I was simply stunned by the reaction of the wingers to Palin. They were thrilled to death. I expected them to be disappointed because their fellow Mormon Romney got passed over, but not a bit. She's good looking (heard that over and over), young, and -- this fascinates me -- they felt that having a woman on the ticket helps negate the "advantage" Obama has as a black man. They wouldn't come out and say it in my presence, but that was the gist of what they did say. Apparently Obama has some kind of Affirmative Action advantage with the voters, or at least in the minds of the wingers he does. They also liked that she comes from Alaska, and is presumably pro-drilling -- this, for some reason, was seen as some sort of trump card she holds.
The two things about Palin to my mind are whether she is able to hold her own, and whether people look on her as a stunt or a gimmick or an act of desperation by McCain (which I think she is at least to some degree). If she flops, then she automatically looks like a desperation play that backfired. If she is viewed as a stunt, then whatever her merits, she looks like a desperation play, which makes McCain's campaign look like it's flailing. From the standpoint of McCain I like the pick, because he has to do well with women, and a status quo, old white guy pick wouldn't have helped him much there. And just an argument over her lack of experience takes some of the rock star focus off of Obama and puts it on McCain's campaign, which he needs. I think on balance it was one of those good gambles the Republicans take and the Dems won't.