This will be the biggest night of Sarah Palin's political life. The woman few Americans outside Alaska had heard of a week ago, will have an audience as big as her home state tonight. She's been governor less than two years, and voters want to know a lot more about her.
John McCain says he picked Palin to help him fight the same old Washington politics, and she does help solidify his image as a maverick. Palin appeals to conservatives who see McCain as too liberal. She may even bring in some Clinton supporters, although Palin and Clinton differ on everything from abortion and gay marriage to gun control and Arctic drilling.
Tonight's speech is critical because first impressions are so important. But it will be totally scripted; her audience here in the convention hall – very friendly. It may not be until she hits the campaign trail and does endless rounds of media interviews that we really get to know Sarah Palin.