I've always admired John McCain (though I have to say, in the interests of full disclosure, that I'm not voting for him this Fall); he was, by far, my favorite among the Republicans seeking the nomination, and I was delighted that he prevailed. I have to say, though, that his choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate is appalling and insulting to the American people. Perhaps it will turn out to be a political masterstroke, "energizing the base" and garnering lots of disaffected Clinton supporters; perhaps not. But to my mind, as a voter, the sole criterion for evaluating a candidate's VP choice is whether or not the candidate has picked someone who can plausibly be viewed as presidential timber and, no disrespect intended to Ms. Palin, who was apparently a decent mayor of Wasilla AK (pop. 9,000) and who has been serving as governor of Alaska for all of two years, McCain has failed miserably on that score. His recent complaints that Obama is too inexperienced to be President are not only fatally undercut by this choice, they look downright idiotic now -- coming from someone who would put Gov. Palin a heartbeat away from the presidency. It is the grossest form of pandering -- what happened to "putting your country first"? This choice puts McCain's candidacy first and the fate of the country a very distant second, and he should be, and Ihope he is, punished by the electorate for having made it.