Day 3: The Republican National Convention (Update)

Newly picked Vice Presidential nominee Gov. Sarah Palin is set to take the stage tonight delivering what some are calling the “speech of her life.” I don’t know if I’d go quite that far, however, it will certainly be important considering the intense media scrutiny.

The 2008 Republican National Convention today announced the full program of events for Wednesday, Sept. 3. The evening’s program will feature remarks by Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican Party’s nominee for vice president. Among the other speakers participating in this evening’s program are former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. The speakers’ remarks will reflect the convention’s overall theme, “Country First,” and the theme for Wednesday’s events, which is “reform.”

Report on Palin’s speech and appearance from MyWay:

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – After two days of silence, Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin will step to center stage at the Republican National Convention to prove to delegates that she can help John McCain win the White House despite distracting questions about her family life and qualifications.

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, once McCain’s rival for the GOP presidential nomination, was to deliver the convention’s keynote address Wednesday. Both Palin, 44, and McCain, 72, also were to be officially voted onto the GOP presidential ticket by convention delegates.

Republicans hoped Palin’s speech – to be delivered before a nationwide television audience Wednesday night – would sell voters on her candidacy despite questions about her qualifications and the thoroughness of McCain’s selection process, to say nothing of the continuing distractions involving her family and her brief tenure as governor.

The addition of Palin to the ticket has excited Republicans here and across the country. She has earned a reputation for taking on entrenched interests in Alaska and is staunchly pro-gun and anti-abortion.

But the stunning disclosure Monday that Palin’s unmarried 17-year-old daughter, Bristol, is five months pregnant – and a continuing drip of potentially embarrassing details – had knocked the convention off message before a rousing program Tuesday night.

Speakers extolled McCain as a war hero and maverick senator while blasting Obama as an untested liberal. The 47-year-old Illinois senator is seeking to become the first black president.

“Democrats present a history-making nominee for president. History-making in that he is the most liberal, most inexperienced nominee ever to run for president,” former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson said as delegates roared with delight.

Another report from Reuters:

ST. PAUL (Reuters) – Sarah Palin has dominated the Republican convention for days without making a public appearance but on Wednesday she takes the spotlight with a prime-time speech that will introduce her to American voters.

Since John McCain made the nearly unknown Palin his No. 2, the Alaska governor has been at the center of a media storm fueled by disclosures about her unmarried teenage daughter’s pregnancy, a probe into her role in an Alaskan official’s firing and questions about the her political record.

McCain, 72, an Arizona senator, and Palin will be nominated by the convention on Wednesday to face Democrat Barack Obama and his vice presidential running mate, Joe Biden, in the November 4 presidential election.

Palin’s anti-abortion and pro-gun record have excited conservatives and party activists but the appearance on Wednesday will be her first chance to directly tell American voters her life story and philosophy.

It comes just five days after McCain shocked the U.S. political world by introducing the 44-year-old first-term governor as his running mate at an Ohio rally.

Will update again when the official prime time scheduled has been released.

Update

Video from the Associated Press of Gov. Palin exploring the convention stage:

Gov. Palin is scheduled to speak around 10:30 pm eastern.

More to come later..

Update

Former eBay CEO and McCain supporter Meg Whitman:

Former HP CEO and current McCain adviser Carly Fiorina:

Former Massachusetts Governor and 2008 Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney:

Former Arkansas Governor and 2008 Republican Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee:

Update

Rudy Giuliani’s entire convention speech:

Report on Giuliani’s keynote speech from Yahoo News:

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Rudy Giuliani, mayor of New York during the Sept. 11 attacks, said Wednesday night that Barack Obama and the Democrats “are in a state of denial” about the threat of terrorism against the United States.

Giuliani said Republican presidential candidate John McCain can be trusted to confront and defeat “anything that terrorists do to us.”

He reminded the Republican National Convention that he’d said in a Republican campaign debate a year ago that had he not been running for president himself, he would have been supporting McCain.

“Well, I’m not, and I do,” he said in what was to have been a keynote address but wound up late on the convention agenda.

One by one, Giuliani, Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee, all losers to McCain in the contest for the Republican nomination, urged delegates to send their former rival to the White House. The also-rans teamed up in a head-on lunge at Obama, questioning his ability to protect the nation in perilous times and delivering a hard-line partisan call to GOP arms on behalf of the man who ran against them — and beat them — with a promise to be less partisan.

The three told the convention that McCain and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, his running mate, are the right choice for the future of America and that Obama would be the wrong one.

Giuliani praised Palin as “one of the most successful governors in America — and the most popular.”

She’s been governor for two years, after eight as mayor of tiny Wasilla, but Giuliani said she’s ready for the vice presidency. “She already has more executive experience than the entire Democratic ticket,” he said.

Giuliani said Obama is a celebrity senator without a record of leadership or legislation.

“He’s the least experienced candidate for president of the United States in at least the last 100 years,” he said to the cheering, chanting convention. “Nobama, nobama,” came the chants from the floor and the galleries. And “Zero, zero” when Giuliani said Obama has no experience.

Giuliani said that is not a personal attack — “it’s a statement of fact. Barack Obama has never led anything. Nothing, Nada …

“The choice in this election comes down to substance over style,” he said. “John McCain has been tested. Barack Obama has not.”

With that, Giuliani turned to the subject that once led Sen. Joe Biden, now the Democratic vice presidential nominee, to say that his sentences as candidate consisted only of a noun, a verb and 9-11. Giuliani came to national note with his personal leadership in New York after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001, which killed nearly 3,000 people. His work in rallying the city vaulted him into the presidential race.

Giuliani sort of acted as the “attack dog” tonight by directly taking on Barack Obama on several fronts.

Update

Here is the video of the entire speech delivered by Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin:

Report on Palin’s speech from Yahoo News:

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Claiming her historic spot on the Republican ticket, vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin uncorked a slashing attack on Barack Obama Wednesday night and vowed to help John McCain bring real change to Washington.

“Victory in Iraq is finally in sight; he wants to forfeit,” she said of the Democratic presidential nominee.

“Al-Qaida terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America; he’s worried that someone won’t read them their rights.

“Government is too big; he wants to grow it.”

A packed Republican convention hall roared at every line delivered by the 44-year-old Alaska governor, the first woman ever named to a Republican national ticket.

The Alaska governor had top billing at the convention on a night delegates also lined up for a noisy roll call of the states to deliver their presidential nomination to McCain. At 72, the Arizona senator is the oldest first-time nominee in history, collecting his party’s top prize after pursuing it for the better part of a decade.

After days of convention-week controversy, much of it surrounding her 17-year-old, unmarried pregnant daughter, Palin drew cheers from the moment she stepped onto the convention stage, hundreds of camera flashes reflecting off her glasses.

“Our family has the same ups and downs as any other, the same challenges and the same joys,” she said as the audience signaled its understanding.

In her solo debut on the national stage, she traced her career from the local PTA to the governor’s office, casting herself as a maverick in the McCain mold, and seemed to delight in poking fun at her critics and her ticketmate’s political rivals.

Since taking office as governor, she said she had taken on the oil industry, brought the state budget into surplus and vetoed nearly one-half billion dollars in wasteful spending.

“I thought we could muddle through without the governor’s personal chef — although I’ve got to admit that sometimes my kids sure miss her.”

Not surprisingly, her best-received lines were barbs at Obama.

“I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a `community organizer,’ except that you have actual responsibilities,” she said, a reference to Obama’s stint as a community organizer.

No arguing that tonight was a successful night for McCain and a very successful night for Palin. Her speech was chock full of red meat content for conservatives who desperately need reasons to get excited about McCain. Of course, her candidacy will continue to play out over the next few weeks as we find out where the polls are going to settle.

John McCain is going to have a tough time topping Palin’s speech in front of this convention crowd.

Update

Various media reactions to Palin’s speech:

MSNBC:

CBS News:

More to come shortly…