I think it's safe to say that McCain just won the VP-selection contest decisively over Obama.
Biden is an old, boring, DC insider, and more qualified than the top half of the ticket. Palin is new, about as far from DC as you can get, and more conservative than McCain, shoring up his support on the right.
Her inexperience would be a liability given McCain's age and health, but bringing it up risks raising the issue of Obama's inexperience.
Obviously a pro-drilling pro-life red state governor isn't going to attract many Hillary supporters, but McCain wasn't going to anyway.
Palin may also serve to draw back some of the Ron Paul crowd, which was otherwise leaning toward Barr. Keep in mind that Ron Paul topped double digits in the Republican primaries in over a dozen states.
What Florida and Michigan problem? The rules were made known in advance, Florida and Michigan decided to break them anyway, and they were punished severely (probably too severely, but what's done is done.)
Al Gore on the top of the ticket? That would be comical, and make the Democratic Party a joke. No disrespect for Gore, but a dark horse convention candidate is for when there aren't any strong candidates already in the race, and the Democrats have two already.
McCain's the one with a character issue here. He signed up for public financing in the primary when he was flat broke, but is now trying to weasel out of it on a technicality (he hasn't actually received any of the funds he signed up for yet) since the money is flowing in with the nomination all but locked up.
Why would anyone count Florida and Michigan???? I can see the case for reinstating Florida's delegation, or part of it, because at least all of the candidates were on the ballot there. There's no possible case for Michigan's vote to count, since Obama and Edwards weren't on the ballot there.
The media shouldn't be reporting the super delegate "count" at all. It has been skewing the news, and making casual voters believe that Senator Clinton was still in the "lead", despite having won fewer delegates in states that have actually voted. It's deceptive, especially given that super delegates are not pledged and could easily change their support between now and the convention.
Good post. One update -- CNN shows Ron Paul at 7% in the New York primary.
The difference in caucus results vs. primary results is a reflection of the people participating in each. Primary voters are generally less serious, less committed, and less well-informed. They are more apt to include people who rely on the media to tell them which two or three candidates have a legitimate shot to win, and to constrain their choices to those few. They only have to show up for a few minutes to vote.
Caucus goers are generally more committed, more informed, and more dedicated to a particular candidate in advance. They have to plan to attend at a particular time, and stay for a few hours. Casual voters don't bother.
Ron Paul had more actual grassroots volunteers, and they were much better organized, than any other Republican candidate. They planned for weeks in advance to participate, and to identify and encourage other supporters to attend. With much lower turnout as a percentage of the population, those efforts were more effective in caucus states.
Obama has already proven strong caucus-organizing abilities, in Iowa. Hillary seems to do better in high-turnout states like New Hampshire, where more of the voters are low information types, who don't realize that she voted for the war and the Patriot Act, and plans to leave tens of thousands of troops in Iraq indefinitely.
So much for the oft-refuted claim that Unity08 was simply a front for a Bloomberg independent run. Oh, wait.
The first sign that things weren't going well over there was when they polled their membership, and wouldn't announce how many members they had. They polled a subset of the membership (around 2000 people), but didn't say what percentage that represented.
From a few brief visits over there, it appeared the most popular candidates among the actual Unity08 members were Ron Paul, Dennis Kucinich, and Mike Gravel, with some support for Obama and McCain.
Unity08's "closing up shop" email even mentioned Obama favorably, saying that he wasn't running on the same old divisive left/right rhetoric.