Networks led with McCain’s surprise VP pick. First mention of Obama’s acceptance speech came at least seven minutes in.
ABC: Called Palin’s selection “a bolt from the blue,” announced at McCain’s largest rally so far. Said he decided against Lieberman only last weekend. Report included Limbaugh “babe” comment. Separate bio piece called her “immensely popular” in Alaska. Stephanopoulos called her “the sweet spot that he was looking for” and said the Obama team recognized it hit her too hard in the beginning. Later, mention of Obama’s speech and its large audience, and recapped Obama and Biden in Pennsylvania.
CBS: First thirteen minutes of broadcast were devoted to Palin’s biography, rollout and analysis. After reporting on the Dayton event, detailed her “compelling life story” and political rise, as well as recapping the Obama camp’s reaction and the candidate’s subsequent softer tone. Bob Schieffer said McCain was “putting it all on the line” with Palin and Jeff Greenfield laid out the potential pros and cons. Only brief mention of Obama’s speech — and in the context of the Palin pick — nine minutes in.
NBC: Said the election will make history, no matter what. Mentioned Palin and McCain met each other just six months ago, included clip of Joe Scarborough not knowing how to pronounce her name. Report from Alaska mentioned she was in Vogue magazine a few months ago, included her father calling her “a tough nut.” Later, mention of major ratings for Obama. Chuck Todd said some Republicans are nervous about the Palin pick, and said the McCain team had a “very weak” response to Obama’s speech.