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No doubt there are a few chastened faux feminists and media types out there this morning who had been praying hard for Sarah Palin to stumble and fall during last night’s acceptance speech.

As readers of A Rake’s Progress know, despite our concerns about her policy positions, we believe the media and Democratic Party’s treatment of Palin and her family has been disgraceful. It was time to balance their treachery with Palin’s wit, humor, insight, and political fearlessness. She was magnificent. She quickly made the “good old boys” seem bad, really old, and just boys.

Elucidating the obvious, the New York Times said today that it now depends on how she does on the campaign trail, dealing with the reality of day-to-day politicking. Duh. Think we all had that figured out.

Here are some of the media reviews of Palin’s speech:

• Christian Science Monitor

If there’s one song the McCain campaign is singing this morning – probably very loudly – it’s Toby Keith’s “How do you like me now?”

Vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin might be humming it too after a speech that’s being called electrifying, amazing, even “Reaganesque.”

The consensus among pundits was that the speech was well delivered and that she gave a confident, forceful performance — no wonder her nickname is “Sarah Barracuda.”

• USA TODAY — Combative and funny:“Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin introduced herself to the nation with a combative, funny and patriotic speech highlighting experience she says is more valuable than the Democratic ticket’s. (Go herefor the rest of usatoday.com’s political coverage.)

The Politico — Red flag for Democrats: “Palin wows GOP, puts Dems on notice.”

• ABC News — Hard hit at Obama: ” ‘Average hockey mom’ slams Obama’s ‘change’ mantra.”

The New York Times — Party loves it:“Palin assails critics and electrifies party.

• CBS News’ The Early Show— Biden didn’t hear her talk about some issues:“I think it was a skillfully delivered political speech with confidence and directness and so I think she did what she was supposed to do,” said Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden, the senator from Delaware. “I was impressed. I was also impressed by what I didn’t hear in the speech. I didn’t hear a word — didn’t hear the phrase middle class mentioned, I didn’t hear a word about health care. I didn’t hear a single word about what we’re going to do about the housing crisis, college education, all the things that the middle class is being burdened by now. I didn’t hear the words Afghanistan or Pakistan where al-Qaeda lives and bin Laden resides, so I also, you know, there was a deafening silence about the hole that the Republicans have dug us into and any specific answers to how the McCain-Palin ticket is going to get us out of that hole.”

The Washington Post(TV critic Tom Shales) — Palin is now a star: “If the Republicans win the presidential election in November, it may well be said that they won it last night — the night that John McCain’s brilliantly screwy choice for a running mate changed from laughingstock to national star.”

Highlights from Alaska governor and Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin’s convention speech on Sept 3, 2008.

On the nomination:

“I accept the call to help our nominee for president to serve and defend America. I accept the challenge of a tough fight in this election, against confident opponents at a crucial hour for our country. I accept the privilege of serving with a man who has come through much harder missions, met far graver challenges and knows how tough fights are won – the next president of the United States, John S McCain.”

On John McCain:

“He’s a man who wore the uniform of this country for 22 years, and refused to break faith with those troops in Iraq who have now brought victory within sight. And as the mother of one of those troops, that is exactly the kind of man I want as commander in chief.”

On her family:

“It’s two boys and three girls in between – my strong and kindhearted daughters Bristol, Willow, and Piper. And in April, my husband Todd and I welcomed our littlest one into the world, a perfectly beautiful baby boy named Trig. From the inside, no family ever seems typical. That’s how it is with us. Our family has the same ups and downs as any other, the same challenges and the same joys. Sometimes even the greatest joys bring challenge. And children with special needs inspire a special love.”

On her political career:

“I was just your average hockey mom, and signed up for the PTA (parent, teacher association) because I wanted to make my kids’ public education better. When I ran for city council, I didn’t need focus groups and voter profiles because I knew those voters, and knew their families, too.”

On Barack Obama:

“We don’t quite know what to make of a candidate who lavishes praise on working people when they are listening, and then talks about how bitterly they cling to their religion and guns when those people aren’t listening. We tend to prefer candidates who don’t talk about us one way in Scranton and another way in San Francisco.”

On the media:

“I’ve learnt quickly, these past few days, that if you’re not a member in good standing of the Washington elite, then some in the media consider a candidate unqualified for that reason alone. But here’s a little news flash for all those reporters and commentators: I’m not going to Washington to seek their good opinion – I’m going to Washington to serve the people of this country.”

On public spending:

“I got rid of a few things in the [Alaska] governor’s office that I didn’t believe our citizens should have to pay for. That luxury jet was over the top. I put it on eBay. I also drive myself to work. And 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.”

On oil:

“When a hurricane strikes in the Gulf of Mexico, this country should not be so dependent on imported oil that we are forced to draw from our Strategic Petroleum Reserve. And families cannot throw away more and more of their paychecks on gas and heating oil. With Russia wanting to control a vital pipeline in the Caucasus, and to divide and intimidate our European allies by using energy as a weapon, we cannot leave ourselves at the mercy of foreign suppliers. We Americans need to produce more of our own oil and gas.”

On Obama’s foreign policy:

“This is a man who can give an entire speech about the wars America is fighting, and never use the word “victory” except when he’s talking about his own campaign. But when the cloud of rhetoric has passed, when the roar of the crowd fades away, when the stadium lights go out, and those styrofoam Greek columns are hauled back to some studio lot, what exactly is our opponent’s plan?”

On Obama’s economic policy:

“His tax increases are the fine print in his economic plan, and let me be specific. The Democratic nominee for president supports plans to raise income taxes, raise payroll taxes, raise investment income taxes, raise the death tax, raise business taxes and increase the tax burden on the American people by hundreds of billions of dollars.”

* AP and staff

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