James Fallows has a point by point analysis of the Palin speech concluding that only two past convention speeches have elevated the politicians who gave them to a new level. And, Palin’s speech did not fit into this category.
…both Reagan in 1964 and Obama in 2004 were effective because, apart from their personal skills, they added something to their party’s constituency that had not been there before. Reagan began recruiting the “Reagan Democrats,” starting with white Southerners. Obama tried to recruit people tired of divisive partisanship.
Sarah Palin, at least tonight, did not seem interested in bringing anyone new into the fold. A speech that was great in the convention hall. We’ll see how it affects the electoral lineup.