The Washington Times - September 3, 2008, 11:37PM

ST. PAUL, MN | The crowd here in Excel Energy Center loved Sarah Palin’s speech. She is now the official Republican vice presidential nominee.

Mrs. Palin’s speech was a no-holds-barred, teeth-bared takedown of Democratic nominee Barack Obama. The Republican faithful loved it, and for the first time this week, the convention arena was rocking.

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“By now it should be abundantly clear why John McCain picked Sarah Palin,” said Sen. John Kyl, Arizona Republican, after the speech.

But it was Rudy Giuliani’s warmup speech that got the crowd going, helping the crowd turn the corner from a pleasant gathering into a raucous party.

“This is not a personal attack. It’s a statement of fact. Barack Obama has never led anything,” Mr. Giuliani said. “Nothing. Nada.”

The speech was a badly needed shot in the arm to a convention that on its third night still felt as if it had not recovered from a slow start, after Mr. McCain decided to suspend the first night’s political activities because of Hurricane Gustav

Mr. Giuliani’s spot in the speaking order was a last-minute adjustment, after convention organizers chose not to have Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle give the last speech before Mrs. Palin, whose biography and speech has been the focus of this week.