BACKGROUND: Some people wonder why John McCain made Sarah Palin his running mate. To answer that question, you've got to go back to the time before the Arizona Republican senator made his decision.
The selection of Joe Biden as Barack Obama's running mate was widely seen as a "safe" choice. Biden was seen as having gravitas in foreign affairs and domestic matters. But still, the Delaware senator was not exactly a barnburner of a pick. Given his dismal standing in the polls at the time, McCain needed a "game changing" selection.
Palin had been a favorite of some conservatives for a long time. Many liked how she took on Frank Murkowski in 2006 and how she governed in Alaska. Still, few seriously thought that McCain would pick Palin as his running mate. McCain proved the experts wrong.
WHY IT MADE THE LIST: Only
a few days after McCain's decision, Palin was the star attraction at a
huge rally in St. Charles County. The rally featured many Republican luminaries, including Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee and McCain.
But I guarantee that thousands of people would not have come to T.R.
Hughes Stadium if Palin had not been on the speaking list.
This was a period of time when Palin breathed quite a bit of life into McCain's floundering campaign. It was before her standing wilted in some respects under intense media scrutiny. But it should be noted that even after she went through the proverbial media cleaver, she still managed to attract thousands of people to pre-election rally in Jefferson City. Even today, she's still drawing interest after she's departed from elected office.
As noted before, I don't think Palin will be the Republican presidential nominee in 2012. But that doesn't mean that she won't be relevant force in American politics. On the contrary, I think she's only begun to shake things up.
FUN FACT: Numerous national media figures were at the St. Charles rally. Not only did I get to see FOX News' Carl Cameron scope out the speech in neat sunglasses, but I also got to meet James Rosen. Rosen - who probably is not related to me in any particular way - is a political reporter for FOX News.