In a bold and, to many, including most of the MSM, surprising move, John McCain, with exquisite timing has named Sarah Palin, the Republican Governor of Alaska, as his running mate.
Announcing the pick today, his 72nd birthday, McCain, true to his reputation as a maverick, has completely overturned the dynamics of the Presidential race by picking the 44-year-old Palin as the first ever female Republican Vice Presidential candidate.
Palin, also known as a maverick, but little known outside of her home state of Alaska, has an 80% approval rating from Alaskan voters, after a little more than a year in office as Governor, making her the most popular governor in America.
Blog and MSM pundits across the nation are agog with excitement (positive and negative) over McCain's unprecedented choice. Inevitably, we will certainly see plenty of nay-saying pointing out Palin's lack of political experience, and probably regarding her youth as well.
But in Alaska, Palin has a reputation, not only as a maverick, but also as a tough cookie. Prior to being elected Governor, as the mayor of her hometown of Wasilla, she earned the nickname of “Sarah Barracuda.”
As Governor, Palin has used her toughness to oppose the environmentalists on the issue of drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), and has begun a vigorous overhaul of the Alaskan state government, shaking up the traditional Alaskan political establishment.
The PUMA blog Count Us Out features a series of paeans to Palin, titled “PUMAs at Count Us Out Like The Barracuda from Alaska, Sarah Palin", a strong indicator that the McCain campaign will almost certainly attract a significant number of voters dissatisfied with the treatment Hillary has received at the hands of Obama. Obviously, this factored prominently in the McCain decision-making process.
While it's too early to determine how large a positive effect (or even if the effect will, in fact, be positive) the choice of Governor Sarah Palin will have on the McCain campaign, the campaign braintrust obviously expects it to be both positive and significant.
Significant, yes, assuredly. Historic as well.