The Note: The Politics of Gustav

McCain-Palin is working out, too: "For Christian conservatives, who watched with dismay as their issues were ignored or trivialized during the long Republican primary, the surprise addition to the GOP ticket of a woman raised in a Pentecostal church, who once described herself as 'pro-life as any candidate can be,' has transformed an election many had come to regard with indifference," The Washington Post's Michael D. Shear and Juliet Eilperin write.

It's a new image: "With his selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, John McCain is giving his campaign a political makeover: Rather than selling himself as a war hero with national security credentials, he is donning the mantle of the reformer," Robin Abcarian and Peter Wallsten write in the Los Angeles Times. "The new approach borrows a page from the playbook of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, who late in the Democratic primary campaign framed herself as a hero of the struggling middle class."

It's exciting: "Thursday night, after Barack Obama's well-orchestrated, well-conceived and well-delivered acceptance speech in Denver, Republicans were demoralized," William Kristol writes in his New York Times column. "Twenty-four hours later, they were energized -- even exuberant. It's amazing what a bold vice-presidential pick who gives a sterling performance when she's introduced will do for a party's spirits."

Hello, future: "By picking Palin, McCain has strengthened his reputation not as an ideologue, not as a partisan, but as a reformer -- ready to shake up Washington as his hero, Teddy Roosevelt, once did," David Broder writes in his column. "The Democrats' great advantage is that they are not responsible for the pain and frustration that many voters have suffered in the Bush years. But if McCain and Palin can shift the focus to the future, they may be able to appeal to the 'change' voters who will in the end decide the election."

They're loving her: "John McCain presented his new vice presidential running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, to thousands of cheering Missouri supporters at a sun-drenched Sunday afternoon rally at the home of St. Charles County's minor league baseball team," Mark Schlinkmann and Michele Munz write in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

But who wants to cross this bridge? "Palin was for the Bridge to Nowhere before she was against it," Tom Kizzia writes in the Anchorage Daily News. "The Alaska governor campaigned in 2006 on a build-the-bridge platform, telling Ketchikan residents she felt their pain when politicians called them 'nowhere.' They're still feeling pain today in Ketchikan, over Palin's subsequent decision to use the bridge funds for other projects -- and over the timing of her announcement, which they say came in a pre-dawn press release that seemed aimed at national news deadlines.

"Public records and her own statements show that the Alaska governor was a supporter of the bridge from Ketchikan to Gravina Island (population 50), but flip-flopped last year in what her political foes have called a bid to catch McCain's eye," the New York Daily News' Richard Sisk writes.

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