Palin: A Pit Bull With Lipstick

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Greeted by thunderous applause, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin presented herself to the Republican National Convention on Wednesday, and millions of Americans watching from home, as a small-town outsider ready to join John McCain's ticket in waging "a tough fight in this election against confident opponents at a crucial hour for our country."

"I will be honored to accept the nomination for vice president of the United States," she said in the convention's most anticipated speech. The 44-year-old, self-described "hockey mom" still awaits formal nomination for the second spot on the ticket.

With those words, the crowd roared - and the flashes of thousands of cameras reflected off her glasses.

It was the crowning moment of a roller-coaster week in which the first woman ever on a Republican presidential ticket has faced questions about how closely the McCain campaign scrutinized her. She also has heard a wide range of inquiries about family issues, her policy positions and her record of public service.

Palin took crowd-delighting swipes at Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama and what she called the "Washington elite."

"The American presidency is not supposed to be a journey of 'personal discovery.' This world of threats and dangers is not just a community, and it doesn't just need an organizer," Palin said, a clear reference to Obama's time as a community organizer in Chicago.

And to the media that had closely examined her record, she said: "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."

As she concluded her speech, her family and then McCain greeted her on stage. "Don't you think we made the right choice for the next vice president. What a beautiful family," McCain said to loud cheers.

The Obama campaign had less than a warm greeting, saying Palin's speech was "written by George Bush's speechwriter and sounds exactly like the same divisive, partisan attacks we've heard from George Bush for the last eight years." The speech was written by Matthew Scully, who met Palin for the first time last week.

Selected by McCain only last Friday, Palin addressed the convention amid questions about her qualifications and relative lack of experience.

The first-term governor had top billing at the convention on a night delegates also lined up for a noisy roll call of the states to deliver their presidential nomination to McCain.

Watching her speech were her husband Todd and their children, including 17-year-old Bristol Palin, whom the Palins disclosed earlier in the week was five months pregnant. Bristol Palin's 18-year-old boyfriend and apparent fiance, Levi Johnston, was seated with them.

McCain shook up the presidential race by picking Palin, a little-known governor less than two years in office. Since then, a bright spotlight has been trained on the life and record of the Republican governor who has bucked the state's political establishment.

Days after Palin made her debut on the national stage with McCain, the campaign announced her unmarried daughter's pregnancy. Other disclosures followed, including that a private attorney is authorized to spend $95,000 of state money to defend her against accusations of abuse of power and that Palin sought pork-barrel projects for her city and state, contrary to her reformist image.

"Our family has the same ups and downs as any other ... the same challenges and the same joys," she said.

Noting that the couple's oldest son, Track, 19, was shipping out to Iraq in eight days with the Army infantry, Palin praised McCain as "a true profile in courage, and people like that are hard to come by."

"He's a man who wore the uniform of this country for 22 years, and refused to break faith with those troops in Iraq who have now brought victory within sight. And as the mother of one of those troops, that is exactly the kind of man I want as commander in chief," she said.

Largely unknown outside her home state, Palin told the convention: "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," she said, speaking of her home town of Wasilla, Alaska, with a population of about 6,500.

"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," she said.

Before becoming governor, Palin served as mayor of Wasilla, she recounted, adding: "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."

In another barb directed at the Illinois Democrat, Palin said: "Here's how I look at the choice Americans face in this election. In politics, there are some candidates who use change to promote their careers. And then there are those, like John McCain, who use their careers to promote change."

Palin, a proud hockey mom, asked the crowd if they knew the difference between a hockey mom and a pitbull. Her answer? Lipstick.

A former TV sportscaster, Palin delivered her speech in a firm, cheerful voice. It was her first chance to introduce and define herself to the American public and to explain to fellow Republicans how her experiences as Alaska governor would help galvanize the GOP ticket.

She strongly endorsed more oil exploration and drilling. "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," she said.

Palin has been an aggressive advocate for drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, while McCain opposes drilling there. That difference was not touched on in the speech.

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  • by Obama Snake Oil Co Location: Washington on Sep 15, 2008 at 12:29 PM
    I have noticed the liberals are saying publicly that McCain is too old. I am pretty sure this is "age discrimination" isn't it? So, now I have to vote for McCain since liberals are discriminating against him. And also, Palin is too busy to help run the country, Alaska must not have much for her to do. This woman will be the next president after McCain. Why, because she will not tolerate the liberals in either party and the deception or corruption. Even Geraldene Ferro likes her. You want change, its coming near you.
  • by Red State Location: Washington Co. on Sep 11, 2008 at 12:07 PM
    Gov. Palin is Commander of the Alaska National Guard. Alaska is the first line of defense in our missile interceptor defense system. The 49th MDB of the Alaska National Guard protects the entire nation from ballistic missile attacks. It's on permanent active duty, unlike other Guard units. As Gov. of Alaska, Palin is briefed on highly classified military issues, homeland security, and counterterrorism. Her exposure to classified material may rival even Biden's and certainly by far exceeds Obama's. She's also the commander in chief of the Alaska State Defense Force (ASDF), a federally recognized militia incorporated into Homeland Security's counterterrorism plans. Palin is privy to military and intelligence secrets that are vital to the entire country's defense. Given Alaska's proximity to Russia, she may have security clearances we don't even know about. Palin is used to keeping national secrets and has been, as verified by many sources including State of AK and US Army websites.
  • by Obama Snake Oil Co Location: Washington on Sep 10, 2008 at 05:20 AM
    First Gary, you are not a republican and probably never voted that way. You slipped up with using Mcbush, the standard liberal response. Secondly, Palin and McCain will be your next pres-vice pres in office. This is a good thing for the US. I posted Obama's add from Utube. If you saw this and still say you won't vote for a republican you are just another liberal posting on this board like you are offended. This country will not take another Jimmy Carter for president, yes, that is what Obama is. Destroy the military, leave Iraq to the vultures and make us weak as a country at a time of danger. I guess liberals just don't want to acknowledge 2000 deaths on 911. That anniversary is Thursday in case you want to acknowledge it but you won't. I am a registered democrat but will vote my country, not my party this year. You should learn more about the canidates, objectively, or not vote.
  • by VBush Location: MHCY on Sep 9, 2008 at 07:13 PM
    Obama Snake Oil Co.; That is the #1 reason BAR NONE that make the Democrats SO dangerous. I watched the video, and like every other liberal wack job....he wants to slash defense and render us basically defenseless. With the statement he made on that video, I will never believe he would actually be tough with anyone. He was talking semi tough with O'Reilly the other night when he was drilling him on foreign affairs. Carter almost ruined us...Thank GOD for Reagan. Clinton did a job on our defenses as well. If Obama was elected, ....I don't want to think about it. Thanks for pointing out the video and putting up the link.
  • by Obama Snake Oil Co Location: Washington on Sep 9, 2008 at 01:36 PM
    Anonoymous in Greeville posted this link but I think it is important for all to see. We wonder where Obama stands on the issues and here you go. This isn't spin, McCain campaign or anyone else, it is Obama in his own words to what he wants to do with America. If you are for or against him, you should watch it. You can conclude whatever you want but this is the real guy and he makes his convictions pretty clear. It is terrifying what he would do to this country, especially if both houses are democrat.
  • by gary finch Location: Alaska on Sep 9, 2008 at 01:06 PM
    I learned one thing being a republican,i will never vote another Republican in office.The last 8 years ,tell something VP dick C. was involved in. Palin is more quick to react than obama! cause she dosen't think things through. right now she is sitting high/mighty. but give it some time see how she works under pressure.god forbid something happens Mcbush .who knows what she will do. ,If she was such a good governor of alaska Why is gas over 4 dollars and taxes so high!
  • by VBush Location: MHCY on Sep 8, 2008 at 07:27 AM
    The term 'flip-flop' is being beat to death. As if no one can ever change their minds about anything. All politicians make claims about how they would handle certain situations and what they are going to do once elected. They find out when they get there that it isn't as easy to accomplish as it appears. They are also privy to information on the situation that they did not previously know or understand. It is possible to change one's mind from time to time. If you change your mind as a politician, you owe it to the people that put you in office a public explanation of WHY you changed your mind. You owe it to them because they have voted for you based on that position in many cases. If you explain yourself, you just might bring the voters 'with you'. People do change their minds. Changing your mind on core beliefs is not recommended, but if you ABSOLUTELY owe a detailed explanation as to how and why you came to that decision. Haven't any of you ever changed your mind?
  • by Obama Snake Oil Co Location: Washington on Sep 8, 2008 at 07:13 AM
    By the postings on this blog, the liberals are really deperate. Face it, the DNC didn't bring regular, decent and honest canidates to the table. They brought a Jimmy Carter, Kerry Edwards types again. If you think these people are normal Americans, you are the problems in the DNC. Since there isn't a level playing field, the DNC has come up with lies. Yes, they are the one telling the lies they accuse Bush of doing. Yet, when asked for the facts, it turns out it cannot be traced to the facts. So, the big story is Palins got a pregnant 17 year old daughter and McCain didn't know how many houses he had. This is it? Now with Obama we are supposed to be stuipid and not ignore what he has been doing up until he got busted. Wright, Ayers and Rezio....actually, Biden is cleaner than Obama, his only problem is he is against national security.
  • by Mary Location: Edenton on Sep 7, 2008 at 07:32 PM
    Jonathon - you are right if you count all votes above disapproval as approval. 63% of Alaskans "strongly approve" of her performance. Amazing how you ignored all of my other facts. What sort of rebuttal do you have for those? And I haven't touched on her political flip-flopping or her outright lies as she campaigns. If you believe in your candidate, then be an adult and debate it with facts.
  • by Well said Location: Greenville on Sep 7, 2008 at 06:21 PM
    ITA Army Brat, especially with your comparisons and questions. I think we need just a regular person with regular problems in office--someone that can identify with every one, not just the elitists.

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