My gut reaction to John McCainâ€™s choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate?
I love it.
Oh, I have no idea if Iâ€™ll like Palin as a candidate. I know she is socially conservative, which isnâ€™t my thing. And I know sheâ€™s a reformer, which is very much my thing. So Iâ€™ll give her a fair shake.
But I love the selection because itâ€™s bold. Risky too. I donâ€™t think Tim Pawlenty or Mitt Romney would have changed the game at all. In fact, I think they would have calcified the Republican ticket and the election would have become a battle of margins and small maneuvers. Now? Now itâ€™s an election. Even us political junkies donâ€™t know an awful lot about Palin, other than what weâ€™ve read. Weâ€™ve certainly had almost no chance to see her in action.
Can she be the kind of independent woman who attracts oh, I donâ€™t know, Hillary Clinton supporters? Will she bomb like Dan Quayle? Did McCain find a smart, tough running mate or did he overreach and pick a lightweight? We donâ€™t know. Weâ€™ll have to wait.
But what we do know is this: McCain is sending a signal that, despite the pandering heâ€™s done in recent years, he doesnâ€™t want to be a stay-the-course president. He wants to shake things up in Washington. Even if Palin were a man, the selection would still be a clear sign that McCain doesnâ€™t plan to shelve his maverick, reform-minded attitudes.
But, of course, Palin is not a man. Which makes McCainâ€™s choice even bolder. And historic. No matter how this election turns out, the winning ticket will make significant American history. Significant.
This election just got a lot more exciting.