What a pleasant surprise this is — John McCain shocks us all by choosing the Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin. The McCain campaign did an outstanding job keeping us in suspense until the last 2-3 hours before her official introduction. This is one heck of a risk, as we are presently seeing with the current Democrat attacks on her, but the payoff could be huge. If Friday was the country’s first introduction to Governor Palin, it was an impressive debut for her. She came across as very personable and as someone who can sell the conservative message in a way that McCain cannot. Her appeal is more than just gender-based. She has working class credibility. She’s a mom as well as a lifetime member of the NRA. She’s not only pro-life, but she has practiced what she preaches by deciding to have a baby that she knew would have Down’s Syndrome. Then there’s her record of fighting corruption in Alaska even against fellow Republicans. What’s not to like?
Conservatives dodged a bullet with this pick, because apparently McCain was very close to picking Joe Lieberman. He was still considering it as late as this past Monday. When I first heard about McCain’s choice, my initial reaction was that the base may have sabotaged McCain by suggesting Governor Palin. I love her story, and I think she’s a great representative for women and for Republicans, but I’m not sure she’s ready to be Vice President. It’s entirely possible that she’s more ready to be VP than Barack Obama is to be President, but this isn’t the best argument for her. The following weeks before the election will give us an indication of how ready she is to handle the demands of the national spotlight, and I will be watching her and cheering her on, because conservatism needs representatives like Governor Palin in Washington, D.C.