By John Jalsevac

DAYTON, Ohio, August 29, 2008 ( – While Democrats and critics of John McCain began issuing criticisms of the Republican presidential hopeful’s VP pick for her status as a relative political neophyte, Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin this afternoon delivered a confident and hard-hitting acceptance speech before a crowd of some 15,000 at a campaign stop in Dayton Ohio.

The young, attractive Governor from California was clearly well-received by McCain’s supporters, receiving a sustained standing ovation at one point, and eliciting laughter at several other points in her remarks.

Palin’s speech, as well as McCain’s introduction of Palin, carried unmistakable echoes of the morally-charged rhetoric of Barack Obama in favor of change, particularly in support of reforming the way politics is conducted in Washington, moving away from serving special interests and taking political power out of the hands of the usual suspects.

In introducing his running mate, McCain praised her as “exactly what I need…exactly who this country needs to help me fight the same old Washington politics.”

“She’s got the grit, the integrity, good sense, and fierce devotion to the common good that is exactly what we need in Washington today. She knows where she comes from and she knows who she works for. She stands up for what’s right and she doesn’t let anyone tell her to sit down.”

Palin herself played up her newness to the political scene and her humble roots, spinning her unusual and speedy entry into the political sphere and ascent up the political ladder as evidence that she will not stand for “politics as usual” and that her political ambitions have little to do with personal ambition but rather with pursuing “the common good.” Politicians, she said, should serve with “servants’ hearts.” 

“I never really set out to be involved in public affairs, much less to run for this office,” Palin told McCain supporters in Dayton.  “I was just your average ‘hockey-mom’ in Alaska.”

Four of Palin’s five children were present at the speech, along with her husband Todd. Her eldest son, Track, is a member of the US army and is set to be deployed to Iraq this upcoming November.

The Alaskan governor related how she got involved in the local PTA, was elected to city council, then mayor, and, finally, governor of Alaska. She stated, “with fellow reformers in the great state of Alaska as governor I’ve stood up to the old politics as usual, to the special interests, to the lobbyists, the big oil companies and the good ‘ol boy network.”

“It’s always safer in politics to avoid risk, to just go along with the status quo, but I didn’t get into government to do the safe and easy things. A ship in harbor is safe. But that’s not why the ship is built.

“Politics isn’t just a game of competing interests and clashing parties. The people of America expect us to seek public office and to serve for the right reasons. And the right reason is to challenge the status quo and to serve the common good. No one expects us to agree on everything, whether in Juneau or in Washington, but we are expected to govern with integrity and good will and clear convictions and servants’ hearts.”

Besides highlighting her role as a reformer with little patience for corruption and self-seeking, Palin also drew attention to her fiscal conservatism and her efforts to make America energy independent, particularly with her efforts to build the massive Transcanada natural gas pipeline that will tap into Alaska’s natural gas reserves.

The Republican Party’s first female vice presidential candidate received a standing ovation after drawing attention to the fact that the announcement of her candidacy coincided almost directly with the anniversary of American female suffrage.

“It is fitting that this trust has been given to me 88 years, almost to the day, after the women of America first gained the right to vote,” she said.

“The women of America aren’t finished yet and we can shatter that glass ceiling once and for all,” she continued, after acknowledging the political accomplishments of Hilary Clinton and Geraldine Ferraro, a former vice presidential candidate with the Democratic party. 

Palin concluded her speech, “For my part, the mission is clear. The next 67 days I’m going to take our campaign to every part of our country and our message of reform to every voter of every background in every political party, or no party at all. If you want change in Washington. If you hope for a better America, then we’re asking for your vote on the 4th of November.”

“God bless you all I say. God bless America!”

  See John McCain’s introduction and Sandra Palin’s speech at

See related coverage:

Pro-life, Pro-family Leaders Praise McCain’s Choice of Pro-Life Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for VP Running Mate

McCain Selects Strongly Pro-life Governor, Mother of Five Sarah Palin for Running Mate

Alaska Gov. Palin Suggests Special Session for Failed Abortion Restriction Laws

Alaska and Florida Courts Allow Under Age Girls to Abort Without Parents’ Knowledge or Consent


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