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Palin’s Speech Dazzles GOP Faithful, Sets Stage for Campaign Trail

After a look at reaction to vice presidential candidate Gov. Sarah Palin's speech to the GOP convention Wednesday, a panel of analysts, lawmakers and columnists Mark Shields and David Brooks, offer insight on Palin's impact on the event.

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  • JIM LEHRER:

    Now, reaction to last night's appearance by vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin. Special correspondent Fred de Sam Lazaro was out today talking to delegates about her speech.

    GOV. SARAH PALIN (R), Alaska: I will be honored to accept your nomination for vice president of the United States.

  • FRED DE SAM LAZARO, NewsHour Correspondent:

    Republicans here in St. Paul lauded their nominee for vice president today, after her rousing speech.

  • ROSE ANN GAETANO, Pennsylvania Delegate:

    I just think her speech last night was a grand slam. She hit that ball all the way to Alaska.

  • FRED DE SAM LAZARO:

    We spoke to delegates from different states today, like Paula Oullette from Rhode Island. They were impressed.

  • PAULA OULLETTE, Rhode Island Delegate:

    She just reinforced to me how dynamic she is, how genuine. And she's just like one of the normal citizens of the United States, trying to make changes, and I think it really came across last night.

  • FRED DE SAM LAZARO:

    Palin used last night's speech to highlight her running mate's credentials…

  • GOV. SARAH PALIN:

    Our nominee for president is a true profile in courage, and people like that are hard to come by.

  • FRED DE SAM LAZARO:

    … and put down the Democratic nominee, Barack Obama's, early experience.

  • GOV. SARAH PALIN:

    I was mayor of my hometown. I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a community organizer, except that you have actual responsibilities.

  • FRED DE SAM LAZARO:

    Ken Leonard is a delegate from Texas.

  • KEN LEONARD, Texas Delegate:

    She has worlds of executive experience compared to the other side of the ticket, which has zero executive experience.

  • FRED DE SAM LAZARO:

    So you thought she handled it effectively in making her case versus Obama and versus Biden?

  • KEN LEONARD:

    Absolutely.

  • FRED DE SAM LAZARO:

    Most of the speakers last night took a swipe at the media. Palin was no exception.

  • GOV. SARAH PALIN:

    Here's a little newsflash for 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 great country.

  • FRED DE SAM LAZARO:

    That moment brought the largest applause and boos directed at the media on the floor from the crowd of more than 20,000, after a week of intense media scrutiny of their candidate.

    Vicki Slaton is from Texas.

  • VICKI SLATON, Texas Delegate:

    I think Republicans think they have to prove themselves over and over and over. And the Democrats can kind of — the media just passes them. They go, "Oh, they did this last week, but it's over with, so we don't talk about that anymore."

  • FRED DE SAM LAZARO:

    State Sen. Bob Robbins is a delegate from Greenville, Pennsylvania.

  • STATE SENATOR BOB ROBBINS, Pennsylvania Delegate:

    I agree with her totally that major media has not been fair across the board, and we accept that. We understand, and we have to work with that in knowledge. And then you have to do a good job, and you hope the voters back home, that they get the message and they understand.

  • FRED DE SAM LAZARO:

    Her experience in an energy-rich state resonated with Texan Larry Jeffus.

  • LARRY JEFFUS, Texas Delegate:

    She talked about energy policy. She talked about the environment. She talked about bringing the nation together. Those were things that I was impressed with.

    One of the concerns I've had for a long time, when we talk about energy policy, is that, in the North Slope, we have a phenomenal resource. We see it as an asset. And our other opponents see it as an environmental issue.

  • FRED DE SAM LAZARO:

    Many delegates knew little about their vice presidential candidate before she was introduced. We talked to Dennis Tippets of Wyoming yesterday.

  • DENNIS TIPPETS, Wyoming Delegate:

    She's got to convince a lot of people that she can muster up to the job.

  • FRED DE SAM LAZARO:

    She hasn't convinced you yet?

  • DENNIS TIPPETS:

    Not completely. I'm looking forward to seeing what she has to say tonight.

  • FRED DE SAM LAZARO:

    Today, we caught up with him in the Mall of America to get his report card.

  • DENNIS TIPPETS:

    I was impressed. I thought the governor, she started a little slow, but she seemed to really work into it. And, of course, the crowd got involved in it. And towards the end, I would say she had them right in the palm of her hand.

  • FRED DE SAM LAZARO:

    The delegates say they are ready to campaign hard for the ticket over the next two months.

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