Via the Standard, Wizbang’s got a hot tip that the head of McCain’s VP search team is on the ground in Juneau. If it’s true, though, then why not advertise that fact? It’d kick up some buzz … although maybe that’s the problem. If they finally end up going with some more predictable choice, like Ridge or Mitt, it’ll feel like a letdown.

I’m cool to the idea of her on the ticket but less so than I used to be. The Spectator likes her as balance for our old-coot nominee, although I’m not sure why when the main line of attack on Obama this fall will be that he’s not an old coot, i.e. that he’s too young and inexperienced to handle the job. Palin’s been governor for two years, which is longer than Jindal but still less time than Obama’s been a senator. If he’s not ready, why is she ready to inherit the presidency at a moment’s notice if, god forbid, McCain’s age gets the better of him? Needless to say, her home state’s no electoral prize either, and given her approval rating (in the 80s, last I checked) can probably be delivered if she simply campaigns for him there as a regular ol’ supporter.

So why am I warming up to her? First because the GOP needs new faces, figuratively and literally, and as faces go you can scarcely do better than hers right now (figuratively and literally). Read Fred Barnes’s profile of her from last summer: She’s excellent on ethics, has experience with energy policy, and maintains balance on the environment, opposing the polar bear ruling but calling for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Second, obviously, having her on the ticket would steal some of Obama’s media juice as the candidate with the Narrative versus the same old patrician Republican crap. And third, well, watch this. We’re not going to win the woman vote, but there are surely some Ferraros out there disgruntled enough about how Hillary was treated to give McCain/Palin a very close look. That’s why it’s silly, actually, to care how many electoral votes Alaska would deliver. Her appeal, unlike Crist’s or Ridge’s, has to do with who she is, not where she’s from. Who’s to say she wouldn’t help deliver Florida or Pennsylvania more than either of them?

Exit question: Could Obama force McCain to put Palin on the ticket? Word is he’s looking closely at Kathleen Sebelius for his own VP, doubtless in part to make amends to those same disgruntled Ferraroesque Hillary supporters. How does the GOP recycle the old two-headed white-guy model with a pair like that on the other side?

Damn it, this calls for a poll!