Republican National Convention: Gov. Palin touts her values

Published 9:18 am Thursday, September 4, 2008

As the first woman on a Republican ticket for the White House and only the second woman ever to be nominated for vice president, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin made her official introduction to the Republican National Convention, the country and the world Wednesday night with a speech deemed tough yet feminine.

“She hit a grand-slam home run,” said Tiny Brandt, chairman of the Freeborn County Republican Party.

With her speech, Palin established herself as qualified for the role of vice president, put on display her record and held true to her Republican values.

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Brandt called Palin eloquent, straightforward and honest — “just everything you would want from any politician.

“I could not be happier with the choice that was made, and I would love to have her as vice president,” he said.

While many consider Palin an unknown and new to the national political arena, Brandt said she knows what she’s talking about and her record shows it.

As soon as Palin walked out on the stage at the Xcel Energy Center, she was greeted with loud cheers, applause and a standing ovation. When the crowd quieted down, she said she would be honored to accept the country’s nomination for vice president of the United States.

Palin said she accepts the call to help Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain serve and defend America. It’s a tough fight, she said, but it’s a privilege to serve with a man who has come through harder missions and met far graver challenges. He knows, she said, how tough fights are won.

Through her speech, Palin told the crowd of her accomplishments and experiences as a mayor of the small town of Wasilla, Alaska, and the governor of the largest state geographically but one of the smallest in population.

In contrast to McCain’s opponent, she said, she has held executive office and been in charge of a multi-million dollar budget.

Palin introduced the world to her family: her husband, Todd, and their five children with one grandchild on the way.

Todd is a fisherman, a member of the United Steel Workers Union, a world-champion snowmobile racer and works in the oil fields of Alaska’s North Slope.

The two met in high school and “two decades and five children later, he’s still my guy,” Palin said. Pride could be heard in her voice as she spoke of her family.

Palin grew up in a small town where her parents worked at the elementary school. She said she will always remember the words of her mother when it comes to women’s accomplishments.

“This is America, and every woman can walk through every door of opportunity,” she said.

Throughout the speech, there were multiple references to Palin’s ability to lead, her dedication to her family and her small-town values.

Good people grow in small towns, she said. They are sincere, honorable and hard working.

“They love our country in good times and bad, and they’re always proud of America,” Palin said.

Admittedly, Palin is not a member of the permanent political establishment. She said she learned quickly that the media casts those not deemed members as inexperienced and unqualified.

“I’m not going to Washington to seek their good opinion,” Palin said. “I’m going to Washington to serve the good people of this country.”

Palin argued that she has more experience at running a government than Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama.

“The fact is that she is experienced,” Brandt said.

During her time as governor, she has cut excess spending by the government — including her private jet, driver and personal chef — and promised her voters in Alaska she would control spending by request if possible but veto if necessary.

McCain, she said, promises to use the veto power of the president in the public’s interest.

“As a chief executive, I can assure you it works,” she said.

As governor, Palin said she got the state’s budget under control, protected taxpayers and when the state had a budget surplus she gave the excess back to the residents.

“It’s no wonder she has an 80 percent approval rating,” Brandt said.

She worked on a $40 billion natural gas pipeline to “lead America to energy independence” and broke the monopoly on power and resources, Palin said.

The country needs more pipelines, more plants and more funds for alternative sources, according to the Alaskan governor.

“We need American sources of resources. We need American energy brought to you by American ingenuity produced by American workers,” she said.

In addition to introducing herself and proving her case, Palin talked of McCain’s record and accomplishments, comparing them to what she called a lack of experience from Obama.

“The American presidency isn’t supposed to be a journey of personal discovery,” she said.

“There is only one man in this election who has ever really fought for you in places where winning means survival and defeat means death, and that man is John McCain,” Palin added.

At the end of the speech, amidst joyful, supportive cheers for Palin, McCain stepped out on stage to support his vice presidential candidate — much to the delight of the crowd and causing them to cheer even louder.

“Don’t you think we made the right choice for the next vice president?” McCain asked.