RNC Days 1-2: Palin's Not Perfect, But She's Real : News & Views "Governor Palin is not perfect, but she is REAL."
NPR logo RNC Days 1-2: Palin's Not Perfect, But She's Real

RNC Days 1-2: Palin's Not Perfect, But She's Real

Conventional Wisdom

Guest blogger Princella Smith is in her element at the Republican National Convention. Check out her recaps of day one and two at the RNC.

Smith serves as Chief Advocate for the Platform of the American People at American Solutions, an organization founded by former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich.

Princella Smith

Republican National Convention: Day Two

Well, with the speaker scheduling being shuffled and moved around due to Gustav, there was speculation as to whether or not a speaker line-up could be effective and motivating on day two of the Republican National Convention.

I must say, that from my observations, Tuesday night was "warm-up" night for the Republicans. Many heroes were highlighted and tributes were paid to past Republican Presidents — including George Herbert Walker Bush. When he and his wife Barbara walked in, there was a grand applause reception letting everyone know how much respect the former President and wife still have within the party.

Their daughter-in-law, First Lady Laura Bush, was enchanting as usual ... I think America will miss her, and I have a GREAT DEAL of respect for her. If you think about the grace she has had to exude while her husband takes a beating in the media and entertainment world each day, then you will too.

My view was from one of the press boxes overlooking the entire convention floor. It was quite a spectacle to see all of the Texans waving their cowboy hats back and forth as well as all of the "party faithfuls" in all of their patriotic gear, elephant hats, etc. with chants of "U-S-A, U-S-A!" Of all of the speakers, I'd have to say that Fred Thompson seemed to draw this reaction the most.

His "red meat" approach to defending Gov. Palin while celebrating McCain's record of executive military experience and resilience during his days as a POW, was something that needed to be touted amidst media attacks on Palin and the chaos of batting the swirling rumors about the little-known governor. Thompson's southern "matter-of-fact" style hit-home with crowd when he touted Palin as "the only candidate who can field dress a moose." Hahaha! It's the "tough-girl" look that Republicans love.

"You Never Know Who You're Talking To"

My mother and father used to tell me this frequently, and since I decided to enter the political field, I'm glad that I listened. I'm having a GREAT time attending as many events and parties as possible during convention week.

Just last night, I attended Texas Governor Rick Perry's party sponsored by AT&T. I then hopped to former Governor Mike Huckabee's "standing room only" party where people were enjoying the Governor's band, Capitol Offense. (That one was PACKED!)

My last hop was to club Aqua to see some friends. It was a good time, and you meet all kinds of interesting people which is exactly what happened to me on Monday night — the night there were no convention speakers.

On Monday night, I attended the "Political Chicks" party at Bar Fly. Among many interesting people, I met two good-looking guys who were hanging out with a fun-loving young woman, and the four of us chatted it up for most of the night. I was with another friend who — like me — is an African-American around six feet tall with a strong-build.

We seemed to intrigue the two good-looking guys who wondered what two six feet tall, good-looking black women were doing at all these political events. I laughed and responded to them: "What? Good-looking young women can't hang out at political events? I'm really just a nerd."

Anyway, as I'm watching the convention from one of the press boxes, I can also see what each of the major news outlets are covering on television screens. I looked up to see the FOX News, CNN, and MSNBC monitors and found to my extreme surprise that those two good-looking guys and the woman they were traveling with were guests of honor for the convention!

One of the speakers, a Vietnam veteran, was speaking about them on the stage, and there they were on the television monitors hugging the former President, Mrs. Barbara Bush, Doro Koch-Bush, and Cindy McCain. "WHAT??," I exclaimed. It re-confirmed that my mom and dad were right. "You never know who you're talking to."


Republican National Convention: Day One

With Hurricane Gustav and the announcement of vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's daughter's pregnancy, this has already been one interesting convention week. These two items have both taken away from the efforts to showcase the newly formed GOP ticket — or has it?

My Thoughts on the Palin "Issue"

Governor Palin's daughter's pregnancy is not unlike many situations known to many other Americans. Who doesn't know someone either in their own families or in someone else's, who has been through or is going through this situation? For the media to play this up as if it were some drama on the CW Network is simply classless. I must say that I am highly disappointed in the lack of restraint exercised by the media. Okay — her daughter's pregnant ... does this mean that somehow Palin will be less of a public servant? Will she still not have the same abilities to perform in her job?

1. As a female, I am offended by many who ask, "What kind of mother and grandmother will Gov. Palin be if she is the vice president and not home with her kids and new grandchild 24/7?" Excuse me?? When is this question EVER asked of a male candidate? Many men spend days and days away from their families to fulfill time consuming jobs, and it seldom if ever asked of them if their job is enabling them to spend enough time with their children.

2. Governor Palin is not perfect, but she is REAL. She has a real family, which has things happen to it like real families. She and her husband have had a 20-year marriage with five children; they love their daughter and her fianc?? and look forward to being caring grandparents. If she had a son who had fathered a child out of wedlock, I wonder would it receive the same amount of scrutiny and coverage. Newsflash for those with double-standards: it takes TWO PEOPLE TO CREATE A CHILD. It is time-out for the pregnant teenage girl to bear ALL of the shame/guilt that people associate with unwed pregnancies. The abstinence-before-marriage belief applies to both the male AND the female, and the more that men are allowed to "sow their wild oats," the number of "pure" women is reduced, so maybe we ought to begin holding both sexes accountable, eh? ... Now, does anyone want to discuss the energy crisis and politics?

What's Princella Been Up To?

First, let me say that many events were also turned into fundraising efforts for the victims of Hurricane Gustav. So, before while many Republicans "got their party on," they dropped some cash in a fund for their American neighbors of the South.

I went to the "Political Chicks" party sponsored by the Lifetime Television Network and a political group from Washington, D.C. called RightNOW! So much fun! I was also followed around by cameras for a good part of the day by Youth Radio, which is one of the shows on NPR. They covered me in 2004, when I won an MTV/RNC speech and essay contest allowing me to speak at the Republican National Convention in New York, and now they are doing a follow-up story four years later.

Essence magazine conducted an interview with me about being "black and a conservative. It was an honor, of course, as I am a fan of the publication which does a FANTASTIC job of displaying black women opposite of the stereotypical negative light that is so many times bestowed upon us.

However, I must say that it amuses me somewhat for people to ask me that question as if all African-Americans should think monolithically ... No speeches were given last night, but I hear it's back to business as usual for Tuesday night ... looking forward!

About