In a sense, this pick is very encouraging. No way the McCain campaign makes this gamble unless they feel they have to shake things up in order to remain competitive. And to be honest, the pick reflects the general theme of the campaign. Stuck without popular policy positions, McCain has been forced to run on image and biography. This choice brings nothing to the table policy-wise, and is entirely about image and identity politics. If you know you’re beat on the substance, may as well go whole hog on the other stuff.
Can someone who has so far been confined to a very small stage hold up under the bright lights of a presidential contest? I don’t know; I’d crack in a minute. And for an old guy running on his supposed wisdom, a few gaffes from his veep pick could do a great deal of damage.
There’s a lot of risk involved here, and as compelling as the Obama message is, I doubt they’re nervous. We’ll see, but I welcome the coming campaign.