In an off-the-wall way, this rather strange pick does work to help revalidate McCain's maverick credentials, which have come into question this year, as he seems to have moved toward President George Bush. McCain didn't pick a guy anybody expected.
Palin has served as Alaska's governor since December of 2006. Prior to that she served for six years as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, a village of some 7,000, and as Ethics Commissioner of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission for two years. And, by the way, she placed second in the Miss Alaska pageant in 1984.
Yes, Palin, with her sparkly smile, nice cheekbones and schoolmarm cheaters, is a lot prettier than the likes of the former governor of Pennsylvania Tom Ridge, or Sen. Joe Lieberman. No doubt, much will be made of her good looks during the campaign.
Palin is a proud pro-lifer, too, who seems to have ideological appeal to the far right element of the GOP. Ultra-conservative Richard A. Viguerie says: "She's perfect ... McCain has chosen to balance his ticket with a principled conservative."
Viguerie is the sort of taste-maker who doesn't mind that his comment might suggest McCain is neither genuinely conservative or particularly principled. Many of Rush Limbaugh's dittoheads would probably be happy to second such purity test slurs.
With a less-than-subtle gesture, Palin mentioned Clinton's "18 million cracks in the glass ceiling" in her first opportunity to speak as the presumptive vice presidential nominee.
Whether Pailn will have much appeal to Sen. Hillary Clinton's sisterhood-of-the-traveling-pantsuits type of supporters remains to be seen. Are women really going to be so fixed on electing a female this year that they will freak out by the millions and abandon their concerns for traditional issues that have always been at the top of the feminist agenda?
"I know Hillary Clinton, and Sarah Palin is no Hillary Clinton," Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz said on MSNBC.
Perhaps the biggest surprise to do with McCain's pick for Veep was his willingness to give up being able to effectively criticize Obama as "not ready." If McCain thinks Palin is ready to be a heartbeat away from the presidency, then he can hardly say with a straight face that Obama isn't ready to be president.
Maybe McCain, 72, just wants to travel around the country with a former beauty pageant contestant who, at 44, is aging gracefully. Like, if he's looking at losing, anyway, because it's just not his year ... why not make it a pleasant ride?