John McCain's vice president running mate, Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin was hammered in the media the past couple of days. So her Republican Convention speech drew a lot of attention. Was she tough enough to take all the media heat? Or would she be a deer in the headlights? Well, she came across as one tough lady. She was warm and personable and yet hard hitting and assertive.
She took some major shots at the media and Washington elites in addition to Obama. The media commentators generally acknowledged she did a very good job and passed the first major test of her nomination. She can give it as good as she can take it. She dealt with attacks on her inexperience by using sarcasm and humor to compare her experience with Obama's .
The political comparison which comes to mind is Margaret Thatcher who was known for being very tough. I get the sense that Palin has the same toughness yet she also has a likability factor which connects with people.
She has really struck a cord with conservatives who don't necessarily really know her well, but they know that personally, culturally and on the issues she's very conservative.
Contrary to past election history, Palin could have a major impact on the election by energizing conservatives to actively get behind McCain and attracting working class Independents and Democrats. The latter maybe not in a major way, but if things are tight she could make the difference.
Of course, there are a lot of opportunities for her to misstep before Election Day, but her convention speech has given her enormous credibility and momentum heading out of the convention.