Democrats pan Palin's convention speech listen09/04/08 Mitch E. Perry
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Last night, Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin introduced herself to the American public with a 40-minute speech at the Republican National Convention. It was received ecstatically by the delegates inside the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul and by most members of the mainstream media.
Palin’s opponent, Delaware Sen. Joe Biden, was rolled out to all of the morning television talk shows to respond. He was magnanimous in praising her, but Biden said he didn’t think much of the content. And like his running mate, Biden said Palin’s family should not be part of the political discourse.
Biden didn’t reflect on the dig that Palin gave to him in her speech, in which she said she got more votes running for mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, than he got running for president – which is simply not accurate. Palin got 616 votes in her 1996 mayor’s election, and 909 in her re-election in 1999. Although he dropped out after the Iowa caucuses, Biden still got more than 76,000 votes where he was on the ballot this year.
This morning, Obama supporting Democrats were critical of the speech. Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius said Palin did a good job mastering the words written by the Bush speech writers.
South Florida Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz slammed Palin’s speech, saying she was struck by the lack of substance and vision in it.
Wasserman Schultz said McCain capitulated to the right wing of his party in selecting the socially conservative Alaska governor whose views on abortion, gay rights and her own religious beliefs have gotten plenty of attention in the past week. Wasserman Schultz said there were far better Republican women he could have chosen. And she blasted Palin for not being truthful in her speech.
Asked if she thought that the Palin candidacy will attract wayward Hillary Clinton supporters, Sebelius said she didn’t believe so.
Throughout the convention, Republicans have fought back strongly on charges that Palin is unqualified to be a heartbeat away from the presidency. They say that her executive experience as mayor and now governor supercedes Barack Obama’s 12 years of elected office. But Wasserman Shultz says that’s absurd.