“It was like riding a lightning bolt”

Sandy Greiner, the Iowa GOP’s representative on the RNC’s Rules Committee — mentioned in post below, had this to say about the moment Sarah Palin was introduced as McCain’s runningmate. Greiner was in the RNC meeting in Minneapolis at the time.

"I was stunned for several reasons. First of all, when they announced privately to us just before the proceedings come on television what the choice had been, the women were absolutely ecstatic, even through they didn’t know a whole lot about her.  There were women that are old enough to be my mother that were crying, they were so thrilled.  There were younger women who are a little too old to be my daughters, but they’re certainly not my contemporaries — I would say the 50-ish type women, had tears in their eyes.

"The men were very polite and clapped, but the women were whopping and hollering and then, while she was in the process of making her remarks, as she made points in her speech that the men could embrace they acted like they were at a tailgater.  They whooped and they hollered.  I mean, it was the most amazing thing to see grown men just really come unglued for someone that they knew very little about.

"And then the most stunning thing of all happened.  When she was finished, the entire room stood up and gave a standing ovation to a television screen.  I’ve never seen that happen before in my entire life and as you know I’m a pretty jaded politician, so it was really a stunning moment.  It was like riding a lightning bolt.  The vibrancy that came out of that room that wasn’t there when we started was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen in my life and I have to tell you one more thing.  There was a little old man, and I don’t mean that to be nasty, but he was probably old enough to be my father and as you know I’m 60 years old.  He was sitting directly behind me and he’d been watching everything take place.  I turned around to him and smiled and said, ‘What do you think about this?’ and he says, ‘Let me tell you something.  That little lady is going to get a lot of old men like me to open our checkbooks one more time.’"

"So, she touched their hearts as well.  She had to speak to touch their hearts whereas I’m not sure she had to speak to touch the women’s hearts.  You know, I’ve never been big on feminist issues, but this really did touch me.  It really did.  Maybe because I’ve had to fight more battles and be out there in it.  I am so glad that I had the opportunity to be in a room of like-minded individuals when it happened."

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.