Lisa Schiffren makes the case that Palin is on the ticket not so much to appeal to women as to appeal to working-class, Reagan Democrats:
If you were that autoworker or miner — even if you think that Democrats will give you more money, even if you hope that they can solve your pressing health-care issues — it’s hard to see how you’d accept that this Harvard Law grad, who “organized” in the slums of Chicago, has a clue about your three-dimensional life. For instance, you support the military and want to see the U.S. win in Iraq — not just turn tail and leave. And while it’s not your issue, you’ve never been happy with abortion on demand. But you aren’t rich, and you mistrust the party of Wall Street.
Maybe George Bush and his dad never really got you either. Does John McCain? Maybe. Partly. But this Palin babe — she is right on your wavelength. She lives where you live.
So who are the Democrats going to send to fight the Palin dragon? Women? Senator Joe Biden, son of Scranton? Can a vice-presidential candidate really double as the ticket’s foreign-policy expert and it’s emissary to the nation’s blue-collar neighborhoods? That will be quite a trick. Given the electoral votes at stake — Obama’s strategy for victory depends on it.