But the nomination of Palin ahead of the plainly more qualified Kay Bailey Hutchison is only intelligible in the context of the GOP's anti-choice base.
Damn right. Far as I can see, McCain picked a woman mainly to combat the historic nature of Obama's campaign , but he had to choose the right type of woman, i.e. one that energises the right-wing Christians that have been looking increasingly unhappy of late.
That's why it's Palin instead of one of the more weighty female names in the Republican Party, who just aren't far enough along the pro-life, climate change-denying, gay-bashing scale to help McCain's problems with his base.
I suppose that, if nothing else, the worst case scenario for this election now involves the first female VP in history, which ain't nothing. Cracks in the glass ceiling, and all that. It'll probably give me a warm inner glow about the inclusiveness of it all. Course, that will presumably be swiftly replaced with a warm outer glow because McCain's started a nuclear war with Russia, but c'mon, people. The glass is half full!!!
 This is not to say that a woman couldn't be picked as the Vice Presidential candidate purely on her own merits, obviously. I just think it's just fairly obvious that Palin wasn't. I also think anyone suggesting that this choice is designed to appeal to frustrated Hillary supporters is underestimating their intelligence, and overestimating their numbers.