Conventional Political Wisdom
So we have Joe Biden of Delaware, whose 3 electoral votes went to Gore in 2000 and Kerry in 2004 and would surely have gone for Obama anyway in 2008.
And now we have Sarah Palin of Alaska, whose 3 electoral votes went to Bush in 2000 and 2004 and would surely have gone for McCain anyway in 2008.
Hmmm, no help in either case.
Geographical balance: Obama (IL central), Biden (DE east): check. McCain (AZ south), Palin (AK north): check.
Experience factor: McCain (72 today! HB, John) elected to Senate in 1986, Biden (65) in 1973. Old white guys balance out.
Diversity factor: Obama 47, Palin 44. Non-old, non-white, non-guys balance out.
Attack-dog factor: Biden known to be able to appeal to working-class voters and rip the lungs out of political opponents. Anti-abortion Palin probably has an uphill battle reaching out to women but got started in politics by railing against political corruption in Alaska; remains to be seen if she can bite the heads off donkeys on the national stage. VP debate should be interesting.
Novelty factor: Obama #1 person of color on major-party ticket; Palin #2 woman.
Excitement factor: Obama clearly the rock star of this bunch. (Someone said Palin looks like a cross between Laverne and Shirley; if so, she may strike a resposive chord in Milwaukee; we'll see.)
Flag-waving factor: McCain dominant, others watching from afar.
Cute kids: Haven't seen Palin's offspring yet, but they'd better be DAMN cute to offset Obama's girls. Of course, #5 is only 2, and how can you NOT have a cute 2-year-old?
All in all, looks like conventional political wisdom is batting about .500.