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
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