Palin accepts VP nod on day three

Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin waves to the crowd as she prepares to address the Republican National Convention on Wednesday in St. Paul.

Charlie Neibergall, AP Photo

Ashley Goetz

Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin waves to the crowd as she prepares to address the Republican National Convention on Wednesday in St. Paul. Charlie Neibergall, AP Photo

The Republican PartyâÄôs message Wednesday night was simple: America, meet Sarah Palin. In the first major address as vice presidential candidate, Alaska Gov. Palin introduced herself, addressed naysayers and took several shots at her Democratic opponents Barack Obama and Sen. Joe Biden. Following the speech, delegates officially nominated Palin and John McCain as the partyâÄôs candidates. âÄúI guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a community organizer,âÄù she said of ObamaâÄôs past experience in Chicago, âÄúexcept that you have actual responsibilities.âÄù She began her address âÄî following a near three-minute standing ovation from delegates and onlookers âÄî in support of her McCain. Many signs in the crowd read âÄúPalin Power.âÄù âÄúOur nominee for president is a true profile in courage, and people like that are hard to come by,âÄù she said. âÄúThat is exactly the kind of man I want as commander in chief.âÄù In rebuking attacks on her experience she spoke at length about her time as a mayor, and then governor of Alaska. âÄúI took on the old politics as usual in Juneau,âÄù she said. âÄúI stood up to the special interests, the lobbyists, big oil companies, and the good-olâÄô-boysâÄô network.âÄù She invoked her record as aligned with McCainâÄôs reputation as a maverick. âÄúWith the support of the citizens of Alaska, we shook things up,âÄù she said. âÄúIn short order, we put the government of our state back on the side of the people.âÄù She also spoke about her family roots and described herself as a hockey mom. âÄúI was just your average hockey mom,âÄù she said. WhatâÄôs the difference between hockey moms and pitbulls, she asked. Lipstick, she replied. The remark prompted chants of âÄúhockey momsâÄù from the Michigan delegation wearing red and white hockey jerseys. Earlier in the evening, Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle addressed the crowd, vouching for Palin as an experienced leader and fellow Republican governor. She said being mayor and governor is âÄúoutstanding preparation for running for higher office.âÄù âÄúThe people of Hawaii and Alaska will tell you, Sarah and I are doing just fine,âÄù Lingle said. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani used his time at the podium to both attack Obama and Biden and tout PalinâÄôs potential. âÄúJohn McCain has chosen for the future,âÄù he said. âÄúThis is a woman who has no fear, this is a woman who stands up for whatâÄôs right.âÄù Likewise, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee explained to those at the Xcel Energy Center that McCain and PalinâÄôs values were in line with conservative voters, something that was of concern for the Arizona senator during the primaries. In a speech that was a mix of attacks on Obama and Biden and stumping for McCain and Palin, Huckabee delivered a blow that did both. âÄú[Palin] got more votes running for mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, than Joe Biden did running for president of the United States,âÄù he said. Still, it was PalinâÄôs night, and she had the last word and gave it to her running mate. âÄúFor a season, a gifted speaker can inspire with his words,âÄù she said. âÄúFor a lifetime, John McCain has inspired with his deeds.âÄù