民主黨熱滾滾的黨內初選，把 Obama 的聲勢推得火紅，我住的區裡到處都有人家自願插著 Obama 的競選旗幟，彷彿下一屆美國總統是民主黨的囊中物，在民主黨全代會成功地造勢之後，共和黨年邁的候選人 McCain 公佈了他的副總統人選 -- 來自 Alaska 年僅 44 歲的女州長 Sarah Palin，讓美國政界觀察人士跌破眼鏡，卻在民間激起一片叫好之聲。
到底 Palin 女士有何魅力在眾多副總統人選中脫穎而出呢？
翻譯 一篇文章(from hotair written by Ed Morrissey) 給大家參考。（看得出來本文作者應該是共和黨支持者）
What Palin does for McCain, and to Obama
posted at 11:20 am on August 29, 2008 by Ed Morrissey
With multiple media outlets confirming now that Governor Sarah Palin will indeed join the Republican ticket as John McCain’s running mate, McCain has clearly chosen to play offense rather than defense. Instead of a safe choice, such as closest runner-up Mitt Romney or genial Everyman Tim Pawlenty, McCain took some risk with a relative newcomer to national politics. Palin will inject risk, excitement, controversy, and an unexpected historic note to the Republican convention.
各主要媒體已陸續證實 McCain 已挑選阿拉斯加州州長 Sarah Palin 為其副總統競選夥伴，很明顯地 McCain 在這場選戰中打算採取主動攻勢，他選擇不打安全牌 Mitt Romney 或是 Everyman Tim Pawlenty，相反地，他冒險挑選了一個全國性政治的新手。Palin 的加入為這場選戰增添了冒險、興奮、爭議、並且出乎於共和黨保守傳統的意料之外。
First, though, let’s assess the risk. Palin has served less than two years as Governor of Alaska, which tends to eat into the experience message on which McCain has relied thus far. At 44, she’s younger than Barack Obama by three years. She has served as a mayor and as the Ethics Commissioner on the state board regulating oil and natural gas, for a total of eight years political experience before her election as governor. That’s also less than Obama has, with seven years in the Illinois legislature and three in the US Senate.
首先，讓我們來評量一下選擇 Palin 的風險。她只做了不到兩年的阿拉斯加州長，這可會削弱 McCain 對 Obama 「缺乏經驗」的攻擊，這可是讓 McCain 與 Obama 能纏鬥至今的重要論點。 Palin 只有 44 歲，比 Obama 還小三歲。她曾任鎮長以及州政府石油及天然氣的審議委員，在州長之前，她只有八年的政治歷練，比 Obama 七年州議員和三年參議員的經驗還少。
However, the nature of the experience couldn’t be more different. Palin spent her entire political career crusading against the political machine that rules Alaska — which exists in her own Republican party. She blew the whistle on the state GOP chair, who had abused his power on the same commission to conduct party business. Obama, in contrast, talked a great deal about reform in Chicago but never challenged the party machine, preferring to take an easy ride as a protegé of Richard Daley instead.
然而這些歷練的本質卻有很大的不同。Palin 的從政生涯可以被視為是對抗阿拉斯加政府機構的戰役，尤其是她對抗的正是她所屬的共和黨。她揭發了與她在同一個委員會的共和黨州主席濫用特權圖利自己的政黨。相較之下，Obama 在芝加哥雖然提過許多改造的想法，但是卻未曾真正地挑戰黨機器，而是在芝加哥民主黨陣營的光環下發展政治事業。（註：Richard Daley 是 1955-1976 的芝加哥市長）
Palin has no formal foreign-policy experience, which puts her at a disadvantage to Joe Biden. However, in nineteen months as governor, she certainly has had more practical experience in diplomacy than Biden or Obama have ever seen. She runs the only American state bordered only by two foreign countries, one of which has increasingly grown hostile to the US again, Russia.
Palin 沒有正式的外交事務經驗，這會讓她和民主黨的副總統候選人 Joe Biden 相較時居於下風。然而，在她十九個月州長任內，她必定擁有比 Biden 或Obama 更多處理實際對外事務的經驗。阿拉斯加州是美國唯一擁有兩個鄰國的州，其中之一還是對美國日增敵意的俄羅斯。
And let’s face it — Team Obama can hardly attack Palin for a lack of foreign-policy experience. Obama has none at all, and neither Obama or Biden have any executive experience. Palin has almost over seven years of executive experience.
更直接要命的是，Obama 的競選團隊幾乎無法攻擊 Palin 缺乏外交經驗的弱點，因為 Obama 也沒有，再加上 Obama 和 Biden 沒有任何行政歷練，而 Palin 則有將近七年的行政經驗。
Politically, this puts Obama in a very tough position. The Democrats had prepared to launch a full assault on McCain’s running mate, but having Palin as a target creates one large headache. If they go after her like they went after Hillary Clinton, Obama risks alienating women all over again. If they don’t go after her like they went after Hillary, he risks alienating Hillary supporters, who will see this as a sign of disrespect for Hillary.
這讓 Obama 在政治上陷入難題。民主黨人早已磨掌擦掌要給 McCain 的副手人選來個贏頭痛擊，但是 McCain 選擇 Palin 為副手，這些人就頭痛了。如果他們像攻擊 Hillary 一樣地攻擊她， Obama 有可能降低婦女票的支持。如果他們不像攻擊 Hillary 一樣地攻擊她，也可能讓 Hillary 的支持者認為之前的猛烈攻擊是出於對 Hillary 的不尊重。
For McCain, this gives him a boost like no other in several different ways. First, the media will eat this up. That effectively buries Obama’s acceptance speech and steals the oxygen he needs for a long-term convention bump. A Romney or Pawlenty pick would not have accomplished that.
對 McCain 來說，這個決定也替他的總統競選帶來無法取代的好處。首先，媒體必定會瘋狂報導此事，那麼，Obama 正式接受提名演說以及民主黨全代會對於他的選舉宣傳效應就會急驟下降。
Second, Palin will re-energize the base. She’s not just a pro-life advocate, she’s lived the issue herself. That will attract the elements of the GOP that had held McCain at a distance since the primaries and provide positive motivation for Republicans, rather than just rely on anti-Democrat sentiment to get them to the polls.
再者， Palin 能讓共和黨的傳統支持者重燃熱情。她不只反對墮胎，她自己也曾經歷過墮胎與否的掙扎( 她選擇生下一個唐式症寶寶）。這些能讓原本對於 McCain 立場有懷疑的共和黨人有正面的動機去投票，而不是只靠著反民主黨情緒去投票。
Third, and I think maybe most importantly, Palin addresses the energy issue better and more attuned to the American electorate than maybe any of the other three principals in this election. Even beyond her efforts to reform the Oil and Natural Gas Commission, she has demonstrated her independence from so-called “Big Oil” while promoting domestic production. She brings instant credibility to the ticket on energy policy, and reminds independents and centrists that the Obama-Biden ticket offers nothing but the same excuses we’ve heard for 30 years.
第三點也是最重要的一點，Palin 在能源議題上的立場可能比其他三位參選人更趨近美國選民的意見。除了重整石油及天然氣審議會，她也表達贊成阿加斯加的石油開採的立場，並且不受石油公司的遊說影響。她就任副手等於是幫 McCain 的能源政策可行性強力背書，並且提醒中間選民 Obama-Biden 在此議題上的空洞立場。
Finally, based on all of the above, McCain can remind voters who has the real record of reform. Obama talks a lot about it but has no actual record of reform, and for a running mate, he chose a 35-year Washington insider with all sorts of connections to lobbyists and pork. McCain has fought pork, taken real political risks to fight undue influence of lobbyists, and he picked an outsider who took on her own party — and won.
綜合以上幾點，McCain 提醒了選民誰才是真正有改革能力的。Obama 說了很多改革但是卻沒有實際的成績，在挑選副手上，他也選擇了浸淫華盛頓政治圈 35 年的 Biden。而 McCain 不只曾經對抗政治分贓 (pork barrel)，承擔拒絕遊說的政治風險，他的副手也選擇了願意挑戰自己政黨的新人。
This is change you can believe in, and not change that amounts to all talk. McCain changed the trajectory of the race today by stealing Obama’s strength and turning it against him. Obama provided that opening by picking Biden as his running mate, and McCain was smart enough to take advantage of the opening.
這才是你可以相信的改變，而不是口頭上承諾的改變 （改變是 Obama 的競選口號）。 McCain 的決定改變了此次選舉預定的軌跡，他把 Obama 的長處吸收並且以之攻擊回去。Obama 選擇 Biden 為副手露出了個破綻，而 McCain 足夠聰明，馬上佔他便宜。
初選時，雖然我的朋友老師們都一面倒的支持 Obama， 我卻私心希望希拉蕊會贏，想想要成為一個成功的女性政治人物多麼艱辛，怎麼能不支持一下呢？Obama 的演講 A more perfect union 很振奮人心，但是 Hillary 的退選演說卻更讓我感動。她是這樣說的：
Now, the journey ahead will not be easy. Some will say we can't do it, that it's too hard, we're just not up to the task. But for as long as America has existed, it has been the American way to reject can't-do claims and to choose instead to stretch the boundaries of the possible through hard work, determination, and a pioneering spirit.
To build that future I see, we must make sure that women and men alike understand the struggles of their grandmothers and their mothers, and that women enjoy equal opportunities, equal pay, and equal respect.
Let us ... Let us resolve and work toward achieving very simple propositions: There are no acceptable limits, and there are no acceptable prejudices in the 21st century in our country.
You can be so proud that, from now on, it will be unremarkable for a woman to win primary state victories ... unremarkable to have a woman in a close race to be our nominee, unremarkable to think that a woman can be the president of the United States. And that is truly remarkable, my friends. （那時我看影片聽到這段真是超感動的）
To those who are disappointed that we couldn't go all of the way, especially the young people who put so much into this campaign, it would break my heart if, in falling short of my goal, I in any way discouraged any of you from pursuing yours.
Always aim high, work hard and care deeply about what you believe in. And, when you stumble, keep faith. And, when you're knocked down, get right back up and never listen to anyone who says you can't or shouldn't go on.
As we gather here today in this historic, magnificent building, the 50th woman to leave this Earth is orbiting overhead. If we can blast 50 women into space, we will someday launch a woman into the White House.
Although we weren't able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you, it's got about 18 million cracks in it ... and the light is shining through like never before, filling us all with the hope and the sure knowledge that the path will be a little easier next time.
McCain 挑選 Palin 想要接收希拉蕊支持者的用意自是昭然若揭，然而， Palin 呼應希拉蕊的片段我還是覺得很美啊：
"It was rightly noted in Denver this week that Hillary left 18 million cracks in the highest, hardest glass ceiling in America," Palin said, after acknowleding Democrat Geraldine Ferraro, the first woman on a national ticket, and Clinton as paving way for her selection. "But it turns out the women of America aren't finished yet, and we can shatter that glass ceiling once and for all."