Her single upside is that the conservative base loves her. Wander into the more conservative parts of the Internet and they are overjoyed to get a 'true conservative on the ticket'. It paid off in dollars too, with $7 million dollars raised just one day after the announcement.
Now for the bad. Well, there is so much bad and scandal that I won't even try to link to anything, just sum up stories I have read this week in one long sentence of political doom:
Starting with the pop/tabloid appeal of flying while in labor with her fifth child and/or rumors that it is not even her baby combined with her pregnant teenage daughter, moving on to her firing of her ex-brother-in-law and then lying about it (that is under state investigation) and trying to fire her city's librarian for not agreeing to ban books and lying about that too, to saying she had been to Ireland when her plane only refueled there, to her husbands membership (and her support) of an Alaskan separatist party, to lying about opposing the "bridge to nowhere" while working to raise money for indicted Alaska Senator Ted Stevens and hiring Jack Abramoff's lobbyist, to being part of a radically fundamentalist church who hosts anti-Jewish speakers (Palestinian attacks are Gods revenge), to not being interviewed by the McCain campaign until a day before she was selected and only having met John McCain once which has raised a big question mark about McCain's decision making process, and polls show that she does better at attracting the male vote than the female vote and people see her as a gimmick. Phew.
I mean, CBS news ran over six minutes of negative coverage on Palin on their nightly news.
The combo of tabloid press, and critical press, has created a storm of fascination and scrutiny that has gone so far out of the McCain campaign's control that I don't think they will ever be able to completely get it back. And they can't get rid of her with out really killing their campaign. She has in one stroke light up the conservative base and reignited the culture wars full force in a bid to make this election about personal identity and not about issues or experience. Which is a contradiction to everything the McCain campaign has been supposedly about up to this point. I think their campaign, and the entire RNC convention up to this point, is currently trapped in contradiction with no clear direction out.