CBNNews.com - Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, a virtual unknown less than a week ago, stepped into the national spotlight to make an historic acceptance speech as the GOP's nominee for Vice President of the United States, Wednesday night.
Palin's speech was perhaps the most anticipated speech to be given by a vice presidential candidate in recent history. She is the first woman to be selected for the position for the Republican party. Watch Sarah Palin's entire speech here.
For more insight into Palin's speech, watch CBN News Political Reporter David Brody and Regent University School of Government Dean Charles Dunn.
Despite a frenzy of media criticism, Palin came out swinging for Sen. John McCain and against her critics in her primetime speech at the Republican National Convention.
She began her speech by introducing her family, including her 18-year-old son Track, who will deploy to Iraq in September, and her four-month old son Trig, who has Down Syndrome.
When she mentioned that she was just a small-town hockey mom, a portion of the crowd cheered, holding up signs that said, 'Hockey Moms for McCain-Palin"
"I love hockey moms," Palin quipped. "You know they say the difference between a hockey mom and a pittbull. Lipstick."
Palin has has faced a barrage of media criticism since her debut into the national spotlight last Friday when McCain introduced her as his vice presidential choice. She countered that criticism Wednesday night by highlighting her Washington outsider status.
"I'm not a member of the permanent political establishment. And I've learned quickly, these past few days, that if you're not a member in good standing of the Washington elite, then some in the media consider a candidate unqualified for that reason alone," she said.
"But 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 said.
She then highlighted her experience as a reformer in Alaskan politics.
"Sudden and relentless reform never sits well with entrenched interests and power brokers. That's why true reform is so hard to achieve," she said. "But with the support of the citizens of Alaska, we shook things up."
"In short order, we put the government of our state back on the side of the people," she said.
As an ethics-reformer, she said she vowed to "end the culture of self-dealing." She delivered on that promise by getting rid of excess in the governor's office at taxpayer's expense.
"That luxury jet was over the top," she said. "I put it on eBay."
On energy policy, Palin challenged her opponent's opposition to drilling for America's natural resources.
"Our opponents say, again and again, that drilling will not solve all of America's energy problems - as if we all didn't know that already. But the fact that drilling won't solve every problem is no excuse to do nothing at all," she said."We need American energy resources, brought to you by American ingenuity, and produced by American workers."
She had a few words for Sen. Barack Obama, too.
"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 said. "What does he actually seek to accomplish, after he's done turning back the waters and healing the planet?"
The governor also highlighted the differences between McCain and Obama, who has campaigned primarily on a theme of 'change.'
"Here's how I look at the choice Americans face in this election," Palin says. "Among politicians, there is the idealism of high-flown speechmaking, in which crowds are stirringly summoned to support great things. And then there is the idealism of those leaders, like John McCain, who actually do great things."
Toward the end of her address Palin said McCain's prisoner of war experience as proof of his character and leadership. On the floor listening was fellow POW and witness to McCain's experiences Tom Moe of Lancaster.
"For a season, a gifted speaker can inspire with his words. For a lifetime, John McCain has inspired with his deeds," Palin said.
Palin's entire family joined her onstage after the speech. Media attention in recent days has focused much on Palin's family, with the disclosure that her teenage daughter Bristol Palin is pregnant. The younger Palin and her child's father, Levi Johnston, also joined the family onstage
The crowd then erupted as Sen. John McCain made a surprise appearance.
"Don't you think we made the right choice for the next vice president of the United States?" he asked. "And what a beautiful family."
McCain will make his acceptance speech for the nomination Thusday night.