John McCain was smart to put Sara Palin on the ticket
Sara Palin has energized the base of the Republican Party. But that will not be enough to win in a year of the "Obama Factor" surge (that is real) and the lingering effects of the Bush unpopularity. The Democrat base is super strong and they will turnout en mass ...along with hoards of newly registered young idealistic Obamaites.
For Republicans to win they must have their base energized, too. (Palin does that.)
They have to overcome the Obama "rock star" surge. McCain is doing that with Palin's uniqueness. (It sure helps that Biden brings nothing interesting to the race. It appears he is there to cover for Obama's weakness of no world experience. Palin, on the other had, is covering for McCain weakness in the base, but....she is actually adding something of her own! She reaches out to the average, everyday American.)
But, to win, Republicans need to get into the female voters that demand a qualified woman. That is what will put them over the top and that is what Palin is doing.
Many voters wait to see how things are sorting out before they make a decision. Those voters are now deciding. And they want qualified, new CHANGE. Obama was right about that! He just never saw Palin coming!
Palin is the trump card that will put Republicans over the top.
To my democrat friends I have been saying that it didn't have to be like that. If they had nominated Clinton... or, if Clinton had been Obama's pick for VP...they would not be in the pickle they are in right now.
McCain plays to win. Obama plays not to lose...and that is why he will.