Palin in Spotlight: 'Average Hockey Mom' Slams Obama's 'Change' Mantra

"I don't think anyone can deny that we saw a genuine person. She was great," Burdick told ABC News' Ron Claiborne.

"The Republican Party could not have been more pleased," Stephanopoulos told "GMA."

"They know Sarah Palin rocked this hall, believe she has energized their base, and they believe that she does have an appeal to women," he said.

The Democrats' initial reaction was to try to kill Palin with kindness.

"She had a great night," gushed Biden, the man Palin will debate next month. "I was impressed with her."

Referring to Palin's zingers, Biden added, "They're good, funny lines, I've got to admit."

He also agreed with Palin and other Republicans who said questions about whether Palin could be the mother of five children and the vice president were sexist.

"Some of the stuff that's been said has been over the top ... and has been sexist," Biden said. He added that he "admired' how Palin has handled the controversy.

VP Pick Palin Steps on National Stage

For her first step into the kleig lights, Palin made an early morning trip to the Xcel Center in St. Paul Wednesday, standing at the podium, appearing to try to get a feel for the size of the arena.

The crowd of Republicans in the convention hall was the largest audience the small state governor had ever addressed. An estimated 20 million watched from home on television and the Internet.

Palin's speech came amid a flurry of reports that she was once a member of the Alaska Independence Party, never had a passport or traveled overseas until last year, that her husband was arrested 22 years ago on a drunken driving charge, and that she'd pushed for $27 million of federal earmarks into a bill for the tiny town of Wasilla while she was its mayor.

She is also the center of a legislative ethics investigation in Alaska into whether she abused her power in dismissing the state's public safety commissioner over a family dispute with a former brother-in-law, an Alaska state trooper who was allegedly abusive toward Palin's family members.

Determined to show pride in their vice presidential nominee, Michigan delegates inside the convention hall Wednesday night wore white and red hockey jerseys in honor of "hockey mom Sarah," one Michigan delegate told ABC News.

A group of female Colorado delegates pinned signs to themselves that read "We love Sarah."

Other homemade signs throughout the arena read, "Palin Power" and "GI John / Superwoman" and "The Maverick" and "McCain Rules" and "We Love Cindy" and "Drill Now."

Determined to take control of its message Wednesday, the Republican program unveiled a roster of GOP speakers who focused on the economy, foreign policy and energy dependence on foreign countries.

Sending the crowd into wild applause, GOPAC chairman Michael Steele, a Republican Party fundraiser, touted aggressive oil exploration in the United States.

"So, do you want to put your country first?" he asked. "Then let's reduce our dependency on foreign sources of oil and promote oil and gas production at home.

"In other words, drill baby drill! And drill now!" Steele said.

After that the crowd frequently errupted into chants of "Drill baby drill!"

McCain's rivals for the Republican presidential nomination, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, also spoke, drawing a sharp contrast in their speeches between McCain and the Democratic ticket.

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