August 29, 2008 | National Review Online

Palin Pros & Cons

I think Peter really nailed the biggest upside here: “she has thrilled the GOP’s conservative base, which can now in good conscience give itself to the McCain candidacy with enthusiasm—not feigned enthusiasm, real enthusiasm—for the first time since the senator entered the race. This has solved McCain’s worst strategic problem.”

This pick makes McCain a stronger candidate because it makes it more likely the people he needs — that would be us — are are going to rev it up. Unless and until he does something drastic to undermine confidence, I (and I don’t think I’m singular in this) am now over my two biggest worries: (a) that McCain will not listen to conservatives once he’s elected, and (b) that he will not go to the mat on his commitment to appoint conservative judges (i.e., judges who would be likely to invalidate McCain’s signature issue of campaign finance reform). It also shows that he does care about the future of the party after McCain, which I doubted. Today, I go from from an ambivalent McCain supporter driven more by fear of Obama to someone who can feel good about the prospects of a McCain administration. If there are a few million more like me, maybe the all-important undercard of Senate and House races won’t turn out as badly as some experts are predicting.

Those are powerful plusses. I’m not worried about her inexperience because she impresses me as a quick study who will surround herself with knowledgeable people of a conservative foreign policy bent. She does not come to us out of the Council on Foreign Relations; she comes as the conservative governor of the state next door to an aggressive Russia which is flying regular missions along Alaska’s coastline — as Jay noted, she took pains to mention she is commander-in-chief of the Alaska National Guard. She’s the patriotic mother of a son who voluntarily enlisted and is soon to deploy to Iraq (you think there’s anything she’s not gonna know about Iraq under those circumstances?).

This is the best day we’ve had in a long time.