Sarah Palin

Dear God, the McCain camp got competent. They’ve been almost perfect for the last couple months. And the Palin pick is fantastic for a variety of reasons. A few:

• She’s young (44), offsetting the McCain-old-guy issue to a degree.
• She’s got more executive experience than McCain, Obama, and Biden combined.
• She cleaned up the corrupt Alaska Republican party. Serious reformer cred.
• You can’t get much more “outsider” than Alaska.
• She’s a woman (see right), which might peel off some die-hard bitter Hillary fans.
• She just gave birth to her fifth child, who’s got Down Syndrome, knowing that he had it. Pro-lifers will walk through fire for her, helping to shore up McCain’s conservative base in a big way.
• Biden’s debating style is largely neutralized against a young woman, as he’s basically got two modes, “schmooze” and “attack dog,” which are going to come off either looking condescending or nasty, respectively, further alienating voters sensitive to the treatment of women.
• She’s an established conservationist and a huge booster of domestic oil drilling, especially in ANWR and elsewhere in Alaska, and she makes that argument more credibly than anyone else around.
• Her main disadvantage—relative inexperience—pales next to Obama’s, or it can be spun as “Hey, at least she’s on the bottom of the ticket.” If the Obama people have any sense, they won’t bring it up. (She’s got almost
• There was some mini-scandal in Alaska recently tied, I think, to her brother, but I want to say she was shown to be totally uninvolved.
• She sets up a very credible GOP succession story for 2012 or 2016 against Hillary—executive experience as governor, foreign policy acquired as Veep. And she’s young and likable.
• Plus, lots of bennies for various groups: lifetime NRA member (gun nuts), self-described “hockey mom” (married women), point guard on her high-school basketball team and hockey player (jocks), and uh, really good-looking (men and the Sapphic-American community).

Photo via Dirty Harry’s Place