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First impressions

Reaction to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's speech at the Republican National Convention on Wednesday:

Sen. Joe Biden, the Democratic vice presidential nominee

"I thought she had a great night. I thought she had a very skillfully written and very skillfully delivered political speech, and I was impressed with her. I was also impressed with what I didn't hear. I didn't hear a word mentioned about the middle class or health care or about how people are going to fill up their gas tanks. …

"By the way, they're good, funny lines, I've got to admit. I'm glad they weren't about me. You know, I was sitting there thinking, 'Whoa, look at that zinger.' And they were well-delivered."

Linda Beebe, 59, a voter in Michigan who had been leaning toward Sen. Barack Obama

"Could we drop off (John) McCain and just have her? She's talking about the things that concern myself and people I know. I know there's a big world out there, but if we're not healthy at home, how can we help outside home? She sounds pretty good."

Robert Gibbs, Obama campaign communications director

"Not surprisingly, she was very poised and delivered an excellent speech. … Some people seem to be surprised by it. But I don't think many of us were. I think she did a very good job. …

"I was struck not just by this speech but the speeches throughout the night were exceedingly negative, exceedingly divisive. And it sounded a lot like the politics that we're used to in the last eight years."

Heather Bruce, Palin's sister

"It was amazing to watch her. It really was. She's very resilient. We've always called her thick-skinned and tenacious, just emotionally strong. I was just very, very impressed with her composure throughout all of this — these days since she has been nominated. It's been pretty amazing to watch."

Carly Fiorina, RNC Victory 2008 chair

"I mean, this is obviously a woman who sounds the same whether she's talking to 5,000 people or five people. I'm not surprised that the American people want to know more. But I think she did a wonderful job last night of talking about why John McCain, of illustrating why John McCain picked her, talking about her family, but also talking about her approach. What a mayor's job is really like? What a governor's job is really like? And I think she also was able to demonstrate wonderful expertise and fluency with the energy issue, which is so critical."

Democratic strategist Joe Trippi

"She passed this test with flying colors, but this one was controlled, a crowd that adored her with a TelePrompTer. Now she has to go out, face the press, answer their questions, see how she does against Joe Biden. But if you are the Democrats right now, you're taking this thing a lot more seriously."

Marilyn Anderson, owner of the Mug Shot Saloon in Wasilla

"It was like a star is born, as they say."

Times wires

First impressions 09/04/08 [Last modified: Saturday, September 6, 2008 2:47pm]
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