Sam Stein delves inside the veep process:
And the decision may have been even more impulsive than initially thought. Gov. Sarah Palin, who had never been on the VP shortlist, was advanced at the last minute by Schmidt and Rick Davis, and was picked after a less-than-hour-long chat in with McCain at his ranch in Arizona.
Time to trot out the November 5th analysis two weeks early.
McCain aides have listed the intended benefits from a Palin pick: a young, energetic reformer who would excite the base and lend a historic nature to the ticket. But, as the nation has discovered, all those potential selling points have been rendered worthless by the former mayor’s vacuity on policy matters.
If McCain wanted to push a maverick message while rallying the base, why not pick Bobby Jindal? The 36-year-old governor has tried to stake out a reputation as a reformer in Louisiana with some success, holds extremely conservative views that would endear him to the base, and most importantly, has a presentable grasp of policy. He has everything Palin has, only more.
We’re not saying Jindal would have made much of a difference to the final results; rather, to fulfill what McCain was looking for with the Palin pick, he would have been the better option.