“. . . nothing contributes so much to tranquillize the mind as a steady purpose . . .” Mary Shelly, Frankenstein.

John McCain’s unexpected choice of Sarah Palin for the GOP vice-presidential nomination last week not only had most Democrats scratching their heads. Countless Republicans, after climbing back to their feet again (many of them most likely having been knocked over by a feather), were at a loss as what to make of Mr. Maverick’s more than surprising choice. And yet here we are now, one week on, and Governor Palin has not only managed to properly introduce herself to the country, she has just shaken up a presidential contest that had appeared to be a shoe-in victory for Barrack Obama by somehow managing to abscond with a considerable amount of the enthusiasm which had hitherto been thought to be his property alone. Or as Austin Powers might put it, she got his mojo.

Quite palpably, in addition to the enthusiasm Palin generated for her supporters during yesterday’s speech, one can feel that fear is now in the air, at least when it comes to the Democratic side of the campaign weather front. Not only was Palin able to effectively display her humor and her sharp tongue during her speech, she did so in the same natural way one assumed she had kept reserved just for dealing with her family, a family that clearly has no problems with all the scrutiny and gossip they have now unavoidably become a part of. She appears to be the natural-born giant killer, in other words. That a small-town girl is capable of successfully mocking the Washington (and any other) elite is one thing, but that she gets away with it so convincingly and effortlessly is quite another.

Of course it probably doesn’t hurt that everyone knows this small-town girl and her family somehow, “the real thing”, something the Democratic hopefuls would surely love to be able to maintain. She definitely gets plus points for being a reformer. And perhaps this very sudden appearance she has just made, from near obscurity to presidential ticket, maybe this also captures our imagination. It is, after all, the same kind of appearance that a certain Senator Obama made just a few years ago. And perhaps – oh yeah, I almost forgot – just perhaps it’s the fact that she’s also a woman. She is definitely a woman that has somehow managed to make everyone sit up on the edge of their seats in eager anticipation for what will surely be some very interesting debates indeed.

Yes, fear and loathing on the Democratic campaign trail just got a new face, but as we all know, Democrats now included, it ain’t over till it’s over. And to be fair, they should feel as if they are in good company, or they sure ought to be. If I were John McCain, I’d see to it that the monster I just created doesn’t abscond with any of my mojo. Because heaven knows that he’ll be needing every last drop of it he can get, having Sarah Palin as running-mate or not.

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