USA Today curtain-raises Palin's speech tonight with this story: "Call it McCain's Gamble. The Republican presidential candidate is pulling bigger crowds and a gusher of cash to his campaign since his unexpected pick Friday of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate. But questions about how rigorously John McCain vetted Palin and fresh scrutiny of the governor's record are fueling a larger debate about McCain's shoot-from-the-hip style and Palin's qualifications, in a crisis, to be president.
The piece also previews the speech. Written by former White House speechwriter Matt Scully, it will combine autobiography and policy. 'She's going to talk to the delegates about the future of this country, about how to reform broken institutions of government,' says McCain strategist Steve Schmidt. 'People will hear about her reform-and-change message' and about energy and its links to national security. 'She'll also communicate directly to the American people who she is,' Schmidt says."
The Washington Post adds, "In the speech, Palin is likely to emphasize her areas of policy expertise -- particularly energy and political reform -- rather than focusing on her biography or gender. An initial version of the address, which speechwriter Matthew Scully started crafting a week ago for an unnamed male vice-presidential pick, included plenty of attacks aimed at Democratic nominee Barack Obama along with ample praise for McCain, aides said. But they said Palin's speech will focus more on substantive matters."
"Palin took an early morning tour of the stage at the GOP convention in St. Paul, Minnesota, and stood at the lectern where she'll deliver her first major speech as John McCain's running mate."
Interestingly, Romney still doesn't know when or if he's speaking. He had been slated to speak tonight.
And with all that talk of Hillary 2012, check this out from the AP: "But even if his former GOP rival John McCain wins the presidency in November, Romney says he won't emulate his father by taking a Cabinet position -- apparently because he still has his eye on the presidency. … While Romney wished McCain and Palin well, his friends and advisers say if they fail in the general election, Romney is primed -- even anxious -- to mount a second bid for the White House."