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And one thing is for sure -- almost no one seems to be indifferent about McCain's pick.

Palin was certainly one of the riskiest choices he could have made. Then again, it has the *potential* to be a high-reward pick. It also has the potential for disaster. This isn't a going-for-singles-and-doubles pick -- this is a swing for the fences ending in home run or strikeout.

As I mentioned on "the other" board, both McCain and Obama picked running mates which, while "covering" for the perceived weaknesses of the presidential candidates, also undermine the message.

McCain's 'experience you can trust' mantra? Choosing a neophyte with no national-level experience like Palin, especially given McCain's age and medical history, seems to call that into some question.

Obama's "change we can believe in" mantra? Picking one of the ultimate Washington insiders as a running mate represents anything but "change."

Having said that, both veep candidates do bring positive attributes largely seen as lacking in the head of the ticket; in McCain's case, Palin's youth and vitality in contrast to McCain's age, her congenial personality compared to McCain's legendary temper and her ability to portray the GOP as not only for old white men are all pluses to the McCain ticket. Similarly, Biden's extensive experience in foreign affairs seems to cover one of Obama's greatest perceived weaknesses, that "3 AM phone call" thing. And for better or worse for a candidate touting "change" -- probably for better AND for worse -- Biden knows how things get done in Washington, probably about as well as anyone.

Despite all those complementary attributes of the running mates, McCain's pick certainly goes against the 'trusted experience' theme; Palin is very well liked and trusted among Alaskans who know her and her approval ratings are as high as just about any governor's, but the experience is still very thin. And Obama's pick totally flies in the face of "change." Obama's choice was as Washington establishment as you can get and he has his share of baggage such as with the plagiarism thing.

Mixed bag in both cases. It will be interesting to see how both campaigns emphasize the complementary attributes Palin and Biden bring to their respective candidates while they spin the weaknesses. It will be interesting to see how the Democrats go after Palin, because she's apparently an extremely likable person and it might be hard to successfully run personal attacks. Of course, likable is nothing without tough, because if I had to choose between likable and an SOB in a time of crisis, I'd probably prefer the SOB. In any event, they may have to stick to hitting her on issues and level of experience, because she seems like the type toward whom personal attacks might backfire.

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