Last night, we learned that Sarah Palin can walk and chew gum at the same time. Bully for her. Today's job loss statistics, which triggered a 300 point loss in the Dow, say one thing to me: The Democrats have to go through their boxes and find those "It's the Economy, Stupid" signs they had in 1992. The U.S. has already had two recessions under George W. Bush, and there's nothing in John McCain's economic plan that deviates substantially from the strategies of the Bush II administration. If the Democrats focus on the economy, they will win. If they get trapped in "social issues" such as abortion, sex education and gun control, they'll lose.
I think that Palin will self-destruct before the end of the campaign: "You can't hit me because I'm a woman and wear glasses" won't wash when she's acting as McCain's attack dog. All of the opposition research that the McCain campaign should have done before appointing her their VP candidate is being done by the press and assembled in easy-to-find chunks at places like the Huffington Post.
If we've learned anything over the last eight years, it's that it's not the strength of the candidate, but rather, the strength of the campaign that determines who gets into the White House. George W. Bush was a lame speaker and a weak debater, but he beat two Democrats who should have mopped the floor with him, at least on paper. However, Al Gore and John Kerry both ran singularly lame campaigns. So far, the Democrats seem to have been caught flat-footed by the Palin announcement. If they can get back on message, it won't matter who the Republican VP candidate is.