George Packer at his New Yorker blog has an interesting view about McCain brought about by Palin's selection as the Veep candidate, and the Republican convention. He thinks that McCain has become a prisoner to his own party's hard right; a lone moderate lost in a sea of extremely conservative (white*) Republicans. I'm not sure I agree. After a 30 year career in the senate, you'd have to be dozing a lot more than the average elderly man not to pick up a few basic political rules. The most fundamental is that there is no way that you can get elected if your own supporters do not come out and vote for you. The second most important is that after you get elected, you can change your positions relatively rapidly and radically. Given that his own speech tacked away from the extremities, he's already laying the grout work for a relatively centrist presidency. In the unlikely event that McCain does win the election, I wouldn't be surprised to see Palin placed in a Walt Disney style cryogenic freezing, ready to be thawed out for the 2012 election.
*The Washington Post carried the shocking statistic that "Only 36 of the 2,380 delegates seated on the convention floor were black."