Here is a good profile from the Almanac of American Politics. I agree with Dan. But I found her introduction unimpressive. In the hours before the pick the media built her up by discussing the choice as a “bold surprise,” and “historic,” then going on to speculate on how she might put former-Clinton supporters into the Republican camp.
She made that last point sharply, going so far as to quote Clinton’s line about 18 million cracks in the glass ceiling. My suspicion is that attacks on Palin’s inexperience will be redefined by the McCain camp as an attempt to “diminish the accomplishments of a working mother.”
But one colleague watching the speech said she looked like a local Republican Committee chair who should be introducing McCain during a primary. Her accent seemed unfamiliar. She cited her PTA experience, which lends some weight to Andrew Sullivan’s charge that a Palin-pick is not serious. Compare that to the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee!
Like Bobby Jindal or Mark Sanford, I considered Sarah Palin a promisingly conservative, likable, and reform-minded governor. I wished desperately to spare her (and them) from association with the bellicose and ideological foreign policy of Bush-McCain. These three governors excite various parts of the conservative base but need time to prove themselves. Politics are not for wishful thinking, but there are moments when I allowed myself to imagine one of these governors running on a “humble foreign policy” against Barack Obama. Too bad.
Like Ramesh Ponnuru, I think conservatives are currently underestimating the potential downsides of having Palin on the ticket.