I'd really rather not post on politics, but what else can one talk about this morning? Gov. Palin's sudden appearance on the Republican ticket has focused a lot of media and voter attention on her and on last night's speech at the Republican Convention. It was a Big Moment — had she crashed and burned it would have doomed the Republican ticket, I think, but her performance was everything it needed to be to convince many viewers and voters that (1) McCain didn't screw up selecting her, and (2) this is someone they can vote for and maybe even want to vote for.
I'm no political pundit and don't spend my afternoons reading editorial pages and political commentary, but I'm pretty sure the metric the average voter employs when evaluating presidential candidates or a presidential ticket is not, "Who is the biggest policy wonk on stage?" This point seems lost on many commentators who really seem to think voters should think this way and consequently get frustrated when a candidate connects with a big chunk of the electorate on a more fundamental frequency. My impression from Palin's speech is that she will connect in that way with a big chunk of that middle tier of the political spectrum that tilts either Republican or Democrat on election day. If Biden is a steadying force on the Democratic ticket, it looks like Palin is an engergizing force on the Republican ticket. It will be an interesting couple of months, won't it?
Sen. Obama, of course, also connects with a lot of middle tier voters, and the presidential debates will put the spotlight back on Obama and McCain. A poor performance by Palin last night could have lost it for the the Republicans, but her strong performance certainly doesn't win it. I thought Romney's speech was a little flat, Huckabee (who has filled out a bit, hasn't he?) was much better, and Giuliani was very effective stumping for McCain and against Obama.
Bottom line from a Mormon perspective: it's nice Romney's not on the ticket. I'm much happier having the national press debate the merits of Alaska politics, hockey moms, and pregnant 17-year-olds than Romney's Mormonism. Save that for the Secretary of the Treasury confirmation hearings.