John McCain's search for a surprise VP candidate to draw attention from Barack Obama's speech last night has certainly done that job. Every news organization is spending this morning talking about his pick. The problem for McCain is that the selection isn't being particularly well reviewed - MSNBC's Kelly O'Donnell admitted that she's been trying to find out who Palin is on Wikipedia, and the general consensus among reporters and politicians alike appears to be: "Huh?"
Palin's a complete unknown who McCain proposes should be a chicken bone away from the presidency, but she has already proven herself able to give voice to the campaign's primary talking point - she can construct a sentence consisting of a noun, a verb, and "POW".
Other than that, Palin's selection is a transparent attempt to woo disaffected Hillary Clinton voters, an attempt given voice in the speech she gave after McCain announced her selection. The question that remains is whether those women are so interested in having a woman on the ticket that they're willing to have that woman be someone who is adamantly on the other side of virtually every issue that brought them to support of Clinton.
It's an obvious pander, but we've seen other obvious panders succeed in this election before. It remains to be seen how this one will play.