(The other finalist was Gov. Tim Pawlenty, R-Minn., Balz reports. And among Arthur Culvahouse's questions for Palin: "If the CIA were to report that Osama bin Laden had been identified in the frontiers of northern Pakistan, but that an attempt to kill him would result in civilian casualties, would the person authorize such an action? If Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean announced that he was holding a news conference with a mystery person to reveal damaging information about the candidate, who would they most fear it would be?")
(We look forward to those answers, governor.)
Jill Zuckman, in the Chicago Tribune: "None of the tidbits on Palin that have emerged so far appears to be too politically damaging. But taken together, they highlight the risk McCain took in the most important decision he's made as a candidate, a gamble that enhances his image as a freewheeling, independent figure who follows his own rules."
"The way McCain weighed and discarded vice presidential prospects over that time has come under scrutiny as the choice of Palin turns politically perilous. The question is whether McCain carefully vetted his selection and, if he did not, what that says about the judgment and decision-making the presumed Republican nominee would bring to the White House," Mark Z. Barabak and Maeve Reston write in the Los Angeles Times.
This couldn't be covered in any questionnaire: "John McCain's campaign hoped that the five days between the introduction of Sarah Palin as his running mate and her high-stakes speech tonight to the Republican National Convention would let it weave a narrative about the Alaska governor as a kindred maverick reformer who shares McCain's disdain for pork barrel projects and political corruption," The Boston Globe's Michael Kranish writes. "But almost from the moment of her unveiling, one report after another has deconstructed that story line."
Palin will "begin defining a political persona that contains far more questions than answers," Ken Fireman and Kristin Jensen write for Bloomberg News. "The rollout began last week with her portrayal as a down-to-earth reformer, veered into uncharted territory with the announcement that her teenage daughter was pregnant, and was burdened by questions about her 20-month tenure as governor."
Nobody really knows her -- not even the die-hards: "In part, the challenge for Palin will be in exuding confidence that she belongs on a national ticket even though most of the party insiders who are poised to cheer her nomination from inside a packed Xcel Energy Center tonight have not met her and knew little about her before Friday," CQ's Jonathan Allen writes.
Except in Wasilla: "As Palin prepares to accept the Republican nomination for vice president tonight, in a speech that will mark her sudden ascent to national fame, neighbors in her Alaskan town are responding with a mix of pride, amazement, and, in some cases, trepidation," Michael Levenson writes in The Boston Globe.
Says one fellow churchgoer: "She's more woman than Hillary and she's more man than Hillary."