This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor.
This week the Republicans are benefiting from John McCain's surprise Vice Presidential pick in much the same was the Democrats did last week with the Clinton controversy.
What both conventions have that so many prior conventions lacked - is buzz.
Would People and Us magazines have put Tom Ridge or Joe Lieberman on their covers this week if they had been chosen as McCain's running mate? Somehow I doubt it.
And what a storyline. Did McCain pick Sarah Palin simply to satisfy the religious right? The McCain lovers say this proves the maverick is really back. And has picked another maverick to run beside him.
If it were only that simple - now we learn Palin's Assembly of God preacher suggested he'd have to question the salvation of anyone who voted for John Kerry.
And Governor Palin hired a lobbying firm to bring big federal bucks to tiny Wasilla when she was mayor there. Earmarks and a potential preacher problem will create buzz too - but not the kind the Republicans want.