Say what you will, but McCain may have locked up the election with this choice as VP.

For one, Biden was chosen to be an attack dog. If Biden attacks this eminently lovable choice for VP, he’ll look mean and churlish, and all sorts of sympathy will go toward the GOP.

If the Democrats attack her AT ALL — this mother of five, mother of a child with Down Syndrome — they will make themselves so unlikable that McCain will coast to victory on that alone.

Think about it: By choosing someone so far out in the sticks, and someone as authentic as she is — she is authentic — McCain has made a choice that practically resembles Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. In this case, it will be Mrs.-Soccer-Mom-whose-conservatism-can-be-forgiven-because-she-comes-from-Alaska (and therefore is authentic).

If she comes off as likable, approachable, and competent — simply competent — in the VP debate, McCain will benefit. If she tries hard to look smart and loses that soft, approachable texture, then McCain will be seen as having made a serious error — but only then.

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