From Mark Kleiman.
Really and truly, John McCain's selection of Sarah Palin over tens of better qualified men and women tells us all we need to know about his capacity for the Presidency. First-rate people hire first-rate people; second-rate people hire third-rate people.
Palin is a woman. Palin is a mother. Palin is an evangelical. She might even be a sex-object for some. If you are into identity politics ("I want someone just like me up there.") then she has a good deal of draw.
McCain needed to change the playing field to have some hope of winning the Presidency. Well, Sarah Palin - the ambitious and vacuous "barracuda" has gotten the attention of the Republican social conservatives and of the media.
But there is no possible way she could take over as President and do an even adequate job on January 20th if John McCain were to win the Presidential election and then die before the inauguration. As her history comes out, she begins to make Richard Nixon's choice of Spiro Agnew look less bad - but not by much. It is highly unlikely that she will ever reach the level of competency required to act as President. She has the ambition, but not the competence or the interests.
Whatever John McCain was thinking when he chose Palin as his running mate, it damned sure wasn't "the good of the nation."