This is the Sarkozy strategy that Gingrich talked about last year. In this vein, Palin is designed to help McCain on ethics, and in distancing McCain from governing Republicans. The idea here is that she was able to win the Alaska Governorship in 2006, a Democratic year, by making corruption charges in her own party, and defeating an incumbent in a primary. Look for McCain to start trumpeting his role in exposing the Abramoff scandal now, too. It could be an effective message, as it makes McCain look willing to stand up against his own party and take a hard line on ethics. I worried about this message last month.The problem for Palin is that she is now embroiled in a nepotism scandal.
Obviously, designed to help McCain with PUMA's and wavering Clinton supporters. The decision was probably made after Clinton was not chosen as VP, and during all the coverage of Clinton supporters during the convention. However, for that purpose, the pick probably came too late. Most of Obama's current bounce is from that exact same group. McCain should have announced on Sunday to peel off more of those supporters.
For all of the reasons listed above, it is designed to make McCain look "mavericky." Picking someone from Alaska, picking a woman, picking someone who ran against her own party, picking someone who wasn't talking about that much, picking someone who, at least at one time, fought corruption in her own party--in many ways, it is exactly the right pick for McCain to bolster his image.
The key to fighting Palin is to hit her on the scandal she is in now, to point out McCain hypocrisy on experience and "being ready to lead," and to use a lot of Hillary Clinton.
I admit that Palin and Condoleezza Rice were the only two possible picks that ever actually worried me on the Republican side. Now, however, after Palin has been picked, it just feels kind of lame and obviously political. The only reason that McCain picked Palin is that he thinks she will help him get elected. The pandering electability of it all should appear obvious to just about everyone. Clearly, McCain didn't care about or believe in the attacks he was making on Obama's experience. He just wants to win.