Within the first few minutes of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's speech Wednesday night at the Republican National Convention, my phone started to light up with text messages. I could instantly tell that my liberal friends (and there are many) were nervous.
Palin, the future president and next vice president of the United States, had something to say.
The messages started with simple admissions, like, "She's doing well." As the humor-filled speech unfolded, my text messages increased: "She's doing well" became, "Wow!" The evening ended with scared muses and hostile phrases like, "We still have two more months," and "But how many hockey moms could there actually be in America?"
The liberals were scared. How could one speech completely change their minds and make them go from laughing at Palin to fearing her?
Palin was confident, funny, real, and 100 percent American. Their whiplash over the last 48 hours was made more evident by the media's simplicity and the way they thought about Palin. Wolff Blitzer's bias came out like I've never seen. He and CNN gambled that Palin was going down, so they piled on her over the last several days. They questioned the vetting process and her qualifications.
They decided she wasn't up to the job. They reported on each other reporting about the rumors. It was a media circus made for CNN television.
As U.S. Weekly stories became worthy of political commentating, the frenzy about Palin's pro-life stance became straight-faced diatribes that questioned her parental skills. Grown feminists were asking if a woman with young children should be able to be vice president. It was totally out of hand, and the liberals were living in their own world as Blitzer kept talking.
Was this the party of Hillary?
Nope. It was the new Democratic Party of Barack Obama, where the radical left is in control.
Enter Sarah Palin: The hockey mom and beauty queen knows what to do when her enemies are distracted by their own frenzy. She clearly knows how to take the pressure, but the media actually helped Palin out. They lowered expectations for themselves and their viewers and forced a crisis for Republican presidential nominee John McCain.
Reading the graphics on CNN and MSNBC the morning after Palin's speech at the RNC led viewers to believe there was a crisis. My liberal friends were ecstatic: "She's a joke," one said.
Liberals and their media friends had decided that Palin wasn't qualified to be a mom, let alone the next vice president. The media fed itself — every outlet trying to pile on even more — with little individual reporting. Reporters told me that Palin would be out by Friday.
But Palin came on strong and proved that small-town American values are not hokey.
She showed that her sound judgement and real-world experience had more in common with regular people than Obama's radical left.
She gave voice to the parents of special needs children, economically struggling families, women who work because they must, career women who choose to work, parents who don't miss their children's sporting events, and rural America.
She demonstrated that her appeal should not be underestimated as it was over the last couple of days. She proved you can be simple and strong, loving and ready to fight, a woman, and a proud Republican.
As the East Coast media elites and their liberal friends try to dismiss her as unqualified, Palin proved she understands America more than Obama. She is proud of her country even as she tries to improve it. And at the end of the day, she proved that her selection not only energized the base of the Republican Party, but extended a hand to the independents, too.
The same reporter who first told me, "She'd be toast by Friday," said, after Palin's acceptance speech, that Obama must be wishing that McCain had picked Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty as his running mate.
What a country!
Richard Grenell serves as director of communications and public diplomacy for the United States permanent representative to the United Nations and has spent the last 14 years as the primary communications adviser for public officials.
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