1. Greetings from Boston. There’s a LOT of interest here in the alternative AMERICAN Political Science Association Meeting next year.
2. On our Sarah: She was a very realistic choice. It wasn’t made from desperation, but from a sober calculation about how to win the election. I said here on Thurs. that McCain’s main challenge is to bring back from Republicans who now call themselves Democrats and indpendents. She meets the challenge of bringing back some and energizing the turnout of "faith and family" voters. She gets the job does not by anything she says, but by WHO she is, just as McCain gets (some, at least) of the job done with the more nationalistic or national security voters by simply being WHO he is.
3. Palin didn’t "rock the house" in her introductory comments, but she didn’t shout, made good sense, and wonderfully displayed her character. She sold me that she’s an ordinary hockey mom who got involved in politics for the right reasons. Here’s the thing that unites Mac and her against Obama and Biden: They’re the anti-bobos (bourgeois bohemians). They have admirable lives, and so don’t need "lifestyles."
4. Mac does surrender the experience advantage against Obama, and he may have created some doubts about the authenticity of his judgments. He looked somewhat uncomfortable standing next to her. But my authentic view is that he picked better than he knew, and yesterday may well have been the beginning of a beautiful friendship. And Mac isn’t really about experience, he’s about character.
5. It’s impossible to overemphasize how happy the various kinds of social conservatives are here at the convention about the choice. I won’t name names, but I’m including famous professors at leading institutions. Many of them have never really liked or trusted McCain. Strangely enough, they trust her. And they now trust him more.
6. Biden--whom I’m on record as admiring--must be miserable. He can’t attack her, and he better not be condescending toward her. He better not say something "inappropriate" about Sarah or her family. His record on such matters is not encouraging.
7. I agreed with a distinguished professor of law at the election panel that it’s 80-90% likely that Obama would win the election. Paul Rahe (he won’t mind me using his name in a manly way) objected that McCain had already won the election because of Barack’s missteps. I think most in attendance wanted to be with Paul but actually agreed with me. The Sarah choice suggests that Mac actually would have tended to agree with me. Now I think the Sara choice--which, I admit, is pretty risky Berry--makes it about 70% likely that Obama prevails.
By the way, I met Pete at that panel; he’s as astute and witty in real life as he is in thread.