Longtime conservatives said the controversy has highlighted her opposition to abortion rights and energized the GOP base.
"People are seeing through her who we really are," former House majority leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, told ABC News.com in an interview at the Republican convention.
"She is a women who lives out her principles," DeLay said. "Frankly, watching the decisions she's having to make with her family over the last few months and the contrast between her and Obama and Biden is absolutely amazing."
Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert said of Palin's speech tonight: "I'm looking for her to be her. I want the American people to see a real conservative principled leader."
Hastert argued the Democrats are "deathly afraid" of Palin.
"I think they're deathly afraid of Sarah Palin because of who she is, who she represents -- the American family," Hastert said. "They would like to lay out that we're a bunch of white men running this party, and all of a sudden there is a woman who is successful who is becoming the number two person in the party, and I think they're threatened."
Hours before Palin was scheduled to deliver her speech at the convention, the McCain campaign released a television ad titled "Alaska Maverick" painting her as someone who has taken on special interests in Alaska and brought reform and change in her two years as governor.
"While Barack Obama talks about change, Gov. Sarah Palin has actually done it," the ad claims.
Any doubts about McCain's choice of Palin as a vice presidential nominee were briefly laid to rest Wednesday night after she delivered a forceful speech.
"She proved she's really the right choice," Oklahoma delegate Don Burdick said. "Humor and intelligence ... this woman is the right pick."
ABC News' Rick Klein, Lindsey Ellerson, Tahman Bradley, Karen Travers and Michael S. James contributed to this report.