Everybody is talking about McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin as his VP running mate.
I think it’s sort of straightforward, actually:
1. The right-wing Republican base seems delighted. So he has shored up his shaky base.
2. He is obviously pandering to Hillary supporters, and that will probably have very little effect because Palin and Clinton disagree on almost all issues. But anybody he drags away because Palin is a woman – even a few percent of disgruntled Hillary supporters – will just be extra gravy.
3. He took away the news cycle from Obama the day after Obama’s big climactic finish.
4. Palin is sort of a “maverick” like McCain likes to think he is. So maybe he saw something of himself in her.
So as just politics go, it was probably a pretty good move. I don’t see any downside. Strong Obama supporters weren’t going to be drawn to vote for McCain anyway. So shoring up his base and maybe grabbing a few wavering women voters won’t hurt him any.