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Palin's make or break speech tonight

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A quick perusal around some of the major mainstream news sites shows the LA Times leading with, "McCain had criticized earmarks from Palin." The New York Times has "Palin's start in Alaska: not politics as usual."

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The Wall Street Journal leads with "GOP tightens VP image control." The New York Post - in typical New York Post fashion - screams, "Shining knights - GOP defends damsel in distress Palin."

The San Francisco Chronicle simply puts it "Spotlight on Sarah Palin."

The Philadelphia Inquirer doesn't lead with Palin - they've opted for Phillies coverage. This is understandable. It's September and the Phillies are two games out of first and barring a meltdown from the Brewers, they've got to win the NL East to get into post-season action. Again, cut Philadelphia some slack. It's September.

But in their election coverage, they've laid out the importance of tonight's speech:

People watch tightrope walkers because they might fall and splatter on the ground, and when they reach the end of the line safely, there is a great release of tension. So it is with tonight’s prime-time acceptance speech by Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, picked by Republican presidential candidate John McCain to be his running mate.
One of the most anticipated political speeches in memory will begin to answer whether McCain’s gamble on the unknown chief executive of a sparsely populated and remote state was wise.

But there's no pressure.

Speaking to ABC News, Democratic strategist Joe Trippi puts it all in perspective

"All this controversy's going to create a huge audience for her speech whether she walks out there and blows it or hits it out of the park," Trippi said. "With every question, with every controversy the audience gets bigger so that when she walks out there -- it could be one of the most dramatic moments of either convention."

The question is, could the audience for Palin's speech top Barack Obama's 40+ million?

We'll find out. She's in the spotlight tonight at 10 p.m. EDT.

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