William Ruger in the Anchorage Daily News thinks so:
Despite the apparent closeness of this presidential contest, one does not have to be either a rocket scientist or a political scientist to realize that McCain faces long odds. Intuition, academic forecasts, and even political futures markets all suggest that the election is Obama’s to lose. And this tells us something important about the vice-presidential candidate McCain should select. His steep challenge dictates a very unorthodox pick.
McCain needs to create buzz for his campaign and give voters a reason not to toss the Republicans out of the White House. He should avoid the dubious conventional wisdom of picking someone with electoral votes in mind. McCain needs a bold, unconventional pick like Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin or Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. Selecting Jindal certainly has advantages. He would add much-needed youth, diversity and vigor to the McCain camp. His selection would also go a long way toward exciting the conservative base that has long been wary of McCain. And it would help the Republican nominee’s own attempt to be seen as an agent of change by picking a new face, and an Indian-American at that.
However, it is Palin who could best ruin the predictions of the pundits, traders and forecasters.
Palin, the 44-year-old mother of five and popular governor of Alaska, would add a lot to a Republican ticket that will face an uphill battle no matter who is picked. First, the attractive young governor, like Jindal, would provide much-needed energy and youth to a ticket whose main candidate is frequently on the receiving end of “he’s so old” jokes. McCain should remember that this did not work out too well for Bob Dole, another senior war hero.
Ruger goes on to note that Palin would help Hillary voters to cast a McCain vote, that she’s the outsider’s outsider as far as DC politics goes, that she’ll help on both energy and environmental issues (being as she’s the governor of a very wilderness yet very oil State) and, finally (and perhaps most importantly) that she’s a Reagan conservative who could very well rally a conservative intensity for McCain that he can only dream of at this point. Ruger does also throw a semi-pitch in for Jindal, but the case he lays out for Palin is strong.
As for me, either Palin or Jindal would be excellent and automatically far superior to anyone Obama could pick.