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So what’s the difference between a hockey mom and a pitbull?
“Lipstick,” says Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who then launched into a speech at the Republican National Convention tonight that made it clear she’s not afraid of a good fight – and she’s not afraid of a national stage.

You’ve got to give her credit. Despite being subjected to several days of blistering analysis and second-guessing concerning her background and inexperience, Palin, 44, was feisty, funny and, more than anything, very comfortable in her own skin – and in her new role as running mate for Republican presidential nominee John McCain. In fact, she seemed to enjoy her moment under the magnifying glass.

In introducing each member of her family, Palin also showed she isn’t going to shy away from talking about her family issues – the subject of much discussion of late – or her level of experience. When discussing some of the reforms she made after assuming the role of governor in 2006, she noted, ” . . . I got rid of a few things in the governor’s office that I didn’t believe our citizens should have to pay for. That luxury jet was over the top. I put it on eBay. I also drive myself to work. And I thought we could muddle through without the governor’s personal chef – although I’ve got to admit that sometimes my kids sure miss her.”

She also got off some digs at the members of the media who have criticized her selection. “Here’s a little news flash for all those reporters and commentators: I’m not going to Washington to seek their good opinion – I’m going to Washington to serve the people of this country.”

She even turned the tables and went after Democratic nominee Barack Obama for his lack of administrative experience. “We’ve all heard his dramatic speeches before devoted followers. And there is much to like and admire about our opponent. But listening to him speak, it’s easy to forget that this is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform – not even in the state Senate.”
She was effective in introducing herself to the nation, although she was less effective in terms of laying out her vision – and McCain’s – for the nation and for the next four years.

Nonetheless, one had the feeling this was not the speech of someone who the GOP is going to let shrink away should McCain lose in November.
What did you think?

– Paul Gullixson