Some quick thoughts...
> This shows the strength of the prolife constituency; so often people "in the know" will claim that the prolife constituency is overstated, or will "have no place to go" and be good soldiers. I think McCain would gladly have picked a pro-abortion running mate (and prolifers need to keep that in mind), but ended up picking someone who is being billed as "strongly prolife." A caveat: Gov. Sarah Palin's actual record on the subject is what counts most, not the PR; but the PR by McCain does tell us what kind of message they feel a need to send, and thus what was received by McCain: namely, that they know how much they need prolifers.
> This is hardly reason for prolifers to relax about the GOP ticket. Taking nothing away from Gov. Palin, but she isn't going to have any great role in these matters. If McCain doesn't want a prolife bill to advance in Congress, that's what'll count with GOP members of Congress, and Palin won't be able to overcome that; whoever McCain picks as judges, and what decisions he makes on executive policies affecting prolife, will be his decisions--no way he's going to "outsource" these decisions to her. So, while she looks good--and obviously, a pro-abortion pick would have been bad news--this does not, in my judgment, solve McCain's problems with prolifers or any other constituency that has been concerned with him.
> Remember, while Obama has taken a complete, pro-abortion stance, McCain has been uncertain on Roe v. Wade, at one point, a few years ago, saying he did not favor overturning it. Maybe he's had a change of heart; or a change to more careful rhetoric. Remember that McCain supports stem-cell research that destroys unborn children; he confirmed that in his Saddleback interview with Rev. Rick Warren--and for all those who pointed to the verbiage on McCain's website that really sounds like he was against this research...now you see confirmed what I've been telling you: politicians are masters of seeming to say something without actually saying it.
> Inasmuch as Obama's stance on abortion and baby-destroying "research" disqualifies him, then McCain's same stance on the same, so-called "research" equally disqualifies him. Am I saying you cannot vote, in good conscience, for McCain? No; but I am saying that McCain's problems make it very difficult for anyone to argue that the moral calculus here is crystal-clear. People who vote for Obama and say, "but I am not voting for him because of his pro-abortion stance, but despite it," are engaging in precisely the same reasoning on his pro-abortion stance, as voters for McCain are, regarding his stance on embryo-killing "research."
> How much does Palin being a woman help McCain? Hard to say; hard to see someone who voted for Hilary Clinton because of her liberal stances, now switching to McCain because of a woman veep who is a conservative.
> What about her lack of experience? I think it takes a lot of brass for the Obama-Biden ticket to raise that issue: she's actually run something (a city, and now the geographically largest state in the union); what have Biden and Obama actually been in charge of? She's been governor about as long as Obama has been a Senator; and if memory servers, didn't Sen. Obama advocate attacking our unsteady ally Pakistan, over Osama bin Laden, with nuclear weapons?
"But she's a heartbeat away from the presidency!" Yep, and Obama actually would be president.
> No, I think the Democrats would be foolish to focus on that; instead, to the extent they even go after her, they will label both of them "extreme" and look for some dirt or some mistake she made, or wait for it to happen. If people think McCain is the guy, it's hard to see them backing off because of her, assuming she's not some whacko; if people don't like McCain, hard to see Palin making them swoon. Same for the other ticket, although I do think Biden helps Obama some on the "experience" issue; but I think Biden's Catholicism may prove to be a negative given his pro-abortion stance and Speaker Pelosi rousing the ire of the bishops by treading directly on their territory. (If Palin were a Catholic, that would only have made the McCain folks happier; as it is, they're painting her as ardently prolife and the sort of person conservative Evangelicals will love--five children!)
Anyway, that's all I have for the moment...