- She's a woman, allowing him to both woo disaffected Hillary supports as well as slather his own moribund candidacy with the gloss of commodified change.
- She has a reputation as a maverick, taking on Alaska's Republican kleptocracy by knocking off Frank Murkowski, the unpopular incumbent governor two years ago
- She's a certified cultural conservative, especially strong on the issue of abortion: when she discovered during her last pregnancy that her child would be born with Down's syndrome, she carried the pregnancy to term.
What McCain has done here is precisely what he has done his entire candidacy: he has said one thing and done another. He has criticized Senator Obama for his perceived inexperience, and then, out of sheer political calculation, has nominated as his running mate a politician with far less of it. (It's worth noting that Obama, recognizing his weakness in foreign policy, went out and made the unsexy pick in choosing Joe Biden, the seasoned Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman, as his running mate; which choice seems the product of better judgment to you?) Palin may well make a fine vice-president - though in a country already choking to death on Bush Republican dogma, I sincerely doubt it. Yet, in choosing her, McCain is continuing to demonstrate that he has learned well the lessons of political expediency and duplicity. It seems to me that all of that "third Bush term" rhetoric may prove less far-fetched in the long run than utterly prophetic.