Now that I have had time to think about the pick, I offer you these observations:
1. Despite what the talking heads would have you believe, this choice is decidedly NOT the work of a maverick willing to buck his party. This choice is little more than pandering to the ultra right wing base of the party that has long been unsatisfied with his perceived "moderate" positions. They demanded that he suck it up and follow the party line with a choice that would excite the far right and he did just that.
When the likes of James Dobson are heralding this choice, the rest of the population had better wake up and recognize that there is nothing maverick about either McCain or Palin. A maverick would not have buckled under the pressure from the religious right. A maverick would have chosen the best person to help them govern and then gone out to convince people that they knew what they were doing. McCain doesn't have to do that because he chose the person with issue positions that do not help him govern but definitely mollify segments of the population uninterested in good governance but come out to the polls for the politics of division.
Palin is little more than the 2008 version of George W. Bush. He too claimed to be a reformer and we all know how that turned out. We now live in an era of more divisive politics and a more divided country. If we want to play the who is more maverick game it has to go to Obama for NOT choosing Clinton despite large portions of the party demanding her addition to the ticket.
2. The only difference between Sarah Palin and the prototypical ultra right wing candidate is that she is a woman. This is clearly an attempt by the McCain campaign to attract the remaining few disaffected Clinton supporters.
While I certainly cannot speak for them and imagine that some will be swayed by this, I cannot help but wonder if they shouldn't be asking John McCain this question: Is this the best female candidate the Republican Party has to offer? Is your party so devoid of experienced female candidates that all you could come up with was a Governor of 18 months?
The Democratic Party offered up one of the most experienced and powerful women this country had to offer and although she did not win the nomination she remains a powerful force in the party. What John McCain just offered up should be taken for what it is: a full on slap in the face to every intelligent woman in the United States. He didn't choose her because her positions on the issues would be attractive to Clinton supporters. He chose her precisely because she is a woman in the hopes that THAT ALONE will win Clinton supporters over. My cousin, a Pennsylvania voter, said it best:
He can't possibly believe that simply choosing a female running mate will bring women to vote for him.
If that is his motivation, it is insulting to women. Women care about issues more than just gender. I don't care if she is a mom, a wife, a worker, a woman. She stands on the opposite end of every issue that I care about.