And also, I thought this was an exceptionally clear-eyed look at what the selection says about McBush (the following excerpt in particular)...
...He’s desperate. Let’s stop pretending this race is as close as national polling suggests. The truth is McCain is essentially tied or trailing in every swing state that matters — and too close for comfort in several states like Indiana and Montana the GOP usually wins pretty easily in presidential races. On top of that, voters seem very inclined to elect Democrats in general this election — and very sick of the Bush years.And as far as this notion from the McCain camp about Obama or Biden not being able to criticize Palin because, allegedly, women PUMAs who supported Hillary would now flock towards her instead...well, I hope the majority of women voters whom I consider to be clear-headed are offended by that.
McCain could easily lose in an electoral landslide. That is the private view of Democrats and Republicans alike.
McCain’s pick shows he is not pretending. Politicians, even “mavericks” like McCain, play it safe when they think they are winning — or see an easy path to winning. They roll the dice only when they know that the risks of conventionality are greater than the risks of boldness.
The Republican brand is a mess. McCain is reasonably concluding that it won’t work to replicate George W. Bush and Karl Rove’s electoral formula, based around national security and a big advantage among Y chromosomes, from 2004.
“She’s a fresh new face in a party that’s dying for one — the antidote to boring white men,” a campaign official said.
Palin, the logic goes, will prompt voters to give him a second look — especially women who have watched Democrats reject Hillary Rodham Clinton for Barack Obama.
The risks of a backlash from choosing someone so unknown and so untested are obvious. In one swift stroke, McCain demolished what had been one of his main arguments against Obama.
“I think we’re going to have to examine our tag line, ‘dangerously inexperienced,’” a top McCain official said wryly.
Update 1 8/31/08: And I guess it's no surprise that Palin comes down on the side of hunters versus tourism here, even though the latter accounts for significantly more state revenue than the former (hat tip to SG).
Update 2 8/31/08: More from C&L here...