I know I said I wouldn't get into politics very often, but I have to preserve this for posterity. My predictions for the media reactions to Palin:
Day 1: Bold, exciting choice by McCain. The news media and the American people can't wait to know more about her.
Days 2-5: Now that we know a little more about her, her scandals, her lies about very recent positions, we have to ask, what was the old codger thinking when he made this choice?
Weeks 2-8: We've now gotten used to the idea of a female VP with 19 months of experience leading one of the smallest states in the nation, with virtually no financial difficulties whatsoever, and it feels like a regular campaign.
November 5: Now that McCain has been beaten like a freaking drum, we have to ask, what was the old codger thinking when he made this choice.
Palin will bring some positives to the ticket. She's attractive and young. She's virulently anti-abortion, and supports the teaching of creationism in school, which will fire up the base and the religious idiots/zealots. She's tough to attack without making the Dems look like old white guys going after the pretty young lady. They may bait Biden, who's a bit of loose cannon, into saying something sexist at their debate. She'll peel off a few of the remaining Hillary dead-enders, but they're a lost cause anyway.
On the other hand, she completely guts the "inexperienced" argument. They can't argue with a straight face that Obama doesn't have the experience to lead when they're ready to make her President in the event McCain kicks it, which given his age and health, is pretty likely. And if the Dems are smart, they attack her non-stop with women surrogates. Wasserman-Schultz, McCaskill, and hopefully Hillary herself. They will bury Palin, and do it without the taint of sexism.
Look, this is desperation move by McCain, who had failed to excite the base before now. Palin will bring the base, but won't be taken seriously by the majority of the electorate. And ultimately, this is going to come down to ground game and get out the vote. Neither Republican candidate brings the enthusiasm to the masses that Obama brings, which is why I don't think conventional polling models will capture the type of turnout we'll see in November. Obama and Clinton were each routinely getting more votes in the primaries than all Republicans combined. There are other reasons for that beyond simple enthusiasm (there was still a race on Dem side, for example), but ultimately, the Obama campaign's organization, already light years better than four years ago, will make the difference. McCain will go back to being an absentee Senator, Palin will go back to being a small time governor of a small time state (one that I love, by the way - it's where my brother lives). And in three months, no one will be able to understand why we spent a day making such a big deal about a political neophyte, who just months ago admitted she had no idea what a Vice President even does.
Thanks, John. You did us Democrats a big favor.