McCain languished in the polls and Obama's election seemed certain until Palin joined the ticket. The buzz created by her nomination and the speeches that she gave when McCain introduced her on August 29 and at the Republican National Convention have been the only highlights of the campaign so far. Palin gave conservatives a charismatic national voice (for a change) and energized the party. Her no-nonsense style and outsider status has even appealed to moderates and across party lines.
Despite the positive Palin-effect, McCain has pushed his running mate into the background over the last few weeks. The most celebrated appearances that she has made lately have been in "gotcha" attack interviews by liberal Big Media stars that were edited to paint Palin in a bad light. But tomorrow is her chance - live television - and an expected audience much larger than Katie Couric could ever dream of.
Barack Obama is a charismatic and accomplished speaker (though about all he has to say is fluff or socialism). Obama's got plenty of campaign money and the media on his side. The deck is stacked in his favor and momentum seems to be swinging his way.
John McCain has two things going for him . . . he's not Barack Obama, and Sarah Palin.
Voters will be watching her tomorrow night to see if she's up to the job of vice president. Is she knowledgeable? Is she intelligent? Is she steady and tough?
If Palin can show that she is all of those things, the Republican party will bounce back and you'll see a surge in the polls that McCain could ride all the way to Pennsylvania Avenue. If he's smart enough and humble enough to do so.