Now that Arizona Senator John McCain has sewn up the Republican presidential nomination, the buzz gears up for who will be the crusty 71-year-old's running mate.
Mike Huckabee has been not-so-subtly lobbying for the job but he may be too far to the right for mainstream America. Even though Huck may seem like a Main Street guy, folks who aren't Christians may find some of his comments a bit too imbued with a comingling of church and state.
Mitt Romney would add a businessman's perspective to the ticket but he banged up on McCain so much in the primary fight that it would seem too much like an odd couple. Plus, at the end of the day, it would still be two white men. And then there's Sarah Palin.
Sarah Palin is the 44-year-old governor of Alaska who is a pro-life feminist, snowmobiler, hunter and NRA member, mother of four (with a fifth on the way in a couple of months), married to an oil field worker and fisherman, former journalist, former mayor and former state oil and gas commissioner.
Her ethics history makes McCain look like a newcomer on those issues. As oil and gas commissioner, she exposed massive corruption in the state's Republican political machine going all the way up to the office of then-governor Frank Murkowski whose re-election was torpedoed when Palin challenged him in the Republican primary in which the incumbent finished third (with only 19% of the vote).
While corrupt politicians despise Palin, Alaskans love her with an approval rating around 90%. She's equally at home running a marathon, meeting with foreign officials. staring down big oil companies and winning demands that they pay their fair share in taxes, visiting troops in Kuwait, serving hot dogs at a picnic, walking her children to school, visting grade schools and kicking serious butt on ethics along the way.
Barack Obama's "excitement" in large measure stems from him being a "made for TV candidate" with little substance. Sarah Palin, on the other hand, is the real deal.