Palin's Female Connection

Even before Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin took the stage to introduce herself and her five kids to America, Keila Guyton of suburban Chicago had her little one, 6-year-old Kayla, all tucked in.

"I put her right to bed early so I could listen," she told CBS News correspondent Cynthia Bowers.

Guyton, a working mom, is undecided. She's voted for both Bill Clinton and George Bush and was one of nearly 20 million American women taking their first measure of the Alaska governor.

"Right off the cuff I think she's [a] smart, very smart lady," she said. "I like her. I think she's nice but she hasn't won me over."

She hasn't totally won over Gloria Loyd either, though Palin did move her from the Obama column to undecided.

"I was totally for Obama to begin with," Loyd said. "I'm on the fence now … Her brightness just overwhelmed me."

"This is America and every woman can walk through every door of opportunity," Palin said Wednesday night.

Palin is trying to connect with as many of Hillary Clinton's 18 million voters as she can - women like Helene Wallenstein of Teaneck, NJ.

"I vote for the person and the character of the person and what I saw yesterday I liked," said Wallenstein. "I'm still not completely decided but I liked what I saw."

Many women bristle at the notion that a mother of five can't serve her kids and her country, which Palin tried to tap into Wednesday.

"You know the difference between an hockey mom and a pitbull?" she asked the crowd of Republican delegates. "Lipstick."

But she'll need more than tough talk to handle the heat outside the confines of the convention and win over skeptics who see her as pandering.

"I feel like one of the strategies was to say she's a woman so all should jump on her bandwagon," one woman told CBS News.

Thursday night, and every night until election day, will be McCain's turn to woo these women, who say they expect substance. But it'll be hard for him to match her style.
  • Cynthia Bowers

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