The short story: she hit it out of the park.
Like everyone else pulling for this ticket, I was hoping for something good and worried she might not deliver. But this, this was even better than I think anyone anticipated. She hit Obama and Biden hard--as did everyone all night long--and she appealed to the base. Make no mistake about it: the Republican base loves Sarah Palin.
I watched from the same place I've watched all the speeches all week--straight away from the podium on the concourse. It's a better vantage point that the press seats and puts me right in the mix with all the delegates. Of course they were going to respond positively to her speech, but if it were bad or not awesome (as it was), they could have just clapped politely--like they've done for several other speeches. But they didn't.
The atmosphere was electric. People were laughing, some of the women were getting emotional, and they were pumping their fists in response to some of the more red meat jabs at Obama. It was the perfect mix of all of the above.
One of the things I gather was missed by the folks watching at home was some of the crowd response. When Governor Palin talked about the media's stupdendously biased coverage of the campaign, the crowd sponatenously started chanting "N-B-C!, N-B-C!" and pointing towards the MSNBC booth stage right and up from Governor Palin. It was great. There is no question but that everyone knows that MSNBC is in the tank for Obama. They have completely lost all credibility.
As we sat in McGovern's after the session was over, we watched the various news outlets talk about Palin's speech. It was too loud to hear the audio, but we could gather from body language what everyone thought about the speech. Their body language was also an indication about how well she did. CNN & MSNBC pundits all looked angry. They were wagging their fingers at the screen and lecturing about who knows what--how much they hate Palin, or whatever. This is how much they hate her and how much they fear here.
All of this brings me to my last point: We interviewed Newt Gingrich tonight and he was very insightful. The one point he made that stood out to me had to do with the left's definition of feminism. What started out as a movement to advance the cause of and champion women, has been hijacked by a very narrow section of society who have defined "true" feminism in a very narrow way. True feminists would be proud of any woman who is going where no woman has gone before--women like Sarah Palin. But the feminists of the left demand that a woman be in favor of killing babies in order to join their club. As Newt pointed out, Governor Palin is turning the women's lib understanding of feminism on its ear. She is changing the definition. More than that, she's changing the whole language. She is telling women everywhere that they can be good mothers and wives and they can still serve their communities and their countries. She is telling women that they can be socially conservative and still be for women and for advancing women's causes.
In short, Sarah Palin is deconstructing the very carefully liberal-constructed understanding of feminism, so all can see it for the hateful, anti-human joke that it is. This is why the leftists in the blogosphere and the leftist dominated media are doing their worst to try and derail Sarah Palin.
But I've got news for the so-called progressives: It's not going to work. The rauccous chants of "N-B-C!" showed that Americans get it. They understand that what they're getting from the media about Governor Palin is not honest, hard-hitting journalism. It's a biased smear campaign of the worse sort. And there is beginning to be a backlash.
More tomorrow on Huckabee, Romney, Michael Williams, Newt, and others. So much good stuff to write about, so little time.
Thanks for reading.
UPDATE 7:13pm CDT: Michael Williams: "Life begins at conception!" Also, Peggy Noonan:
with conception something begins. What do you think it is? A car? A 1948 Buick?UPDATE 7:02pm CDT: The video of the John Bolton interview is up.
UPDATE 6:09pm CDT: My editor, Matthew Sheffield, emailed a link to an article by Howard Kurtz, following up on Wolff's report of the Ailes/Murdoch/Obama meeting. It may have been innocuous, but it's really starting to look like Murdoch & Fox News were doing whatever they could to appease Obama so they're not shut out of a possible Obama presidency.
UPDATE 4:47pm CDT: Our interview with Howard Wolfson, former senior aide to Hillary Clinton and Fox News contributor is up. He's a good sport.
UPDATE 4:36pm CDT: President Bush last night:
Fellow citizens: If the Hanoi Hilton could not break John McCain's resolve to do what is best for his country, you can be sure the Angry Left never will.UPDATE 4:21pm CDT: Just posted my long-time-coming Fox News/Roger Ailes/Rupert Murdoch/Barack Obama* piece over at NewsBusters. The story deals with Murdoch's conservative persona vs. desire to sell papers and ad time and Barack Obama's adversarial relationship with Fox News. Good stuff.
*Over-the-top performance, no real skill or experience.
UPDATE 3:55pm CDT: Finally, I got to interview one of my heroes, former Ambassador John Bolton. We'd been looking for someone to weigh in on media and leftist criticism of Palin's foreign policy experience (or, in their narrative, lack thereof) and who better than John Bolton? He told us that he has spoken with Governor Palin numerous times about issues like trade and missile defense and that she is competent on these issues and more--and further, that her experience there and knowledge there at least matched Barack Obama's.
UPDATE 3:42pm CDT: Just finished talking to Cal Thomas, cool conservative, about Palin, etc. Like everyone else, he thinks media attacks on Palin's family are repulsive. He thinks MSNBC is a joke whose only story is: conservatives are evil; Bush is evil, end of story. Once you've seen it once, why go back? And, as he pointed out, their poor ratings bear him out--no one is going back to watch the same old thing except for the angry left.
UPDATE 2:25pm CDT: Hot Air has video of Fred Thompson's speech. Do yourself a favor; check it out.
UPDATE 1:47pm CDT: The RNC just announced the schedule of events/speakers for this evening:
8 p.m. to 9 p.m.Main: A lot to report since last night's early morning post:
- Speaker: GOPAC Chairman Michael Steele
- Speaker: Former Gov. Mitt Romney (Mass.)
- Speaker: Former Gov. Mike Huckabee (Ark.)
- Musical Performance: John Rich, Gretchen Wilson, and Cowboy Troy
9 p.m. to 10 p.m.
- Speaker: Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani (N.Y.)
- Speaker: Gov. Linda Lingle (Hawaii)
- Video: Sarah Palin
- Speaker: Vice Presidential Nominee Sarah Palin
- One thing I neglected to touch on was Fred Thompson's speech. It was fantastic. Those of us who have been following this race and have an inordinate interest in politics are familiar with John McCain's story, but for the passively interest American just tuning into the race, Thompson's narrative was powerful and compelling. And few people can tell a story like Thompson. Ace has a pretty good take on all the speeches, but one line stood out for me from the speech:
John McCain: "Character you can believe in."
Doesn't this just sum up the difference between the Democrat and Republican parties? Democrats love nebulous change, with no specifics, because it's "new" and "different" and "exciting." It doesn't matter what it means, just that it's change. Nevermind that things are the way they are because across the centuries, by and large they've been proven to work.
One other stark difference, at the Dems convention, they chanted O-ba-ma!, O-ba-ma! At the RNC, they chant, U-S-A, U-S-A!
- This morning at our blogger brunch, we listened to Google CEO, Eric Schmidt. He seemed like a reasonable enough dude, though he maintained his company's support of "net neutrality." One blogger said, "so you are against the very system that allowed your company to grow the way it did?" Schmidt: "Yes." He sounded like all the other rich Democrats. Now that they've got theirs, they want to shut things down so no one else can.
What was interesting was that he raised the specter of China as a possible reason for net neutrality. Of course, those of us who don't want government regulation of the internet in the way suggested by net neutrality point at China as an example as well. We trust the market to allow for freer speech than the do-gooders in government.
- Frank Luntz, a focus group pollster for Fox News spoke briefly at the convention and reinforced what we already knew: Sarah Palin needs to hit a home run tonight. Though her pick reinforces McCain's maverick, outside-the-beltway narrative, and though more experienced than Obama, she probably isn't even the 10th most experienced Republican (possible) VP choice. That does not mean, however, that she isn't possibly the most capable or talented or give John McCain the best chance to win. I'm comfortable with the image of Republicans taking a bit of a gamble (though I don't think it is one) with their VP choice especially when compared with the outrageously huge gamble Democrats took with Barack Obama.
- Ran into Brit Hume on the way to the brunch and he agreed to give us an interview later. First impression: he's taller than I'd anticipated. Second impression: he looks like he could use some sleep. At this point--the midway point--we call could.
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