McCain has made a serious miscalculation in his choice for vice president.
There is very little that qualifies her to become a potential president; given McCain's age and health history this is much more serious that bush's selection of Dan Quail who was also unqualified. Palin has no foreign policy experience and to date has demonstrated very little foreign policy knowledge. She has served as mayor of a small town. For two years she has served as governor of a small state and one that faces almost no fiscal issues. Any state that has enough money to pay people to live there does not have the kind of fiscal issues that plague larger states and the federal government. She is largely unknown to the leadership of the national Republican party and thus has little ability to be a player in governance. Even trying to envision her as president of the Senate is a stretch.
Politically this gamble will not pay off. I cannot imagine a female supporter of Hilary Clinton rushing to support an inexperienced woman with retro position on women's right to choose. Her actual gun-toting membership in the NRA may energize the far right but will be a huge negative with women in general. Several female members of my own family--Republican and Democrats alike-- find it disconcerting that a mother of five, including a special needs infant, would presume to devote her time and attention to politics, especially national politics. She is young and has time to put her family first and then engage in the demanding challenges of national politics.
By choosing her McCain will actually alienate most women who will see this as an affront to the role of women pioneered by Hilary and others. Hilary gained support from women not just because she was a woman but because she was a QUALIFIED woman! This is clear evidence that McCain just doesn't get this issue as he fails to get so many others. With so many qualified and experienced Republican women to choose from, why would he select someone with no experience? Her only plus seems to be ideological. Haven't we had enough of that from the current administration?
This choice is just one more piece of evidence that McCain does not have considered judgment and is subject to impetuousness based on his view that he alone knows best. How else to explain the fact that she did not go through a careful vetting process?
Of course, a cynical view would be that the Republicans don't want to waste a competitive candidate in a race they are doomed to lose.