★ McCain-Palin '08!

WOW! Talk about a surprise! I went to bed last night convinced that the ticket was McCain-Pawlenty, and while I would have been satisfied with that, this is just so much more electrifying! I'll write again after the speech, but I am enthusiastically behind this ticket! McCain-Palin in '08! Update: Good words from Kathleen Parker at National Review.

One thing that some people have been expressing concern over is how she'll fare in the debate against Biden. I'm honestly not worried about it. I think that Biden will let his mouth run away from him, as it is wont to do, and he'll come off as bullying.

Update: Waiting for the speech. Here's another thought: this is a Silent Majority Pick. College students and radical activists might sneer at Palin, but your average middle-class mom and dad are going to look at this quite differently. And lest we forget, college students and radical activists don't decide elections.

Update: Palin is making her speech now, and she is handling herself magnificently. It's an introduction more than anything else at this point, defining her as a reformer and a normal American. But unlike Obama, she's the real deal.

There's something else striking about her speech, though. My dad and I were talking last night, and he mentioned that in his lifetime there have been only two politicians that when giving speeches sounded like they were just talking to America - Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. Palin does not sound like she's giving a speech. She sounds like she's talking. She comes across as incredibly down to earth - a citizen (and a mother) first, and a politician second.

Update: Say, you know who no one is talking about today? Barack Obama. It is a testament to the McCain campaign's brilliant design that the day after Obama gave his historic speech, it's John McCain that controls the news cycle.

Update: The Left's line of attack on Palin is that she's too inexperienced to be one heartbeat away from the presidency.

Sarah Palin has held executive office in Alaska for two years. Barack Obama has been in the United States Senate for four, two of which have been spent running for office.

In her two years as governor, Palin has developed a reputation for challenging corruption and fighting pork. She got rid of Alaska's private jet and killed the fabled "Bridge-to-Nowhere," ousted the corrupt Republican Party chair in that state and currently has a 90% approval rating. In his four years in the Senate, Barack Obama has given some nice speeches. And... that's about it. Not only is being an executive more difficult than being one of a hundred legislators, but Palin has accomplished far more in her two years as governor than Obama has in his entire political career.

Obama wants to say that his number two has foreign policy experience, while Palin does not. But our number one, John McCain, has foreign policy experience, which the Democratic nominee is sorely lacking himself. Does Obama really want to make experience the center of his attack on Palin? Because I think that's a fight that Republicans are ready to have.

Update: Here's something else that I saw on Hugh Hewitt's blog that struck me as interesting. Obama wants to criticize Palin for a lack of experience in foreign relations. But Palin has worked closely with Canada for the whole of her term as governor. Not exactly Iraq, to be sure, but it's certainly more experience in international relations than Obama can claim.

Final Update: I went to bed last night convinced that McCain had settled on Tim Pawlenty. I was woken up this morning by a telephone call from my dad saying that Pawlenty had denied his being picked. Over the course of the next couple of hours, as it became clear that Sarah Palin had been chosen, I began to feel more energized than I have at any point in this campaign cycle. And when she took the stage in Dayton, I couldn't help but get a little emotional.

Democrats will spend the next few weeks trying to cut her down. Expect to hear some nasty things said about her. Radical feminists will accuse her of not being a real role model for women. Radical pro-choicers will say that she should have aborted her youngest child, who was born with Down Syndrome. (Don't believe me? They've already started.) The media will question her ability to lead and her qualifications for the vice presidency, while applauding a less qualified man who wants to be president and seems to resent his having to pick a vice president at all. Obama himself will, of course, try to have it both ways. He'll try to appear courteous for fear of offending Hillary voters, but he'll also try to marginalize Palin and her accomplishments - forgetting, of course, that his own list of accomplishments couldn't fill a Post-It note.

Expect tirade after tirade from the likes of Olbermann and Matthews. Expect sneering pieces about how a middle class citizen-governor can't handle Washington. Expect stories making her out to be a hick with no place in the high-stakes world of politics.

And expect Sarah Palin to smile politely before tearing these smears apart.

For the first time since we settled on our nominee, Republicans are energized. McCain raised $3 million today after the Palin announcement. Obama's legendary speech from last night has been booted from the headlines. And for the first time, people are starting to realize that we could win this thing.

I can't think of a better way to go into the convention.