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Shields, Brooks and Historians Mull Strengths of Sarah Palin’s Speech

At the close of the Republican convention's third night, analysts Mark Shields, David Brooks and a panel of historians evaluate vice presidential candidate Gov. Sarah Palin's speech and its effectiveness in shoring up support for the Republican ticket.

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  • JIM LEHRER:

    She really did go after Barack Obama big time.

  • DAVID BROOKS, Columnist, New York Times:

    She did, but in a good cheer way. I don't think it was a nasty speech. She went after him aggressively. She is the hockey mom. But she went after her with good cheer.

    I'm amazed by her confidence. And we heard some speeches, Carly Fiorina, Meg Whitman, extremely successful women, and a lot of other speakers. She has a poise, and a confidence, and a slowness about the delivery, a way of talking which was much more regular voice than shouting, the way nervous people do at a podium.

    I expected her to do well. I think she surpassed any expectations I had.

    I did think the smart thing they did was she talked about small-town America, but she also was pretty wonky on energy and Iran. And I think they wanted to give her some policy seriousness, so she did dwell on that, and then some of the stuff she'd done as governor of Alaska.

  • MARK SHIELDS, Syndicated Columnist:

    I don't argue with David's point. I was amazed that she brought up the Bridge to Nowhere, where she contradicts herself. I mean, she said, "Thanks, but no thanks." She ran on it in 2006. She accepted the money from federal government. She made it sound like she turned the money back.

    I mean, that's going to continue to haunt her, and she'll answer questions when she does have a press conference.

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