1. Steps on the story of Obama's speech (and convention), and possibly the bounce coming from them, and wipes them off the news cycle. The Sunday news shows will be all-Palin, all of the time.
2. Sends Republicans into their convention on a huge head of steam.
3. Wipes out the image of McCain as the crotchety elder and brings back that of the fly-boy and gambler, which is much more appealing, and the genuine person.
4. Revs up the base AND excites independents, which no one else in the party, or perhaps in the world, could have accomplished.
5. Puts youth, change, and history on both of the tickets.
6. May detach some young people, especially women.
7. May attach some women pissed off about Hillary.
8. As a pro-life super-achiever, puts feminists in a tizzy.
9. Revives some of the double-edged nature of the Democratic primary, which featured a black vs. a
female trail-blazer, and put both sides on notice on sensitivity issues. Democrats used to raising charges of racism against Obama's critics may face charges of sexism and/or condescension if they try to diss her.
10. Steps on Obama's claims to have been a reformer, as he reformed nothing (much less the corrupt mare's nest of Chicago arrangements), while she was a dragon-slayer up in Alaska.
11. As a mother of five, one a Down Syndrome baby, helps her side take on the Democrats on abortion extremism and the Born Alive bill.
12. Reignites the deep and unhealed stresses inside the Democrats, some of whom will now wonder more loudly than ever why they didn't pick Hillary.
13. Counters Michelle in a way Cindy couldn't.
14. Counter-intuitively, makes the issue of Obama's light resume more potent than ever. Her lack of experience is no more than his is. And he's--to use a term from Alaska, and the Iditarod--their lead dog.