September 5th, 2008
04:06 PM ET

Palin stealing the show

[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.

Filed under: Jessica Yellin • John McCain • Raw Politics • Sarah Palin
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Robert

    Wow, by reading these posts I'd say the Dems are not nearly as confident as they were a week ago.

    September 5, 2008 at 8:11 pm |
  2. Don, WA

    While watching McCain and Palin I was reminded of that old TV series "Northern Exposure" – with McCain as the grumpy old Navy Astronaut character and Palin as the fiesty female Bush Pilot character in the show. (I guess because I live about 50 miles from where that show was actually filmed, the similarity to the republican ticket came to mind – and I think The Bush Pilot stole that show too).

    September 5, 2008 at 8:03 pm |
  3. Andria

    Palin is scripted and fake. Most of America can see thru McCain's smoke screen.

    If she's the real deal, please tell me why she can't campaign on her own, without cue cards like Senator Biden? You can't hide hick forever!

    September 5, 2008 at 8:02 pm |
  4. flozelle crosby

    This Repiblican V.P. pick is a farce of biblical poportions. George Bush old speech writers are at it again! except they got a new mouth to use. Her name is Sarah Palin. They packed there convention with a bunch of George Bush followers and told them to scream loud as they possibly can of every word that comes out this womans mouth! ask yourself- what did she REALLY say? she talked more about obama then she did the people she want to hire her! which is THE AMERICAN PUBLIC! I didnt here anything about how I will be able to keep my house, or pay my kids colledge bills, or health care, or the +6% unemployment rate since her party took office! all we heard about was pit-bull and lipstick! oh and hunting moose! and this is what her pro George Bush constituant felt compelled to holler about all night? if all of them George Bush lovers woke up horse the next day, it woulda served them right!

    September 5, 2008 at 7:26 pm |
  5. Julie San Diego, CA

    The things you learn when you pick up a newspaper:

    Today's LA Times page A12:
    "McCain spoke to a crowd of about 20,000..."

    Page A20:
    "Thursday was the last of four days of protests. Monday was the busiest day, when more than 280 were arrested after nearly 10,000 antiwar protesters had marched on the (St. Paul) Capitol."

    Thursday: 20,000 Republicans in the Excel Energy Center
    Monday: 10,000 protestors outside the stadium just a few miles away at the State Capitol

    How come the only thing we saw on CNN was a few Code Pink ladies?

    Oh, and the plane that was "sold on eBay" was actually sold by a broker – for about $300,000 less than the asking price. It was mainly used to transport prisoners to Arizona because, even with all of Alaska's oil money, they haven't invested in infrastructure like prisons, roads, schools.

    Guys, you actually spent time discussing Sarah Palin's manicure. Give me a reason to believe in you again.

    September 5, 2008 at 7:09 pm |
  6. Cee Cee

    I am sick of hearing about Palin. I do not trust her. I hope America can see behind the hype. I vote republican the last 2 elections. I am distrubed at the way McCain chose his running mate-on a whim. It was a purly political move, it was to win. He wasn't thinking about me. I am an American and proud of it. I wish the News media will back off of her or make their news balanced. Sarah Palin is a Joke. So is McCain. I am terribly disappointed with this election. This Republican vote Democrate in 2008.

    September 5, 2008 at 6:35 pm |
  7. Carol in SD

    If I was given a survey after the republican convention to critique how I felt the speeches given helped unify the party & country, I would have to pass, inorder to spare myself embarrassment. This party is a party of WHINNERS! No wonder McCain's economic advisor said that...he wanted out before he was tied to the whole darn mess!

    September 5, 2008 at 6:34 pm |
  8. Mike M, Plainfield, IL

    One of the first things her handlers must do is to teach her the correct way to pronounce the name of the country that her son is going to. It is NOT "Eye-Rack." As someone once said "If you can't pronounce the name of a country you shouldn't invade it."

    September 5, 2008 at 6:30 pm |
  9. Lhynn Nevarez

    Just a short note to say the little pit bull isn't running for President is she?????????? Because John McCain is putting himself number 2 and letting her campaign for number 1..wow ,,no where but America could people be taken in by a cold heartless lady who doesn't even deal with being a mother.!!! The Hubby I guess will have to do that job also as he takes care of his Down's syndrome child alone.

    September 5, 2008 at 6:29 pm |
  10. carol kesling

    palins going to real old real fast!!!!! what makes her think john mcsame can change things when he couldn"t do anything in the 26 years was there already??????? john mcsame has a BAD TEMPER and can not afford that is this very fragile world.. HE IS TO WILLING TO GO TO WAR I SAW THAT IN HIS SPEECH LAST NIGHT "SCAREY"!!!!! why is reciting the same speech THEY WROTE FOR HER ON WEDNESDAY???? speech writer must be off today!!!!!

    September 5, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  11. Stephen in Bullhead City, AZ

    Today John McCain is talking about how Palin sold the state plane on Ebay for a profit, which is not true and, in fact, sold it for a loss and the GOP contributor, who bought the plane, is still complaining about being owed $50,000.00 for mechanical whoas. How well do these people really know each other, and does either one of them ever tell the truth. I think she has flip flopped off the Alaskan bridge!

    September 5, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  12. Pat

    I think both McSame and Palin are on the "Bridge to Nowhere" no State Funds, votes, or Contractors required! HA
    And Cindy was on the Stage to Nowhere last night! I've never heard such a scripted, monotone speech in my entire life! There wasn't a shred of feeling in it! It was like watching a talking doll that was wound up with a key! They should have never let her on stage! I am waiting for the Cindy Doll to be at the top of the Christmas Wish List for kids this year! Sorry, I'm sure her heart was in the right place but if your not a speaker, stay off the stage! I was embarassed for her!

    September 5, 2008 at 6:09 pm |
  13. Faiz

    Looks like McCain had to bribe his own base with extreme right Palin so they can like him. Unfortunately the novelty will wear off once she start facing the reporters' questions. The Republicans are trying to keep her away from reporters so that they can grow more curiousity among the American people which will lead to greater media coverage. That is exactly what is happening. The mistake they are doing in all this is that every article in media raises the bar about her talent. People would expect big from her when she will try to answer live questions on television. Lot of viewer will be turned of if people find a big gap between how she delivered the speech and how she answered the question. We all know who wrote the speech. I just cannot wait for her debate with Biden.

    September 5, 2008 at 6:08 pm |
  14. Charlotte Jacques

    Sarah Palin is a clone of Anita Bryant. That is not a complement.(cj)

    September 5, 2008 at 5:42 pm |
  15. Nancy, Washington state

    She only tells a partial truth. Half truth isn't truth!

    EBay charges a fee determined by the opening bid. Since the plane DIDN'T sell on eBay and since she didn't disclose the listing fee on eBay AND since she sold the airplane through a broker not "I sold it on eBay". Isn't that a lie?

    September 5, 2008 at 5:36 pm |
  16. Jolene

    So, it looks like there are politics involved with the stagecraft of a convention also. I also wondered about the "green" background but they soon switched it to "blue" by changing the picture. Whew, I could just imagine. At least this time around (green back drop and all), his speech was 10X better.

    Perhaps we are getting a little picky but then again, we had a hay day with Obama's ancient greek temple columns!

    It makes the race that much more exciting when it's close so if Palin is providing that extra excitement for the GOP, then so be it. I just hope that once the election is over, we, as a nation, become united. With all the mudslinging and bashing, it's got to make you wonder.

    Jolene, St. Joseph, MI

    September 5, 2008 at 5:32 pm |
  17. KB

    Palin did such an excellent job of alienating millions of Americans by putting down community organizers and many others. And after her speech, Obama supporters donated 10 million dollars in a 24 hour period, while McCain only got one million. That was a record!!! The more she talks, the more people will realize what a religious fanatic she is. Keep up the good work Palin!!

    September 5, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  18. Tom

    You are upset because Sara Palin will not talk to the media or give an interview so you can pick her apart.
    Well she said she is running for the people not the liberal elite so screw off you arrogant jerks.
    She went right over your head and talked directly to the American people.
    Yes it backfired on you when as soon as she was announced you tried to deomonis her but only sparked
    the interest of the American people and got over 37 million viewers.

    Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha,
    Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha,
    Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha,
    Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha,
    Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha,
    Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha,
    Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha,
    Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha,
    Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha,
    Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha,
    Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha,
    Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha,
    Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha,
    Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha,

    September 5, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
  19. Joe

    Palin is one giant distraction, she's the next Dan Quail. She'll have no say under McCain, she'll say what Rove tells her to say, and read what Bush's speechwriters have written for her. She is a Trojan horse, an empty pant suit. She's no Hillary Clinton, and never will be. This election is too important to devolve into a soap opera about Palin. Shame on CNN and the rest of the media for allowing that to happen. We're electing the leader of the free world, this isn't a beauty pageant.

    September 5, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  20. JC- Los Angeles

    It took Palin one speech and forty minutes to get everyone's attention while it has taken Obama four years, several book advances, a few memoirs, a theatrical stage performance and endless words.

    Less is truly more.

    September 5, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  21. Lamont austin

    I cant believe people really think good speech's were given at the RNC conv, i dont think so, Palin sounded like a PTA organizer giving a speech and Mclame sounded like some old man that needs to take a nap, you people must be really kidding me if you think they should stay in office after all the problems they (republicans) made for our country, people arent even talking about Bush having the CIA forge documents stating WMD's exist in Iraq when they really didnt and with Mclame stating in his own words he voted more than 90% of the time with Bush, all i can say is get them out of here there stinking up the place.
    Also, it was pitiful to see Mclame admit to all the problems they made and he still tried to ask for another go at the presidency, I hope people arent that dumb to vote for him, looking at the audience all i saw was a bunch of brainwashed, rich, crazy people (some even looked far far right winged KKK-ish). They even had speckeled amounts of black people on there side how crazy are they?

    NON-crazy republican voting democratic

    September 5, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  22. Melissa, Los Angeles

    Check out this tidbit that I picked up in a Yahoo article:

    "THE FACTS: Palin has cut back on pork-barrel project requests, but in her two years as governor, Alaska has requested nearly $750 million in special federal spending, by far the largest per-capita request in the nation. She did reject plans to build the notorious "Bridge to Nowhere" but only after Congress had cut off funding for it. The bridge was a $398 million bridge from Ketchikan to an island with 50 residents and an airport. Palin did leave in place a $27 million federally funded project to build the approach road to the bridge. Ketchikan Mayor Bob Weinstein, a Democrat, said Thursday that Palin first told Ketchikan officials during a campaign stop in 2006 that she supported it. When she became governor, and after the project became the subject of national ridicule, she pulled the state's portion of funding".

    Yah she won't drive America into the poor house with her out of control requests for just her state alone! Gooooo Obama!

    September 5, 2008 at 5:04 pm |
  23. lampe

    The Tides they are a turnin:

    September 5, 2008 at 4:41 pm |
  24. Heather

    I think she is being herself. I think she is doing exactly what she has awlays done in the past. I would never vote for her, but you can see why she is popular in Alaska. She is approachable she is comfortable and personable. The only thing that has changed is the size of the stage and the number of reporters.

    September 5, 2008 at 4:41 pm |
  25. Fay, CA

    The investigation of Palin/Troopergate is beginning to get into high gear and there are also reports that the McCain team is preventing press access to Palin–it would be interesting to know why. Sounds like Palin will be stealing the show from McCain for all the wrong reasons.

    September 5, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  26. WA

    Cindy the only edge McSame has is Age! And the only edge Palin has is her attack dog rhetoric! Time will do both in! Too bad McSame won't be elected so you could endure another four years like the last. Apparently a War costing 10 billion per day for no reason, an economy that will only be comparable to Ethiopia's by the time Bush leaves, and a housing market that has been driven underground has not been enough to change your mind!

    September 5, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  27. terry

    Funny, democrats think that obama invented the words ‘change’ and ‘hope’. They’ve been used by every politician long before america became a republic. Somehow McCain’s use of the verbs ‘change’ and ‘hope’ have become the sole property of obama and that McCain stole the words from him.

    September 5, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  28. Maritza

    Palin is sure getting jealous mouths to foam, this is what happens when a smart, strong and confident women enters the political scene, the rage from the numbskull goons on the left has left them bitting their nails , and that's just what Obama's 300 advisors are doing , their working overtime , the worry over how to beat her down , she proved in a very brief amount of time she is able to deliver a TKO in the first round , McCain is real and a clever risk taker, his hunch was right on , this selection is making all liberals wear diapers... Obama better hire another 300 advisors, just concider the comparison, the VP is being put against the #1 spot , wow.... she raised the bar, You can't improvise intelligence, and because she is direct and honest in pointing Obama's false persona, the losers try to degrade her , let's be real ,our nation will prosper and be safe under McCain / Palin , under Obama get ready to sing the Soviet Unions National Anthem.


    September 5, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  29. eric

    Wait for it Cindy; they'll tell you that unlike obama Sen. McCain used the same word more than once, apparently Sen. Obama doesn't do that.

    Funny, democrats think that obama invented the words 'change' and 'hope'. They've been used by every politician long before america became a republic. Somehow McCain's use of the verbs 'change' and 'hope' have become the sole property of obama and that McCain stole the words from him.

    September 5, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  30. Cindy

    I think Sarah is new at this and people wanted to get up close and personal with her. It's no big deal that she stayed out longer than McCain. Don' try making a mountain out of a mole hill.

    And it seems that McCain's speech had more people watching than Obama's! Nielsen has McCain's at 38.9 million while Obama had 38.4. Guess McCain has an edge in him. Oh and it also made McCain's speech the one watched by the most people in history.


    September 5, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  31. Cheri Liu

    Who's the biggest celebrity in the world now?

    September 5, 2008 at 4:17 pm |