I Don't Know, But Alaska!
This morning, I was prepared to put up a post celebrating John McCain’s choice of Mitt Romney for finally bringing to a close the most over-vetted, over-reported, and over-hyped vice presidential selection process in the history of our country, one which resulted in two utterly conventional politicians being tapped for the second slots. But with McCain’s selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to be his running mate, things are about to get more interesting.
In the short-term, the choice of Palin should play well for McCain. Social conservatives seem thrilled with her. The announcement has also succeeded in getting the national media to pivot its coverage on a dime, away from any more discussion of the Obama spectacular last night. And choosing a woman for the ticket serves as a firm poke in the eye of those political elites in the Democratic Party who pushed hard to keep Hillary Clinton off of their ticket.
But longer-term (for the next two months anyway), there will be plenty of questions. Although Palin seems pretty tough, it remains to be seen how well she will adjust to the mind-boggling crush of national media coverage. Also, I am skeptical that disaffected Clinton supporters (however big their numbers might actually be) will flock to the Republican ticket, once they learn of Palin’s conservative stance on abortion and other social issues. And the question of whether she is prepared to replace the 72 year-old McCain on a moment’s notice will receive intensive scrutiny in the coming weeks, courtesy of the blogs, other media and the Obama campaign. Still, McCain has finally managed to inject some excitement into the Republican political narrative.
For more of my thoughts on Sarah Palin and Joe Biden, you can listen to my morning appearance on Minnesota Public Radio’s Midmorning show here. We spent virtually the entire hour talking about Palin. And, if you haven’t yet had your fix of the Democratic convention, you can hear my reaction to Obama’s speech and a lot more here.
Note: I’ll be back posting on Tuesday, right after the long Labor Day weekend.  - Dean

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