After Barack Obama's flawless selection of Joe Biden as a running mate and his super-star adulation at the Democratic Convention, McCain knew he had to come up with a Chris Angel-like death-defying escape, or watch his presidential aspirations go down in flames. Faster than you can say abracadabra, he has pulled a rabbit (er... make that a baraccuda) out of his hat, stunning voters who thought he was going with an insider Republican male.
He has found a perfect fit for his agenda in Palin. A lifetime NRA member, she will appease the pro-gun crowd. She is a staunch pro-lifer, and having never served in Washington, can't be tied to the Bush Administration in any way. Big Oil will be happy with the fact that she is for drilling in the ANWR
As a counterpoint to McCain's age and stodginess, she's young, energetic, and easy on the eyes. In fact, she won the Miss Wasilla beauty contest, was named Miss Congeniality, and competed for the Miss Alaska title. As the star of her high school basketball team, her competitiveness earned her the nickname, "Sarah Barracuda," although her official bio says she got it for being such a great mayor.
And, the icing on the cake - she's a girl. Whoda thunk McCain would have the guts to counter Obama's snub of Hillary with his own female VP?
The problem Palin will have to overcome is that not only is she a Washington outsider, she's practically a political neophyte. She was elected governor in 2006, after just two terms as a city councilwoman, and two terms as mayor of a town with a population of less than 10,000 people. In fact, the state she governs has a population of less than 700,000, which puts her in charge of fewer people than, live in El Paso, TX or Louisville, KY.
I have to admit it gives me pause to think that the person who may end up a heart-beat away from governing 300 million Americans has never tackled the problems of more than 2 per cent of that number at any one time. If McCain was looking for the "shock and awe" factor today, he missed it. Aw Shucks, is more like it.