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Delegates Praise Palin's Grace and Grit

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Sarah Palin cast herself as the PTA and hockey mom with bite on Wednesday night, using her much-anticipated speech before the Republican National Convention to define herself as a Washington outsider who will vigorously attack the Democratic presidential ticket.

"I was just your average hockey mom who signed up for the PTA," the Alaska governor said in accepting the GOP nomination for vice president. "I signed up for the PTA because I wanted to make my children's public education even better."

The speech was well-received at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

"This was a home run," said Crystal Kennedy, an Alaska delegate and a member of the Anchorage school board. "The country knows she means business."

Phyllis Gorman, a retired teacher and small-business owner from Edmond, Okla., seconded that sentiment.

"I think she spoke from the heart," Gorman, an Oklahoma delegate, said of the Alaska governor. "And she showed us she knows about being tough."

Gorman said she didn't know much about Palin's record on education issues. But on Topic A of the week—the pregnancy of Palin's daughter Bristol—the Oklahoman said the candidate was handling the situation "with grace."

"We would all prefer the daughter to be married or not be pregnant," Gorman said. "But that's life."

Palin’s service on the PTA gives her hands-on experience with school policy, said Cyndi C. Mosteller, a delegate from South Carolina.

“What other presidential candidate do you know that’s been in the education trenches like that?” Mosteller said.

And delegates lauded Palin’s pledge to serve as an advocate for children with special needs.

After acknowledging her infant son Trig, who has Down syndrome, the Alaska governor said, "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," Palin said. "I pledge to you that if we are elected, you will have a friend and advocate in the White House."

“I would say that her experience gives her insight” that most people don’t have, said Geneva Taylor, a Colorado delegate and a retired banker from Steamboat Springs.” She’s going to make sure that those types of children are taken care of.”

--Mark Walsh & Alyson Klein

11 Comments

I find this very amusing that just because she was part of the PTA people assume that she understands school policies. This could not be further from the truth. It may make her a qualified fundraiser but anyone can sell skittles at a table in the front hall of the school. She is not qualified to run this country when old man McCain passes, which at 72 could be before the term even starts in January. I am scared of the America that may come from another War president. Claim the moral high ground bring respect back to our country and vote democrat this election, it may be our last if we don't!!!!

I was so impressed by Sarah Palin's speech last night. I think she'd make a good VP even if she has a lot to learn. I think Ronald Reagan and even Bill Clinton had lots to learn when they were elected. Since she'll be VP, not President, she'll have time to get those feet wet. I suspect she's a very quick study. I wasn't too excited about either candidate until Sarah Palin was chosen by John McCain. I'm excited now - let's go with change that is more than rhetoric by voting for proven mavericks. McCain-Palin 2008

I agree with Paul Hill that being on the PTA in a podunk town has nothing to do with understanding education policies. That's like saying because I'm on the board of my local library I could run the Library of Congress. As Obama helps me to believe, I sit in disbelief of the GOP ticket. For example, she thinks the school could have done a better job teaching her daughter abstinence than she or her husband? This is what she is relying on our schools to do - raise our children? I don't believe that a male candidate wouldn't be somewhat equally questioned about running for a major office after just having a child mere months ago. And, for my last vent, I am a feminist and a believer in the idea that women have much to offer this country that they have not yet been given enough opportunity to do so. But I wasn't going to vote for Hillary because she was a woman any more than I would vote for Barack because he is a man. I thought conservatives didn't believe in affirmative action because it places under- or unqualified people in positions others have rightfully earned.....

Male candidates have sometimes been questioned about their family members and impact on their suitability for the position: John Kerry, with his wife's cancer, Jimmy's brother Billy got him into some trouble, the twins made some wave with their drinking.

But what is more important to realize, however, is that if Sarah Palin were a man, should wouldn't have made the short list for consideration for Vice President.

Palin?

Not for me.

I just don't get it. How can you reach a conclusion about a person by simply hearing them read a speech that someone else wrote? She sounded like a stand-up comedian that only knows how to slam and make fun of people. Is that the new role of a vice-president?

Hmmm... let's see. On one side we have a woman who has served as a governor of a state one fifth size of the US with 10,000 employees and a $5 billion budget, who has increased taxes on big oil companies over the objections of some legislators from her own party, who has negotiated the construction of a $40 BILLION natural gas pipeline, and who significantly increased the budget for public schools.

On the other side we have someone who has sat through a zillion committee meetings, shepherded a bill through Congress pushed by his lobbyist son that hurt ordinary Americans to benefit credit card corporations and is an admitted plagiarist.

Just looking at the record, which one do you want as our vice president?

We should give every candidate a fair chance and then draw conclusions. She highly impressed me with her poise, dignity, wit and insights. We have two more months to draw final conclusions. That written, she has an admirable record of achievements, core values that resonate with many, many Americans, and she is willing to make the sacrifices to serve our country for the next four years, putting her family under unfair scrutiny. I have to admire her. If she continues as she has, I bet that in 4 years she will be ready to assume a higher position in our government!

Gov. Palin cut her state budget by 62% for Special needs children. Check her record before you drink the water.

I agree with Betty Arnold. Does anyone really believe that Sarah Palin wrote one word of that speech? Her speech was carefully scripted by the GOP to play to they typical stereo-type of a mom. Unfortunately, people are falling for it. I found her reference to supporting Special needs children insulting. I've worked in education for the past 27 years and have been supporting Special needs students every day . Does she know about PL94-142 or the Individual with Disabilites Act? I'm also insulted by the delegates who sat in that convention hall wearing buttons that read, "I"m for McCain and the Hot Chick." How inappropriate is that? Why does McCain kiss his running mate when he greets her? Would he kiss Mitt Romney?

Can someone please explain why the authorship of her speech has everyone in a twist? It is my understanding that candidates routinely use speech writers.

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