Has Fred Barnes lost it? At what point did he cease to have a single opinion that differs in any serious way from something that might be found in a talking points sheet downloaded from the Republican National Committee Web site? Here is Mr. Beltway Boy on the Sarah Palin choice:
She was not only a surprise choice but also an electrifying one, and her selection has far-reaching implications. Her entry will change the nature of the presidential race. And if the McCain-Palin ticket wins, it has the potential to carry Republicans through a rough patch and even ensure conservative dominance of the party -- for years to come.
That's an awful lot of political significance to ascribe to a vice presidential pick. But given who Sarah Palin is and what her future might be, it's not too much.
Oh, believe me, Fred: It really is too much. I heard Nicole Wallace (nee Devenish) on television this morning talking up the Palin choice, and she wasn't this effusive -- and she works for the McCain campaign.
Meanwhile, David Frum and Charles Krauthammer disagree. Frum first:
Mr. McCain's supporters argue that he is more serious about national security than Barack Obama. But the selection of Sarah Palin invites the question: How serious can he be if he would place such a neophyte second in line to the presidency? Barack Obama at least balanced his inexperience with Mr. Biden's experience. What is Mr. McCain doing?
The worrying continues with Krauthammer:
The Palin selection completely undercuts the argument about Obama's inexperience and readiness to lead -- on the theory that because Palin is a maverick and a corruption fighter, she bolsters McCain's claim to be the reformer in this campaign ... At the same time, he's weakening his strong suit -- readiness vs. unreadiness. The McCain campaign is reveling in the fact that Palin is a game changer. But why a game changer when you've been gaining? To gratuitously undercut the remarkably successful "Is he ready to lead" line of attack seems near suicidal.