Senator John McCain's selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to be his vice
presidential running mate is proving to be very popular with delegates to the
Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota. Most delegates remain
supportive of Palin following revelations that her 17-year-old daughter,
Bristol, who is not married, is pregnant.
VOA National Correspondent Jim
Malone has been talking to some of the convention delegates and has this report
from St. Paul.
Senator McCain's decision to ask Governor Sarah
Palin to be his running mate has energized a party, analysts say, is badly in
need of a boost.
Kansas Senator Sam Brownback tells VOA that the Palin
selection has generated a lot of excitement among social conservatives in a very
"They are really excited," said Senator Brownback. "They are
pumped about it, and they have not been excited in three years. They are pleased
to see somebody who lives the life and who is authentic in her faith and the way
she puts herself forward. They are very excited about it."
admire Palin's opposition to abortion, her support of gun ownership rights and
the fact that she is a hunter. They also see her as a role model - a working
mother who decided to keep her most recent baby, even though the child has Down
So far, that enthusiasm has apparently not been dampened by
revelations that Palin's unmarried daughter Bristol is pregnant. The family says
Bristol will keep the baby and will marry the father.
On another front,
Governor Palin has hired a lawyer in connection with an ethics probe in her home
state of Alaska, which so far has proven to be only a minor
Oklahoma Congresswoman Mary Fallin says most of the
delegates are very impressed with Palin and are sympathetic to her family
"It just shows that she is a real woman that has everyday
problems like American families go through," said Congresswoman Fallin.
"Frankly, I hope that she really talks about how we need to work on teenage
pregnancy. I know in my state, 40 percent of the babies who are born are born to
McCain announced Palin as his vice presidential selection
last Friday, and in the process set off an explosion of support among social
"I know that it will demand the best that I have to give
and I promise nothing less," said Governor Palin.
Texas delegate Marian
Stanko says the Palin selection triggered a strong response among fellow
Republicans in her home area.
"It was absolutely electrifying," said
Marian Stanko. "The mood had completely shifted upward and onward. Not just
women, but there were men calling in saying they were onboard to help, and we
had volunteers showing up at our headquarters."
Anti-tax activist Grover
Norquist is an influential force within the Republican Party on economic issues.
Norquist says Palin's selection will bolster the party among religious
conservatives in the November election.
"Some people talk the talk on
traditional values," said Norquist. "This is a woman who has actually lived
those values, and that really resonates with the religious Republican
conservatives, Roman Catholics and evangelical Protestants."
conservative radio talk show hosts are doing their programs from St. Paul this
week, and they say Palin has proven to be a popular choice with their
Syndicated talk show host Mike Gallagher reaches an audience
of nearly four million listeners each day.
"This is a gun-loving,
hockey-mom, mother of five juggling a career and a staunch pro-life
conservative," said Gallagher. "I have to tell you, it does not get any better
for conservatives if you had written this in a Hollywood
Democrats question whether Palin has enough experience to be
vice president, and whether she is too conservative in her social
Palin has been governor of Alaska less than two years, and prior
to that she served as the mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, which has a population of
Palin's most important test could come in early October when
she will participate in a vice presidential debate with Senator Joseph Biden,
the vice presidential running mate of Democratic presidential candidate Barack