She's hideously right-wing, even for a Republican, and also problematic for other reasons:
-- Would deny women the right to an abortion, even in rape cases
-- Wants creationism taught in schools
-- Is strongly homophobic
-- Supports drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
---- Denies scientific evidence of the polar bear's threatened habitat and shrinking population in support of the above
-- Only found out recently what the Vice President actually does.
She's also recently become involved in an ethics scandal for misusing her gubernatorial authority to try to get her ex-brother-in-law (who's involved in a custody battle with her sister) fired from his state trooper job, which is going to make for some great media-mud over the next couple of months.
Her interest is fiercely local. She said right out, when she became governer of Alaska, that she'd be supporting the interests of her home town and its area. She plans to continue that attitude if she's elected Vice President, ensuring that the "VP slot would be a fruitful type of position, especially for Alaskans." It's pretty clear she has no interest in serving the country, only her particular chunk of it, which is where her loyalty and interests will always lie. Maybe that makes for a good mayor, but it's iffy in a governor and unacceptable in a President or VP.
Her experience is minuscule. She was the mayor of a tiny town for a number of years (I've seen population figures of 5500 and 8500, but at any rate less than 10,000) and has been governor of Alaska (pop. less than 700,000) for two years. Supporters are saying her "executive experience" is much greater than Obama's; come on, my high school's student body president "governed" 2700 people, but that doesn't make him/her qualified to be the next American president. Scale and complexity matter, folks.
And make no mistake, if Mr. McCain is elected, there's an excellent chance that his Vice President will end up as President somewhere along the line. Mr. McCain is 72 and has significant health problems. The American Presidency is one of the most stressful jobs on the planet and ages its incumbents very quickly. So the question here is not only whether Ms. Palin is qualified to be Vice President, but whether she's qualified to be President. I don't think so.
The overwhelming opinion (at least among liberal bloggers and commenters) is that the Republicans are hoping that throwing a random vagina onto their ticket will win them some significant number of disappointed Clinton supporters. Considering that Ms. Palin's politics are pretty much diametrically opposed to Ms. Clinton's, I'm hoping this particular trick won't work. (Although after the last decade or so, I'm not willing to swear anything when it comes to the possible stupidity of a large block of American voters.)
If Republican advisors thought it prudent to have a woman on the ticket, there are a number of better qualified Republican women they could've chosen. The fact that they didn't, that they thought this particular Republican woman would do just as well, shows that they were more interested in her plumbing than her political strengths. It's insulting to women that the Republicans think any significant number of us will vote for a ticket with a woman on it only because we share plumbing. And it's insulting to all the citizens of the United States that Mr. McCain is willing to choose a running mate he thinks will help him get elected, without considering what this person will add to his actual administration should he make it to the White House, and that he's apparently incapable of enough contingency thinking to consider what sort of President she'd be should he pass away or be incapacitated while he's in office.
I was planning to vote for Mr. Obama anyway, but if I'd been teetering, this would've pushed me firmly onto his side.