Rudy Giuliani appeared to be having a great time as he passionately warmed up the enthusiastic delegates at the Republican National Convention last night. And then it was time for the much anticipated debut of Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
Attired in a black skirt and cream colored jacket, Palin confidentially stepped to the lectern to a thunderous three minute standing ovation the likes of which is typically reserved for a Presidential candidate. She then delivered a powerful 36-minute speech that not only deflected the criticisms of her and her family and but attacked Barack Obama as a “Washington elite” with no leadership experience.
For the 60% of Americans that didn’t know enough about her to have an opinion, Palin accomplished her goal of creating a favorable first impression by coming across as likeable, genuine, feisty and capable of launching spirited, sometimes sarcastic and frequently humorous, attacks on Obama and Biden. One of her memorable comments was the unscripted question, “What’s the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? Lipstick.”
Non-verbally, Plain made good use of gestures by thrusting her hands forward to emphasize key points. Facially, she smiled confidentially throughout her speech. When she wanted to add special meaning she tightened the facial muscles around her nose, which caused her nose to crinkle up as to say “I’m not kidding.”
Generally Palin made good use of her vocal skills. On a few occasions, she could have nailed chief points with greater variation of the tones and slowing the pace. An example, during the last ten minutes of her speech she attached Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for saying that he “can’t stand John McCain.” Palin completed her point by saying, “That’s only one more reason to take the maverick out of the senate and put him in the White House.” But, the sentence was rushed and “put him in the White House” fell flat.
The Republicans have a pit bull on the attack and it will be interesting to see how Joe Biden fares against her in the debate on October 2. Meanwhile, we’ll see tonight if John McCain can top the spirited Vice Presidential Acceptance speech of the new Republican Party star – Sarah Palin.