Palin silences critics with first speech
Republican running mate Sarah Palin fought back at her critics in her first key address to the Republican National Convention last night.
Her speech came as Republican US presidential candidate John McCain slammed the media for questioning the way his running mate Sarah Palin’s candidacy was vetted, following shock revelations that Palin’s 17-yearold unmarried daughter is pregnant.
The news has cast a dark shadow over McCain’s campaign, just days after he chose the the virtually unknown Alaskan governor for vice president. Her nomination as running mate snatched the spotlight from Barack Obama’s speech at the Democratic Convention.
Palin has been at the centre of a media storm fuelled by disclosures about her unmarried teenage daughter’s pregnancy, a probe into her role in an Alaskan official’s firing and questions about her political record.
McCain’s team denied claims it had not checked her background thoroughly.
Palin’s anti-abortion and pro-gun history have excited conservatives and party activists but the appearance last night was the first chance for American voters to judge her for themselves.
“She made her first impression on Republicans in Ohio last Friday when McCain introduced her,” said Fergus Cullen, chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party.
“Now she can make a first impression on the rest of the country,” he added.
McCain, 72, an Arizona senator, and Palin will face Democrat Barack Obama and his vice presidential running mate, Delaware Sen. Joe Biden, in the 4 November presidential election. The McCain campaign fired back yesterday, releasing a television ad comparing Palin’s experience with the qualifications of Obama, a first term senator from Illinois.
Obama said the Republicans had barely mentioned the faltering US economy – a top concern of voters.