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Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin to Take Stage at Republican Convention

Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin will speak at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota. California delegates to the convention say they're anxiously awaiting Palin's speech. It's her first major address since John McCain announced her as his running mate just five days ago. KPCC's Frank Stoltze is covering the convention and talked with Morning Edition host Steve Julian about Palin's upcoming speech. Frank also talked about the reaction to the speeches from President Bush and Senator Joe Lieberman

Steve Julian: Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin takes the stage at the GOP's national convention tonight in St. Paul, Minnesota. California delegates to the convention say they're anxiously awaiting Palin's speech, her first major address since John McCain announced her as his running mate just five days ago.

Last night, delegates heard from President Bush. KPCC's Frank Stoltze is covering the convention, and Frank, President Bush gave his address via satellite from the White House. How did California delegates react to the endorsement from one guy who doesn't really like the other?

Frank Stoltze: Steve, they cheered a lot here during his speech, which was less than 10 minutes. But there are also some mixed feelings here about Bush, and whether the unpopular president should campaign much for John McCain, particularly among younger Republicans. Steve Majors is a 28-year-old delegate from Los Angeles.

Steve Majors: President Bush is our president. He's the American president. We are pleased and proud that he has helped to keep us safe for the last eight years, and, you know, his role in this convention is an important piece of who we are as Republicans as well.

Julian: Not the most ringing endorsement, Frank. Who did that delegate, Steve Majors, like among last night's speakers?

Stoltze: Majors liked the tough political talk from former Tennessee senator and one-time presidential candidate Fred Thompson, who took a few shots at Barack Obama and talked a long time about John McCain as a maverick and a former POW.

Majors: Oh, I'm pumped up. I thought Fred Thompson's message was one that gets us excited, gets us understanding where John McCain's come from and reminds us that we're about to elect to be the next president a real American hero.

Stoltze: And that's a sentiment I heard from a number of members of the California delegation. Democratic-turned-independent Senator Joe Lieberman also spoke last night and several in the California delegation said they liked his call for Democrats to support McCain. Former Governor Pete Wilson, who's co-chairman of the delegation, told me he thought it was particularly a credible appeal coming from Lieberman.

Julian: Frank, tonight, Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin addresses the convention. What's the anticipation like among California delegates?

Stoltze: Lots of anticipation. Aquanetta Warren is the mayor pro tem of Fontana, and she can't wait to hear Palin's speech tonight.

Aquanetta Warrren: When I look at her, I see me. I see some of what my plight has been, trying to work in politics, trying to have a steady job, at the same time raising my family. I think more people will be able to relate to her, especially females.

Stoltze: Tobin Brinker is a city councilman from Riverside. He's another California Republican enamored with Palin.

Tobin Brinker: She is an amazing individual. I think that anybody who has a chance to see what she's accomplished in the short time that she's been governor up there has to be impressed. I mean, she's a woman who made her bones by bucking the system, and very much amplifies the McCain message of reform.

Julian: Frank, the California delegation also heard yesterday from Frank Luntz. He's a Republican pollster What did he share with them?

Stoltze: Luntz told the delegation don't get discouraged if McCain is trailing Barack Obama as the election nears. He said said some voters tell pollsters they support Obama, even though they'd never vote for a black man.

That's often called the Bradley effect, named after former L.A. Mayor Tom Bradley, who was leading the 1982 governor's race, but ended up losing because of a lot of folks lied to pollsters about their support for him. You don't always hear that kind of blunt talk from a pollster, but that's what Luntz said last night. He's expecting the Bradley effect.

By the way, Steve, the California delegation hears from Utah Senator Orin Hatch and former Ebay CEO-turned McCain economic advisor Meg Whitman today, at their brunch. Whitman is sometimes talked about as a possible gubernatorial candidate in California.

Julian: KPCC's Frank Stoltze in St. Paul, Minnesota. Thanks very much.

Stoltze: Thank you, Steve.