wealth in history. This is no time for timid, liberal empty gestures." -- Romney
  • In response to Democrats attacks on Palin's experience, Giuliani said that Gov. Palin, a former mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, (with an approximate population of 6,000 people or so) and who has been governor of her state for a little less than two years, "already has more executive experience than the entire Democratic ticket..Barack Obama has never led anything, nothing, nada."
  • "Just like you, there has never been a day when I was not proud to be an American. We inherited the greatest nation in the history of the earth." -- Romney
  • "I want to begin by doing something a little unusual. I’d like to thank the elite media for doing something that, quite frankly, I wasn’t sure could be done, and that’s unifying the Republican Party and all of America in support of Senator McCain and Governor Palin." -- Huckabee
  • Giuliani later echoed a sentiment many conservative women have been expressing after Obama supporters questioned whether a woman with a family of five children -- one a special needs baby -- would be able to devote her attention and energies to the office of vice president. “How dare they question whether Sarah Palin has enough time to spend with her children and be vice president? How dare they do that? When do they ever ask a man that question?” he said.
  • "Maybe the most dangerous threat of an Obama presidency is that he would continue to give madmen the benefit of the doubt. If he’s wrong just once, we will pay a heavy price." --Huckabee
  • "She’s already one of the most successful governors in America -- and the most popular. And she already has more executive experience than the entire Democratic ticket. She’s led a city and a state. She’s reduced taxes and government spending. And she’s actually done something about moving America toward energy independence -- taking on the oil companies while encouraging more energy exploration here at home. Taxpayers have an advocate in Sarah Palin -- she even sold the former governor’s private plane on Ebay."--Giuliani
  • "The reporting of the past few days have proven tackier than a costume change at a Madonna concert." -- Huckabee
Palin also had her share of memorable lines:

  • "I had the privilege of living most of my life in a small town. I was just your average hockey mom, and signed up for the PTA because I wanted to make my kids' public education better. When I ran for city council, I didn't need focus groups and voter profiles because I knew those voters, and knew their families, too. Before I became governor of the great state of Alaska, I was mayor of my hometown. 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."
  • "I'm not a member of the permanent political establishment. And I've learned quickly, these past few days, that if you're not a member in good standing of the Washington elite, then some in the media consider a candidate unqualified for that reason alone. But here's a little news flash for all those reporters and commentators: I'm not going to Washington to seek their good opinion - I'm going to Washington to serve the people of this country."
  • "Our opponents say, again and again, that drilling will not solve all of America's energy problems - as if we all didn't know that already. But the fact that drilling won't solve every problem is no excuse to do nothing at all."
  • "I was just your average hockey mom and signed up for the PTA." (Audience chanting: 'Hockey moms! Hockey moms! Hockey moms!') "I love those hockey moms. You know, they say the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull: lipstick."
  • "I small towns, we don't quite know what to make of a candidate who lavishes praise on working people when they're listening, and then talks about how bitterly they cling to their religion and guns when those people aren't listening. No, we tend to prefer candidates who don't talk about us one way in Scranton and another way in San Francisco. As I for my running mate, you can be certain that wherever he goes and whoever is listening, John McCain is the same man."
  • "I've noticed a pattern with our opponent, and maybe you have too. We've all heard his dramatic speeches before devoted followers, and there is much to like and admire about our opponent. But listening to him speak, it's easy to forget that this is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or even a reform, not even in the state senate. This is a man who can give an entire speech about the wars America is fighting and never use the word 'victory' -- except when he's talking about his own campaign."
  • When the cloud of rhetoric has passed, when the roar of the crowd fades away, when the stadium lights go out and those styrofoam Greek columns are hauled back to some studio lot -- when that happens, what exactly is our opponent's plan?"
  • "What does he actually seek to accomplish after he's done turning back the waters and healing the planet? The answer -- the answer is to make government bigger and take more of your money and give you more orders from Washington and to reduce the strength of America in a dangerous world."
Extra: Palin's speech ran approximately 40 minutes. The average length of a vice presidential acceptance speech is about 10 minutes.


Russell Snyder said...

I watched the speech with my wife and we both had the same reaction -- nice, but no home run. More like a ground-rule double. Palin has TV sports anchor sparkle, but her delivery is not powerful nor were her words memorable. And I'm sorry, but being in charge of de-icing roads in Sealsquat, Alaska, doesn't qualify you to be a heartbeat away from the leader of the free world.

Dave Congalton said...

Jeff, I remind you that Guiliani's attack on Obama about no leadership, never leading anything, etc. is word for word the exact attack he used to use on . . . John McCain!