Republicans react to Palin's speech

September 4, 2008 2:44:39 PM PDT
Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska will officially become the first woman to receive the Republican nomination for vice president Thursday night. At the Republican National Convention, Gov. Palin's speech Wednesday night before the delegates was the talk among local delegates.

Women who spoke to Action News seemed to be impressed.

"I think she showed the American people who she is and what she stands for," said Pennsylvania delegate Christine Toretti.

"What she embodies for women is the hard-working woman that balances home, family and their professional life," said State Sen. Jane Orie.

Loran Oglesby, the first woman to chair the Gloucester County Republican Party says gender isn't only reason she's supporting Palin.

"I am very proud of her being on the ticket, but I am more proud of the fact that she is a qualified woman. We're not putting just anybody up there. She is highly qualified," Oglesby said.

Republicans hope the speech convinced Hillary Clinton supporters that Sarah Palin is the right woman for the White House.

"I think we're going to have a lot of female voters who might have backed Hillary Clinton who are going to vote for this ticket now because of Sarah Palin's speech," said Keith Davis of Atlantic City Republicans.

But other Republicans said they think Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin are such polar opposites on the issues that even the best speech won't convince them to come over to the Republican ticket.

Among the Pennsylvania Republican delegation, even former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge, who was thought to be a possible McCain running mate, praised Palin's performance.

"You've got to love Governor Palin's speech. When you talk about her record which kind of eeked out over the past three or four days, we thought she was bold, she was visionary, she has a bipartisan approach," Ridge said.

Palin's candidacy has infused millions of dollars plus a huge burst of energy into the GOP ticket.

Democrats have been pouncing on her lack of experience: mayor of a small town, and less than two years as governor.

Congressman Jim Gerlach of Chester County says Senator Obama's lack of executive experience should be the issue.

"The Democrats put up a person as their presidential nominee that doesn't even have the experience that our vice presidential nominee has," Rep. Gerlach said.


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