Sarah Palin. Woman. Hillary-substitute.
That seems to be the general take on John McCain's bold decision to appoint the Alaskan Governor as his running mate, but I'm not so sure. Clearly, there's an element of gender politics involved, but I think the real reason for McCain's choice is altogether more worthy.
Palin's detractors say she has insufficient experience. Her supporters reply that she has more experience of executive office than McCain, Obama and Biden put together. More to the point, in my view, is that she has more experience than the others of cleaning up the political system, not just campaigning for 'change', but actually making it happen. A biographical piece in the Anchorage Daily News even describes her as The Joan of Arc of Alaska Politics.
My guess, or at least my hope, is that John McCain's purpose in choosing Sarah Palin is to trump Obama's rhetoric and to present the voters with a Republican ticket that promises change in action not words.