The RNCC just released excerpts of Sarah Palin’s speech, scheduled for delivery tonight, and it appears they have chosen the high road in re-introducing the Alaskan Governor to the nation.  According to the clips, she plans to defend small-town America and its values, and stress her role as an outsider in reforming the political culture in Washington DC. However, she won’t ignore the steady stream of smears that flew out of the commentariat this week, either:

“I had the privilege of living most of my life in a small town. I was just your average hockey mom, and signed up for the PTA because I wanted to make my kids’ public education better. When I ran for city council, I didn’t need focus groups and voter profiles because I knew those voters, and knew their families, too. Before I became governor of the great state of Alaska, I was mayor of my hometown. And since our opponents in this presidential election seem to look down on that experience, let me explain to them what the job involves. I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a ‘community organizer,’ except that you have actual responsibilities. …

“I’m not a member of the permanent political establishment. And I’ve learned quickly, these past few days, that if you’re not a member in good standing of the Washington elite, then some in the media consider a candidate unqualified for that reason alone. But here’s a little news flash for all those reporters and commentators: I’m not going to Washington to seek their good opinion – I’m going to Washington to serve the people of this country. …

“Our opponents say, again and again, that drilling will not solve all of America’s energy problems – as if we all didn’t know that already. But the fact that drilling won’t solve every problem is no excuse to do nothing at all. Starting in January, in a McCain-Palin administration, we’re going to lay more pipelines…build more nuclear plants…create jobs with clean coal…and move forward on solar, wind, geothermal, and other alternative sources. We need American energy resources, brought to you by American ingenuity, and produced by American workers. …

“Here’s how I look at the choice Americans face in this election. In politics, there are some candidates who use change to promote their careers. And then there are those, like John McCain, who use their careers to promote change.”

Republicans are relishing this opportunity. If the media thought that the GOP would get squeamish over barbs coming from the punditry, they will have those notions disabused tonight. McCain and Palin have no intention of backing down, nor of kissing up to the Beltway elite.

Keep an eye on this speech, and the reaction tonight. Palin brings her own fighting spirit to a presidential candidate known for his own willingness to take risks in engagement with their own party and with those who argue for business as usual. Voters will identify with the Palins much sooner than with the Beltway insiders.