Alaska Governor Sarah Palin was indeed impressive during her coming-out party yesterday, with her pleasant and slightly chirpy voice suggesting hints of middle America, a background further solidified by her now-famous record of PTA involvement, being a hockey mom, having a propensity for mooseburgers, and fighting for reform. As has been widely observed, John McCain's selection of Palin also helps to reaffirm his image as a maverick who has a few surprises up his sleeve.
And sure, Palin will appeal to some working class independents and others who might otherwise lean Democratic in November.
But all this talk about her supposedly taking a chunk of Clinton supporters with her seems wildly exagerrated, mostly because of Palin's profile as a pro-lifer who believes in creationism, is a skeptic on global warming, and who differs with McCain on the soundness of drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (she's for it.)
Palin is a Republican with a capital R -- to the delight of conservatives. Yet although the GOP will push hard to narrow the gender gap, there remains a world of difference between the policy prescriptions favored by McCain's running mate and the woman who was almost the Democratic nominee.