When I first heard the news this morning that John McCain had selected Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate, I was dubious. What does she bring to the campaign, I wondered? Alaska is already solidly Republican. And would women really leave Obama to vote for a pro-life woman? My initial reaction took into consideration only her demographic; but as I watched her deliver her first rousing national speech, and I learned more about her, I realized he didn't pick her for her demographic, but for her character.
Palin immediately energizes the base and the McCain campaign. She is a conservative woman who is young, energetic, and is a rousing speaker. Guys like Dobson and Perkins, who have withheld support for McCain, are now saying they love the choice. I mean, does it get better for them than a socially conservative woman?
She is TRULY a change candidate. Obama and Biden are both entrenched in Beltway politics. Palin has tackled political machines in Alaska; she has gone toe-to-toe with big oil; and the fact that she's from as far away from DC as you can get without leaving the country alone says she's an outsider.
David Mixner, a hardcore Dem and a friend, thinks that Democrats are wrongly laughing at and dismissing this pick, and that it could end up being brilliant. Just 12 hours in, I agree with his assessment.
For my part, I've never been a big fan of McCain. I have wondered if I'd vote for him. This selection has inspired me, and barring some terrible misstep, I wholeheartedly endorse and will vote for the McCain-Palin ticket. The creativity and daring to select a woman from one of our nation's smallest, most remote states gives me great hope for a McCain-Palin administration.