"As much as I appreciate the opportunity to speak tonight, I really was originally hoping for the slot on Thursday called the acceptance speech," Huckabee said. "But I am delighted to speak on behalf of my second choice for the Republican nomination for president, John McCain -- a man with the character and stubborn kind of integrity that I want in a president."
Slamming the media's coverage of the election, Huckabee argued that the press has united the conservative moment -- saying that coverage is "tackier than a costume change at a Madonna concert."
Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle, who introduced Palin, nodded to the potential vice president's family drama.
"After 20 years of marriage, Sarah and Todd have five beautiful children and a grandchild on the way," Lingle said, to applause from the crowd.
After Palin's speech, there was a roll call vote that culminated in McCain becoming the Republican nominee.
Expectations ran high for Palin's speech.
Early on, McCain said he expected his vice presidential pick to hit it out of the park.
"Americans are going to be very, very, very pleased. This is a very dynamic person," McCain told ABC's Charlie Gibson Wednesday on World News. "I mean, this person is going to come to Washington and, I'm telling you, to the 'old boy' network: They better look out, because change is coming."
Republicans argued there was a huge opportunity, because of the tremendous interest in Palin's speech, to restart the general election campaign.
"She's sort of new and exciting. She's opened up the playing field on hockey moms in America, she's re-energized the base and galvanized the Republican convention," said longtime Republican lawyer Ben Ginsberg as he walked through the convention hall.
"When was the last time you saw this much interest in a vice presidential acceptance speech?" he asked. "We're thrilled."
Amid a swirl of media reports about Palin's family and background, McCain's campaign Wednesday angrily called for an end to questions about it's "vetting" of Palin's background.
"The salacious nature in which these outlets have been trying to throw dirt at our candidate is inappropriate," McCain campaign manager Rick Davis told reporters on a conference call Wednesday.
In an interview with ABC News' Diane Sawyer for "Good Morning America," Cindy McCain said she "absolutely" believes sexism is behind the critical coverage of her husband's vice presidential pick.
She blasted the overall coverage of Palin as sexist -- and specifically an Us Weekly cover headlined "Babies, Lies and Scandal."
"I think it's insulting," McCain told Sawyer. "I think it's outlandish. And for whatever reason, the media has decided to treat her differently, because, I believe, because she's a woman."
The potential first lady added that she approved of the selection of Palin as her husband's running mate, saying, "It's wonderful" that Palin's 17-year-old daughter is pregnant, claiming the campaign "knew about it."
"This is family -- and families have issues," McCain said. "And what a joy. They're going to have a new grandbaby -- I mean, a new life. It's wonderful."
Senior campaign adviser Steve Schmidt released a statement calling questions a "faux media scandal designed to destroy the first female Republican nominee" for vice president, lashing out at "the old boys' network" that, he said, runs media organizations.