Kudos to John McCain for his selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate. I think it was a good pick. Obviously, if you consider the campaign to be a chess game, then this was brilliant because it completely nullifies the "firstness" of the Democratic ticket. But I like the choice for reasons other than Governor Palin's gender.
First, I like her history of bucking the trend in the GOP because it has become stodgy. She is an individual who sticks to her beliefs, and though many are along already established GOP lines, she is definitely not, pardon the expression, a member of the "old-boy network."
Second, she is a constitutionalist. I respect that she looks at the constitutionality of legislation and not her personal views - case in point the legislation on providing partner benefits to gay couples. She's against gay marriage, but upon consultation, her Attorney General said legislation banning benefits would be against the Alaska constitution, so she vetoed it. This may not be popular with many hard core Conservatives, but it's fair and that is what a President needs to be.
Next, I think it was a smart pick because Ms. Palin does not need to confront any prior statements attacking her running mate, as Mr. Biden will (or should). By picking someone outside the Presidential race, McCain has avoided controversy and created a unified ticket from day one. One of the worst things that can happen to a candidate is to start their run as an apologist for themselves.
Lastly, and maybe most important...of all four people running on the Dem & GOP tickets, she actually has the most practical and relevant experience to the job of President because she has been a chief executive twice. She was a mayor, albeit of a small town, then Governor of a state. She has had to deal with legislative bodies, sign or veto bills, confront lobbyists, provide balance between the branches - all the things presidents have to do. If the Republicans win in November, she will have the perfect position from which to build on that experience.
Given Senator Obama's abysmal attendance and voting record, how can he really attack her on experience, anyway? Oh, I can see the slogan now:
"Why wait for a tragedy to get an inexperienced President? Save time and elect one from the start! I'm Barack Obama and I approved this message"