If, as one commentator observed, McCain’s pick was a classic fighter pilot’s move, as risky as it was daring, the plain-spoken, gun-toting Palin is the kind of strong and independent woman who, a few short generations back, helped conquer the West. Lots of liberal women politicians call themselves strong and independent—and spend their careers relentlessly working for programs that increase people’s dependence on government. Palin could hardly be more different. She is the anti-Barbara Boxer.
Indeed, this choice could have immense long-term implications. Only yesterday there was every reason to believe that, even if McCain were to win the election, the party faced a highly uncertain future. Not only was it all-but bereft of future stars, but, more importantly, it seemed ideologically adrift. Literally overnight, those concerns appear to have vanished. Already, somewhere, there are surely relieved Republicans happily contemplating a brand new thought: Palin-Jindal in ’12.