By Patrick Appel
Noah Millman repeats the conventional wisdom:
The good news, though, is that [McCain's] choice doesn’t matter so much. McCain is already well (and positively) defined for this election. He’s the old soldier who isn’t too great with policy details but who loves the American people and always puts them first. If he can keep the Obama campaign from tarnishing that veneer, and picks someone as his VP who is modestly helpful as attack dog and potential successor, he’ll be in as good shape as he can be given how badly the fundamentals cut against him and his party....[Obama, on the other hand, has] got a lot of reasonable choices. But the bad news is: compared to McCain’s choice, the stakes for his are a whole lot higher. The public has much less of a defined impression of Obama than of McCain, and so Obama’s VP choice will do more to shape the narrative going forward than McCain’s will.
I'm not at all convinced this is true. McCain is a known quanity to pundits, but not neccesarily to the general population. After all, only 69 percent of Americans can name the vice president (hint: it rhymes with Nick Bainy). Obama may have been relatively unknown seven months ago, but since then I've heard more about him on a daily basis than any other public figure. I don't see Obama's veep pick significantly changing the narrativeunless he picks Clinton.