Well, it looks like my life is becoming a little less of a media circus, so it's time to get back to hard-core analysis of the VP race. If you haven't heard yet, the numerous polls show the McCain-Palin ticket dramatically stealing the lead from Obama-Biden. A USA Today/Gallup poll even shows a 10% McCain-Palin lead among likely voters.
So, the Palin nomination (coupled with a fantastic convention) has definitely invigorated the McCain campaign. But before we issue a premature declaration of victory, we have to answer one critical question: is this merely a short-term bounce out of the convention or a total realignment of public opinion? Personally, I say that the answer to both questions is "yes". The GOP ticket is certainly flying height coming out of the convention, and the polls have yet to stabilize. However, there is good reason to believe that the dynamics of this election have changed. By nominating Palin, the McCain campaign has recaptured the "maverick" label and ripped the "change" argument out from under Barack Obama. Meanwhile, strategist Steve Schmidt has overhauled the McCain campaign, molding it into a lean, mean electoral machine. And finally, Barack Obama has thrown his campaign totally off message by nominating uber-insider Joe Biden as his VP. With all of those factors working in McCain's favor, it is not a stretch to think that the Gentleman from Arizona will still be in the lead once the polls stabilize.
It also does not appear that "Sarahmania" will peter out any time soon. The McCain campaign is wisely choosing to keep her in the news rather than allowing her to disappear until the debates. This will allow Palin's star power to continue to lift the McCain campaign and build anticipation for the debates. Sarah should do well against Biden (who has been largely de-fanged by her nomination), launching a second round of Palin-buzz akin to what we saw after her convention speech. McCain himself will also get buzz out of the debates, as he shines brightest in Q&A sessions. Obama, on the other hand, is best when he delivers uninterrupted speeches.
In short, my view of the future is this: The current bounce from Palin will likely continue until the debates, when the McCain ticket will another shot in the arm. After that, he just has to hold the lead until election day. I'm not necessarily saying that this is going to happen, but I think that it is a very plausible scenario. So, while I wouldn't start the party just yet, it may be time to start pricing champagne.