By John Jalsevac

September 4, 2008 ( – Gov. Sarah Palin could hardly get through a single line of her acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention (RNC) last night without being interrupted by a standing ovation. The 44-year-old Alaskan governor delivered a gutsy speech with a poise, confidence and sense of humor that captivated her audience, including a record-breaking 30 million television viewers, as reported by the U.K.‘s The Sun – the largest ever tuned in for a VP-nomination acceptance speech.

The numbers alone confirm what quickly became apparent after McCain announced his choice for running mate last week – Sarah Palin is a different sort of vice presidential nominee who is already drawing an unprecedented level of attention to the oft-ignored office.

Adding to the positive impression that Palin made at the RNC is the revelation that her teleprompter – which she would have depended upon to feed her lines to her – broke halfway through her remarks, forcing her to continue from memory: a feat she performed flawlessly. Most weren’t even aware of the problem, with only those already in possession of her speech wondering why she was deviating from the prepared text. 

“I’ve learned quickly, these past few days,” Palin said, referring to the negative press that has been heaped on her by the liberal media establishment since last Friday, “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.”

Although Palin never addressed the more controversial social questions such as abortion and same-sex “marriage” in her speech, she did pledge her support for families who have welcomed into their midst a child with disabilities, mentioning her own Down syndrome child, Trig.

“In April, my husband Todd and I welcomed our littlest one into the world, a perfectly beautiful baby boy named Trig.

“Sometimes even the greatest joys bring challenge,” she continued. “And children with special needs inspire a special love.

“To the families of special-needs children all across this country, I have a message: for years, you sought to make America a more welcoming place for your sons and daughters. I pledge to you that if we are elected, you will have a friend and advocate in the White House.”

At one point, after mentioning her pre-political status as “just your average hockey-mom”, Palin appeared to break with her script to deliver an impromptu joke: “I love these hockey moms,” she said as a group of women with signs proclaiming their own “hockey-mom-hood” interrupted her with cheers. “What’s the difference between a hockey mom and a pitbull?


The VP-nominee took numerous swipes at the Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, characterizing him largely as a man of many and impressive words, but few concrete actions and little history of leadership to recommend him to voters. Palin herself has been the brunt of numerous attacks against her relative lack of experience, which she parried with comparisons of her accomplishments with those of her opponent. 

“We’ve all heard his dramatic speeches before devoted followers . . . 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 reform,” she said. “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.”

In one of her most poignant remarks, Palin contrasted her former experience as mayor of a small town in Alaska with Obama’s previous experience as a community organizer: “I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a ‘community organizer,’ except that you have actual responsibilities,” she quipped.

“I might add,” she continued in another obvious reference to Obama, “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.”

Elsewhere Palin again highlighted her role in Alaska as a reformer who has stood up to “the special interests, the lobbyists, big oil companies, and the good-ol’ boys network” and who believes that politicians should serve with “servants’ hearts.” She again touted her fiscal responsibility, relating how upon taking office she sold the Alaskan governor’s private jet, dismissed the private chef, and returned oil revenues to the people of Alaska: and she hammered home, in concrete terms, the necessity of making the US energy independent and her ideas for how it can be done.

Palin concluded her speech with a heartfelt “God bless America!” after which her family and Sen. John McCain joined her on the stage. 

The analysis of Palin’s speech has been relatively consistent in its declaration that the 44-year-old beauty and down-to-earth mother of five has reinvigorated the Republican ticket in a radical way.

Writing in The Sun in the U.K. commentator Fergus Shanahan declared: “Sarah Palin’s sensational performance at the Republican Party Convention may turn out to be the tipping point of this rollercoaster American election.

“Obama fans hoping she would fluff her big night were in for a nasty shock. This speech has turned the election upside down. It was simply stunning.”


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