It's become the must-see moment of the Republican National Convention. In just a few hours, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will get her turn in the primetime spotlight. For days now, she's listened to others talk (and not always nicely) about her, her family, and the vetting that did or didn't happen before John McCain tapped her as his running mate. But tonight in St. Paul, she'll do the talking.
It's a high-stakes moment for the little-known 44-year-old Republican. It would be hard to overstate the scrutiny she'll almost certainly be under when she takes the stage. We're told she's spent most of the past 48 hours crafting her speech with the help of McCain speechwriter Matt Scully and adviser Nicolle Wallace. After a read-through last night, with teleprompter, Palin and her team returned to the hotel and worked on the speech some more. We're told they'll be tweaking her speech up until the last minute she leaves for the convention hall.
The McCain aides told CNN Palin's speech has three goals: to leave no question which ticket has a better handle on the economy and to emphasize her experience and understanding of the energy economy; to make the case for John McCain and against Barack Obama at a policy level and on the issue of character; and to fill in the blanks about who Palin is by presenting herself as a likeable, funny, and smart person. That's a tall order for anyone to fill. Here's what another senior adviser said about the expectations for tonight: "The democrats and the media have done a great job lowering expectations. We're gonna raise some expectations tonight. The elites will never give her her due, or Middle America its due." And this: "She is going to really going to connect with blue collar voters - illustrate that she has a common touch with an executive presence."
We'd love to hear your take on Sarah Palin and whether she's connecting with you. We should also mention that Sen. John Kyl of Arizona will place Sen. John McCain's name into nomination tonight. He's stepping in for Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who was forced to bow out because of Hurricane Gustav. Stay with CNN for full coverage of the RNC, including Gov. Palin's much-anticipated speech. Here's tonight's lineup:
CALL TO ORDER
U.S. Sen. Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (KY)
Temporary Convention Chair
INTRO OF COLORS
PRESENTATION OF COLORS
Lay Enforcement Memorial Assn. (MN)
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Sharon Clahchischilliage, Farmington, NM & Mary Leavitt of Columbus, OH
AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL
John Shillington & Ruby Brown, Phoenix, AZ
Father Edward Reese, Phoenix, AZ
POSTING OF THE COLORS
SPEECH: Sen. Mitch McConnell
VIDEO: "Country First: Prosperity"
(Robert Duvall Voice Over)
SPEECH: "Country First: Prosperity of Spirit"
Anne Beiler, Founder of Auntie Anne's Pretzels
SPEECH: "Country First: Values"
U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman, MN
SPEECH: "Country First: Overcoming Challenges"
Renee Amoore, King of Prussia, PA
SPEECH: "Country First: Growth via Trade"
State Senator Abel Maldonado, CA
SPEECH: "Country First: Rural America"
Carolyn Dunn, St. John, KS
SPEECH: Ask for Contributions to Relief Efforts
SPEECH: "Country First: Healthcare"
Dr. Elena Rios, National Hispanic Medical Association
SPEECH: "Country First: Small Business"
Ruth Novodor, Montebello, CA
SPEECH: "Country First: Prosperity over Partisanship"
Christy Swanson, Quinton, VA
SPEECH: "Country First: Energy Security"
Michael Williams, Chairman, Texas Railroad Commission
SPEECH: "Country First: Environment"
Luis Fortuno, Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico
SPEECH: "Country First: Pres. McCain's first 100 days"
Meg Whitman, Former President and CEO, eBay Inc.
VIDEO: "McCain's Economic Reform Package"
SPEECH: "Country First: 2013 in America – Pres. McCain's First Term"
Carly Fiorina, Fmr. Chairman & CEO of Hewlett-Packard Co.
SPEECH: "Prayer: Neighbors Helping Neighbors"
Bishop Thomas Wenski, Orlando, FL
SPEECH: "Country First"
GOPAC Chairman Michael Steele
Mitt Romney, Former Governor of Massachusetts
SPEECH: "Right Reform & Right Reason"
Mike Huckabee, Former Governor of Arkansas
ENTERTAINMENT: "Song 1"
John Rich, Gretchen Wilson, Cowboy Troy
ENTERTAINMENT: "Song 2"
John Rich, Gretchen Wilson, Cowboy Troy
SPEECH: "Wrong Reform & Wrong Reason"
Rudy Giuliani, Former Mayor of New York City
SPEECH: "Country First: Sarah Palin's Contribution"
Linda Lingle, Governor of Hawaii
VIDEO: "Sarah Palin"
Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska
ENDING APPLAUSE AND INTRO OF PRESIDING OFFICER
STATEMENT ON REQUIREMENTS FOR THE NOMINATION OF PRESIDENT
SPEECH: Remarks about the Nomination of U.S. Sen. John McCain
Sen. Jon Kyl, Arizona
RECOGNITION OF A DELEGATE FOR MOTION TO NOMINATE THE PRESIDENT OF THE U.S.
Leader Boehner/ Sen. Jon Kyl, Arizona
(1) MOTION TO NOMINATE THE PRESIDENT OF THE U.S.
From the Texas Delegation on the Floor
REQUEST FOR SECOND & COMPLETE NOMINATION PROCEDURES
STATEMENT BY CHAIR REGARDING NOMINATION OF JOHN MCCAIN
INTRO OF SECRETARY AND ASST. SECRETARY TO CONDUCT ROLL CALL
EXPLANATION OF ROLL CALL PROCEDURE
Secretary Jean Inman
Secretary Jean Inman & Asst. Secretary Connie Nicholas
ROLL CALL CONTINUES
Secretary Jean Inman & Asst. Secretary Rosie Tripp
ANNOUNCEMENT OF RESULTS & RECOGNITION OF DELEGATE FOR MOTION
(2) MOTION TO MAKE VOTE FOR PRESIDENT UNANIMOUS
VA Delegation on the floor
ADOPTION & APPOINTMENT OF CMTE TO NOTIFY & ESCORT MCCAIN
Rev. Eva Rodriguez, Sacramento, CA
INTRO OF DELEGATE FOR MOTION
(3) MOTION TO ADJOURN
Floor-New Mexico Delegation
ADOPTION & ADJOURNMENT
A big THANK YOU to everyone who took the time to comment on yesterday’s News Note. This is a fiery, divisive, important topic and I appreciate you furthering the discussion. We’ll have more in the coming days on Sarah Palin, the so-called “work/life balance”, and whether these are fair questions to raise. Keep the comments coming!
We’ll carry Gov. Palin’s speech live tonight on CNN, part of the best convention coverage on TV – don’t miss it!
One major goal for any politician is to prove he or she is in touch with the average American. Let’s go beyond the diner photo-ops and manufacturing plant visits – how about a check of the local news making headlines? I’m sure the stories below have people in the area talking.
A man described by his mother as “desperately mentally ill” is now in custody, accused of killing six people in Washington today. Among the victims, a sheriff’s deputy who tried to help the 28-year-old man and his family.
Just wanted to share two snapshots from my travels around New Orleans this week after weathering Hurricane Gustav:
This church, 'Unity Baptist' is in a part of town called "Central City" a few miles to the west of the French Quarter...
This tilting house is in Uptown New Orleans.. (the area that includes Tulane U, Loyola U, Audubon Zoo...) A neighbor told us that the owners were renovating– you can see the green paint is fresh.. and inside, the house has been gutted, and new wooden support beams have gone up... we don’t know if the owners have even been back to see it...
Executive Producer CNN Science, Tech & Weather
September marks the time of year when polar ice cover is at its lowest. After last year’s record low, Arctic researchers say we’re in for another bad year – and what is perhaps an irreversible trend.
On Tuesday, scientists reported another Manhattan-Island-sized chunk broke off an Ice Shelf on Ellesmere Island in the Canadian Arctic.
a University of Illinois site allows you to bring the out-of-sight/out-of-mind Arctic to your desktop. If you want to track the day-by-day status of the Arctic ice cap, and compare it to past years, go here. The images, from the Illinois Polar Research Group, track Arctic ice coverage day by day back to 1979. See for yourself, and let us know what you think.
Ready for today's Beat 360°?
Everyday we post a picture – and you provide the caption and our staff will join in too.
Check back later to see if you are our favorite!
Here is 'Beat 360°’ pic of the day:
Cindy McCain, wife of Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., shows her mother-in-law, Roberta McCain a photo during the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn.
Have fun with it. We're looking forward to your captions!
Make sure to include your name, city, state (or country) so we can post your comment.
But wait!… There’s more!
When you win ‘Beat 360°’ not only do you get on-air prime-time name recognition (complete with bragging rights over all your friends, family, and jealous competitors), but you get a “I Won the Beat 360° Challenge” T-shirt!
Good luck to all!
Update: Today's winner is Mike from Syracuse, New York who wrote:
Where do I put the flash powder?
Octavia Nasr | BIO
CNN senior editor for Arab affairs
Arab media focused on the Republican National Convention with the same intense interest it gave the Democrats a week earlier...
On the Dubai-based channel Al-Arabiya, the coverage began on a positive note highlighting the choice and timing of John McCain's running mate announcement - the day after Obama’s acceptance speech in a packed Denver stadium.
Hisham Melhem is Al-Arabiya’s US Affairs analyst. He said, "McCain surprised everyone by taking an historic step and nominating Sarah Palin to his ticket. This strategy forced the media to focus on his pick at the expense of Obama's speech at the conclusion of the DNC."
AC360° Associate Producer
I awake in Minneapolis with two realizations: My hotel pillow smells like dog food and Regis Philbin now refers to himself in the third person. I have no reason to believe there is a connection but am open to any conspiracy theories. As I flip through the channels I see that Sarah Palin has done a walk-through of the Xcel Center in advance of her highly anticipated speech tonight.
(By the way, if Tina Fey doesn’t make a cameo as Palin on the season premiere of Saturday Night Live it will be a crime against sketch comedy.) She looks poised, if a little apprehensive, though no one can fault her for that. Republicans want her to establish herself as the Alaskan Margaret Thatcher. Democrats are hoping she comes across as a woman whose biggest accomplishment as governor has been to dodge moose as she tracked her ex-brother-in-law by snowmobile across the frozen tundra.
AC360° Sr. Producer
I miss AC360°. It was nice to do the two-hour program last Friday and Monday. Now that Gustav has hit, Hanna isn't here yet, and the GOP is running full steam we have a few nights without 360°. I'd rather work.
If we had a program tonight it'd be all about Gov. Sarah Palin. We've heard a lot about Palin this week, but she has had a low profile in St. Paul. Until tonight. It is her big unveiling, the first time most Americans will here her speak. David Gergen just said on CNN that he expects a very good speech. She'll be we'll prepared, he said.
As delegates officially make John McCain their nominee today, he will land at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport around 12:45pm ET.
The Democratic ticket will be in three of the biggest battleground states by day's end. Barack Obama campaigns in more rural parts of eastern Ohio. For a second day, Joe Biden campaigns in Florida.
Amy Holmes | Bio
CNN Political Analyst
Much has been made of whether or not a staunch pro-life candidate can attract the pro-choice vote. And how could Joe Lieberman throw in his liberal lot with, gasp, social conservatives? Wonder no more. In 2004, Bush won 25% of voters who believe abortion should always be legal and 38% of those who believe it should mostly be legal. While Bush didn't draw a majority of pro-choicers to the Republican ticket, he certainly earned a healthy chunk. Bush also won 23% of the gay and lesbian vote (roughly the same percentage he received in 2000.)
Kerry, the pro-choice candidate, won 22% of those who believe abortion should always be illegal and 26% of those who believe that it should be mostly illegal. (see poll)
In other words, Bush actually did better at attracting voters who do not share his views on abortion than did Kerry. It could be that Kerry simply didn't articulate his position well. In one of the debates, he stumbled through his answer to a young woman as to how he reconciles his pro-choice position with his Catholic faith. For some inexplicable he didn't repeat the formulation that had been so successful for Clinton: that he believed abortion should be safe, legal and rare. But that was Kerry for you.
Every four years, the media and liberal Democrats promote the misconception that choice vs. life neatly divides voters into two camps, Democrats vs. Republicans. But as Joe Lieberman told voters tonight, do not be fooled. The truth is that past election statistics say differently, because voters themselves say differently in the privacy of their polling booths.
Editor's Note: St. Paul police fired chemical agents and projectiles into a large crowd of protesters outside the Republican National Convention on Tuesday night. Witnesses said the protesters marched from the grounds of the state Capitol after a concert there ended abruptly. CNN's Joe Johns was covering the standoff last night when the protest changed directions. We share his observations here:
Joe Johns | BIO
I was about to hit the 'send' button on this, telling you how this was a peaceful standoff when the police set off a some type of tear gas that made your throat burn and eyes water.
It didn't incapacitate me like old fashioned tear gas. Guessing the strong winds made its effects less potent.
Police say they released the gas because they were trying to scatter protesters who they said were trying to get past security fences into the convention's perimeter. Here is what i was about to send before the gas was set off. Amazing to see what a difference a few minutes makes: