Halfway through Sarah Palin's speech tonight at the RNC, people following the speech noticed she was deviating from the prepared text.
According to sources close to the McCain campaign, the teleprompter continued scrolling during applause breaks. As a result, half way through the speech, the speech had scrolled significantly from where Governor Palin was in the speech. The malfunction also occurred during Rudy Giuliani's speech, explaining his significant deviations from his speech. [see the update below on this part]
Unfazed, Governor Palin continued, from memory [and relying on her printed text, clearly looking down occasionally at the printed page], to deliver her speech without the teleprompter cued to the appropriate point in her speech.
Contrast this to Barack Obama who, when last his teleprompter malfunctioned, was left stuttering before a crowd unable to advance his speech until the problem was resolved.
Sarah Palin. Winner.
The Politico, which hasn't exactly had a track record of accurate reporting, contradicts the broken teleprompter story.
But, MSNBC and Fox both report that there were problems with the teleprompter. They were, as I described them, that the teleprompter kept scrolling past Governor Palin's stopping point during applause, forcing her to rely on notes and memory.
The McCain camp, last night, did tell me this happened during Rudy's speech, but this morning is telling Fox News the teleprompter problems did not occur with Rudy's speech, just Palin's speech.
BTW, I've gotten one more clarification from the McCain campaign: by the end of the speech the problem had been resolved. But you can clearly see during the middle Palin looked at her text often.
And again, don't miss this key point: compare her teleprompter malfunctions to Obama's.