In the Arena

Sarah Palin

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Well, who knows, really? But it does reinforce McCain’s independent trope. She is a reformer, way outside the Washington establishment, a terrific speaker, apparently, a great life story, a pro-lifer who chose to have a Down syndrome child…and she is a she. Is she ready for prime time? Would she be ready to take over if John McCain were incapacitated?

In a weird, clever, way, Palin’s inexperience serves to illuminate Obama’s…and so Democrats, especially Joe Biden, would probably be wise to tread carefully here. The Republicans can easily make the argument that they got their ticket order rightside up–experience over a compelling new face–and the Democrats got their order upside down. They can make that argument…we’ll see how it flies.

I do think that it’s safe to say, without qualification, that McCain will win Alaska now–then again, Alaska is the only one of the 50 states that Obama hasn’t campaigned in.

Second Thoughts: I’m guilty above of think of this weird pick in purely political terms–although I think it’s entirely possible that this may work out for McCain in those terms. On matters of substance–especially foreign policy–the Palin selection is a joke, especially after the intensely serious, substantive speech that Obama gave last night. It raises the question, yet again, how interested Republicans are in actually governing.