There's been a media feeding frenzy surrounding Sarah Palin, her unmarried daughter's pregnancy, plans to keep the baby, and other personal aspects of Sarah's life.
Obviously, her daughter's situation is unfortunate, yet her support for her daughter's decision to keep the child and her own decision to keep her fifth child even though there was the likelihood of Downs Syndrome, speaks volumes about her pro-life beliefs. I don't think her daughter's situation will hurt her politically though I'm sure it's been challenging personally.
Democrats have attacked her on a number of fronts - personally and background. From my limited exposure, I think she's a pretty tough person. In the long run, this will only make her stronger. I find it interesting that the inexperience charge was made in the context of comparing her to Obama which of course doesn't make sense, because she's the vice president candidate and he's the presidential candidate. And beyond that she's actually had more executive experience than Obama.
I think her biggest contribution to the campaign is firing up the conservative base, particularly evangelicals and other religious conservatives. It may have a marginal impact on independents, women or conservative men. But the key impact is energizing people who were probably going to support McCain but weren't overly excited about his candidacy.
Ultimately, people will vote for McCain or Obama not the vice presidential candidates. As I mentioned before, Dan Quayle's perceived weaknesses didn't hurt George Bush, Sr. who came from behind to beat Dukakis.
It should be a very interesting final two months to Election Day.