[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/05/art.vert.palin.incrowd.jpg caption="Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin shakes hands in the crowd after Republican presidential candidate John McCain's acceptance speech during the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota, Thursday." width=292 height=320]Jessica Yellin | Bio
CNN Congressional Correspondent
It was a small thing, but perhaps telling.
As John and Cindy McCain stood on stage giving their final wave last night – Gov. Sarah Palin was on the convention floor swamped by an adoring crowd. When the McCains turned and walked off stage there was Palin still in the audience – signing autographs, shaking hands, posing for photos with delegates jostling to get near her.
A video replay shows Palin stayed back for two minutes after McCain left – he exited at 11:19, she at 11:21. That may seem insignificant but in television – it's a lifetime. More time than a reporter is typically allotted for a story on a network newscast.
Maybe it's nothing – she's new to this. The two of them have yet to fall into a rhythm. But in a presidential campaign the VP just doesn't soak up the glow after the presidential candidate has left the stage – especially on the night the candidate accepts the nomination. It'll be interesting to see if it becomes a pattern. Not many lead singers are pleased when their drummer takes the longer bow.
Palin's extended encore wasn't the only notable visual of the night. There was that green backdrop behind John McCain at the beginning of his speech. That had blackberries buzzing across the country – since the McCain campaign vowed no-more-green... after the senator was panned for a speech delivered in front of a sickly green backdrop months ago.
That original green-screen look was so bad, it's been cited as a low point that triggered a campaign restructuring. (You had to wonder if the return of the green-screen was an act of sabotage by a McCain enemy with access to the video controls).
What's worse – on television the wide shot revealed that green was actually grass in front of a building that looked like a mansion. Not the ideal image for McCain given the recent flap over his many residential properties. It turns out the image wasn't of a mansion but of a school. But really, who could tell.
None of this seemed to matter to the folks attending the convention. Without exception every delegate I spoke to brimmed with enthusiasm about Sarah Palin. She made McCain's candidacy OK by them. Let's see how well it played with the millions who watched it all on TV.
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