It was very interesting to see that McCain chose Sarah Palin as his running mate. That choice came out of the blue and none of the pundits had seen it in advance. Everyone had the standard people identified and non one seemed to recognize the possibility of McCain going this direction. IMO, the situation is interesting. Here is what I see for pros and cons.
Palin is clearly a Washington outsider. She cannot be classified as player in DC politics. This status compared with her "hockey mom" nature can potentially broaden her appeal as she may be considered more of a regular person than a traditional politician.
Her record as governer looks impressive on paper particular with her pursuit of corruption. Her political leanings are clearly very conservative which McCain needed to try to motivate his party.
Finally, she is a woman. There is clearly a segment of the population who may vote based on this alone. She clearly makes a compelling case for these voters.
The most obvious con is her lack of exerience. Her status as an outsider means that she has essentially no experience in DC politics. Alaska is a long way from DC. Repulican pundits like to differentiate between her Governer experience and that of a traditional congresswoman. IMO, this is a tough sell and I am not sure that people will buy it.
If the goal is to encourage disenchanged Hillary voters to swith to McCain because of Palin, it will be a tough sell. Sure she is woman, but her conservative perspectives are very different and it is hard to imagine Hillary fans jumping ship to someone who is against abortion and gay marriage.
In summary, the Palin choice is an interesting one. However, it is not silver bullet and brings both strengths and weaknesses. It will be very interesting to see how the situation shakes out. McCain’s choice has dominated the headlines as of late which in some respects is a minor victory for McCain since he has taken the spotlight from Obama and the democractic convention.