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Even A Broken Clock Is Right Twice A Day?

I was deeply nervous yesterday about the choice of Sarah Palin for the Republican VP candidate, and to a degree I still am.  At the risk of an entirely inappropriate reference, it's the sort of thing that shouldn't work, but just might because probability is entirely too willing to service drama like a cheap whore.

She represents the potential to thread the tightrope that John McCain needs to walk to get himself elected - inspire the social conservative base that elected George Bush to come out and vote for him, while pulling away enough of the political centre to squeak out a win over Obama. She's got impeccable social conservative credentials, along with a certain appeal, through her hobbies and her personal narrative, that I might call "folksy" if I wanted to sound as condescending as humanly possible. Not only that, but she could actually reinforce McCain's inexplicably durable maverick reputation, given the highlights of her tenure in Alaska (as opposed to, say, the abuse of power scandal, which has to be among the lowlights and makes me wonder if the McCain camp vetted her at all). She adds energy and enthusiasm to the McCain ticket that was surely lacking, especially when compared to Obamamania.

However, for all that this is a great move in terms of taking attention away from Obama's acceptance speech and winning the news cycle this weekend, I'm going to wait until the reaction settles before I go into full-scale panic mode. My concern is, frankly, born out of a deeply cynical view of the American electorate that, while it might not be entirely unjust (2004 was a bit of a shock to my system), but early polls indicate less of a bounce than McCain needed to get out of this, and there are some very skeptical conservative responses out there, not to mention whatever the media can dig up that McCain didn't manage to.

There's still plenty of time for this to backfire horribly to the amusement of the peanut gallery. Like Harriet Miers all over again.