Regardless of what you think of John McCain's choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate, it has become clear that his campaign blew the Palin vetting and selection process...and that McCain himself made a last-minute impulse decision designed to appease critics within the party who objected to his preferred choices: Joe Lieberman and Tom Ridge.
If nothing else, this story nukes the McCain-the-Maverick tale that got people excited last Friday. On the contrary: It makes McCain look wimpy, unable to stand up even to those within his own party.
Just as bad, it makes McCain look incompetent. The NYT suggests that the Palin choice was so last-minute that the campaign had no time to conduct more than the most cursory vetting process. This after the candidate had more than four leisurely months in which to conduct a careful search. Prior to her nomination, Palin was interviewed once, by a McCain lawyer, and then had one in-person meeting with McCain, who immediately offered her the job:
The concern here isn't Palin's pregnant daughter or own personal Troopergate--these issues just aren't issues (at least not yet). In fact, the concern isn't Palin at all. It's McCain. If this is the way the "experienced" candidate makes crucial, high-pressure decisions, experience counts for a lot less than McCain says it does.
See Also: Why McCain's "America's Hottest Governor" Pick Is Brilliant