by Eric Martin
So McCain announced he's picking Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. An interesting move. One thing it will offer the McCain campaign is a sense of historical importance - something they need in the face of Obama's groundbreaking run. Further, it offers something "new" from a Republican Party that is rightly viewed as musty and bankrupt of fresh ideas. It will also serve as a bid to attract the dead ender clique of Hillary supporters (though I think entirely too much has been made of their clout in terms of actual numbers).
Tapping Palin also signals that the McCain camp thinks that "drill, drill, drill" is one of their strongest domestic issues to flog. Who better to discuss the benefits of drilling than an Alaskan? Fear of the "seven houses" gaffe could have also played a part - making Romney less appealing, and the blue-collarish Palin more attractive.
One major drawback: How can McCain's main line of critique be Obama's putative lack of experience, yet his pick for vice president is a 44 year old politician who has only been in the Alaska state house for little over a year. Before that, she was mayor of Wasilla, Alasksa: population 8,000. This is the person that will be one heartbeat away from the presidency - a consideration of particular importance considering that McCain, if elected, would be the oldest president ever to be sworn in for his first term.
I mean this seriously: Would you trust Palin in the Oval Office?
[UPDATE: As someone pointed out, Palin's lack of experience will backfire in the sense that McCain's age will now become even more relevant and a topic of much discussion. That's not what McCain wants people to focus on, but by picking Palin, he's made his age a legitimate issue. The Obama camp should be saying thank you for the segue.]
[UPDATE II: Joe Biden will debate Sarah Palin. That should be fun. (via Margarita)]