NPR logo Piper Palin: Future Stylist

Piper Palin: Future Stylist

Last night, Governor Sarah Palin spoke at the Republican National Convention. The reviews are mixed:

A. She worked the words effectively, and with charisma.
B. She connected with her audience, and brought the red meat.
C. She said little of substance, and almost sounded petty.
D. She sounded unpackaged, but failed to convince me of her qualifications.
E. Her youngest daughter, Piper, is adorable, and has the makings of a future hair stylist.
F. A & B
G. A & C
H. (yes, H) None of the above.

If you answered "E," look on.

That was 6-year-old Piper Palin grooming her brother Trig's hair. Gotta keep up appearances, right?

How did you receive Sarah Palin's big speech last night? Did she do what she needed to do, and did she say what you needed to hear?



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

As a woman, and the mother of a daughter, I watched Sarah Palin with curiosity and hope. I was very disappointed.

Palin's speech was not effective for me. I felt she was patronizing to the American people and that she resorted to cheap tricks. Anyone who has followed this election could see how much she was manipulating and stretching in order to shed a negative light on Obama's policies. Palin was also personally insulting toward Obama. I think this very foolish as the he and his fellow democrats were so gracious toward McCain in their speeches last week.

Palin spent so much time taking stabs at Obama that I became very aware of the lack of convincing speech about her or her running mate. She did not come across to me as very smart or dignified.

Perhaps if Palin had focused more on the policies and reforms the McCain-Palin ticket has to offer, and less on trash-talking, she would have made a better impression on me.

Obama has my vote.

Sent by tina ontiveros | 12:08 PM | 9-4-2008

Palin's speech, though well read, and composed, lacked substance.
Fear mongering, rhetoric, and claims that a man with more experince than she has ever had is UN-experienced mired the speech to an almost impalpable event.
She seemed eager to ignore the "issues" she helped to "fix" in Alaska were primarily caused by her fellow party members.
After her speech, any question that she was brought on to win over Hilary fans were shattered. She is the ideolgic yang to Hilary's campaign.

Sent by Thomas | 1:04 PM | 9-4-2008

Was it just me or was John Mccain acting very strangly when he joined Gov. Palin on the stage? ....after she gave just a fantastic speech, the crowd in a frenzy, the whole, big family out on stage...McCain comes out...and he practically ignores her, turns his back repeatedly, kept making those classic on-stage asides to her husband, not to her she seemed to keep trying to get around for him to see her... when he finally says something and goes to look at her, he has no idea where she is.... His body language as so uncomfortable...really weird...

Sent by jj | 2:49 PM | 9-4-2008

Anyone want to comment on the implications of Palin using Truman as the "good old boy" for comparison? Didn't the speech writers consider the point that Truman became President because Roosevelt died in office? Is that creepy or what?

That's either another 'oversight' or an odd bit of subliminal messaging

Sent by Dave M | 3:26 PM | 9-4-2008

Sarah was fantastic. Excellent delivery, a lot of great substance. She is the one! Her daughter holding little Trig and smoothing his hair -- that was pure, innocent love. What a beautiful picture it was. All in all a fantastic evening!!

Sent by Jill in Hudsonville, Michigan | 3:29 PM | 9-4-2008

A beautiful picture? A contrived picture, maybe.

Did anyone else notice the quick makeover given to Bristol's boyfriend. Look up some of his myspace pictures and you will see that before his appearence he was given a clean haircut, shave, mature conservative clothes and a tan!

How can Palin try to negate the Democratic campaign for judging her on her gender and subsequent ability? Isn't it obvious that her party chose her based on her gender and therefore is typecasting her just the same.

I thought it was reminiscent of a High School Pep Rally and was amused to catch a few in the crowd with the same look of disgust that was on my face as I watched .

Sent by Katie | 4:10 PM | 9-4-2008

I was disappointed with Sarah Palin's approach to politics. She had the opportunity to take the high road and discuss issues and plan. Instead she made one liners as a comic at an open mike. She is a very good hatchet woman to Mc Cain's straight lines and if that will be her role then I would want a more seasoned comic. The USA needs serious people with serious intent to help dig us out of this deep hole. I would not feel at all comfortable with the red phone next to her bed as the next in line to John Mc Cain.

Sent by Sara L. Cita | 4:46 PM | 9-4-2008

As others have noted Palin has the ability to give a spirited delivery of a speech written to excite the base, borrowing a few of Hillary Clinton's hand gestures. However, not much original thought, it was written before she was selected and had to be re-worked a bit to fit her bio. As an Independent I did NOT feel welcomed by the content of the speech nor her delivery, in fact at times I felt rejected and degraded. She discounted the position of community organizer as if it was a do nothing position that required no leadership or managerial skills--seems like a good way to offend all the faith-based altruistic volunteers the Republicans expect to replace government intervention. Many average, working, middle-class people who were hoodwinked by the Republican Party of 'family values' and bought into their 'liberal' bashing eight years ago are now being helped by those same community organizers and 'liberals' at shelters across the country because the economic policies of the last eight years have propelled them into poverty. In my opinion, her speech just demonstrated more of the same hypocritical, divisive, attack, partisan politics. I really wonder if humans will ever evolve to the point where they can agree to disagree without tearing apart the opposition; it seems so juvenile and barbaric at the same time especially when we are facing a worldwide environmental and economic crisis.

Sent by Ali Harrod | 10:27 PM | 9-4-2008

As optimistic as I was to hear a woman as a VP candidate speak to the nation, I feel things were all a little contrived (along with the facts a little doctored). As a mother of three young children, I wonder why her infant wasn't somewhere quiet sleeping at that time of night - I don't want to think it was for the sake of a photo-op. While I have had times I didn't have a babysitter, I don't think this would be the case with a governor. Would a male candidate feel he had to bring his infants to the RNC and keep them up hours past their bedtime?

Sent by Kelly Sanna-Gouin | 12:38 PM | 9-5-2008

:::sigh::: I had higher hopes for a qualified woman candidate. She's just not it.

Sent by kristin | 3:27 PM | 9-5-2008

It's hard or me to believe that Piper Palin patting down her brother's hair was 'contrived'.

To my knowledge, the RNC didn't control the cameras - even if they did, would they have been focusing on the protesters during the McCain speech? I think not. If the RNC had controlled the cameras, would they have cut to Bristol and her boyfriend 62,000 times during the first 5 minutes of Sarah Palin's speech? Again, I think not.

Even if the RNC controlled the cameras, if it were 'contrived', 6-year old Piper would have to be in on the plan. Did she have an earpiece with a producer saying "Piper, cue to you in 3..2..1... now lick your hand and pat your brother's hair!"

Yeah right.

The only thing the Palin's did was attend the speech - something that every other family has done or ages.

Sent by Ted | 3:10 AM | 9-6-2008

Why should we be surprised that NPR and the majority of its listeners are any less extreme in their views than any of the other media outlets that are in the tank for Obama. Reading some of these comments is laughable. For 40+ years we have been told by feminists and their ilk that women can do anything, and now a Republican/Conservative woman from Alaska shows us that women on their own CAN do anything. The response from you liberals is she needs to stay home. I'm sure if Sarah Palin was a Democrat and if anybody on the right made similar comments they would be called out in the press for the villains they are always made out to be. Whether you Democrats or Liberals (or whatever you call yourselves) label those on the right as racists or sexists your hypocrisy is always so blatant and erases any successes of the people you claim to protect. Keep up the great work!

Sent by John J | 1:02 PM | 9-6-2008

"That's bad parenting", my daughter said, pointing to the T.V. during Sarah Palin's speech at the RNC. "What do you mean?", I asked. "Well, it must be very, very LOUD down there on the floor where the baby is, and it is probably not good for his ears", she clarified. Sure enough, she was right and her point was clear and irrefutable. As a pediatrician, I counsel parents to keep their infants out of public places with a high presence of viral germs (malls, sporting events, RNCs, etc) until they are at least 3-4 months old. Further, most pediatricians do not advise exposing infants under a year of age to extremely loud or prolonged harsh noises. The decibel level during Sarah Palin's speech must have rivaled being on the tarmac at JFK as a jet is taking off. Further, as is often the case for infants with Down's syndrome, the baby may not verbalize displeasure in the usual way, and may remain placid rather than crying even if the noise is very bothersome. Then they brought the baby back for John McCain's speech the very next night, which was likely even LOUDER. I just think that most parents would not bring their infant into such a chaotic place. Not only did Sarah Palin do it, but she wanted all of us to see her do it. I think it is hypocritical for her to be the face of Republican Family values if she is so cavalier about placing her most defenseless child in a relatively harmful environment. Maybe everybody in the crowd should have said "Shhh....quiet down, there's a baby in the room" instead of going NUTS, which is what they all did. Poor baby.

Sent by Suneil K. Koliwad, MD, PhD | 7:36 PM | 9-8-2008