"Up until midweek last week, some 48 to 72 hours before Mr. McCain introduced Ms. Palin at a Friday rally in Dayton, Ohio, Mr. McCain was still holding out the hope that he could choose a good friend, Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, independent of Connecticut, a Republican close to the campaign said. Mr. McCain had also been interested in another favorite, former Gov. Tom Ridge of Pennsylvania.
But both men favor abortion rights, anathema to the Christian conservatives who make up a crucial base of the Republican Party." [...]
“They didn’t seriously consider her until four or five days from the time she was picked, before she was asked, maybe the Thursday or Friday before,” said a Republican close to the campaign. “This was really kind of rushed at the end, because John didn’t get what he wanted. He wanted to do Joe or Ridge.”" (emphasis mine)
"Just last week, we were noting how the Right was nearly unanimous in their opposition to Lieberman and that, while they were just starting to warm up to McCain, their efforts at mobilizing their grassroots activists on his behalf came to a screeching halt when he suggested that he was open to the idea of naming a pro-choice running mate."
So McCain didn't want Palin. He probably still doesn't want her, she was just the only way to get the nitwits on board. And because he held out for Lieberman til the last minute, she wasn't properly vetted.
No wonder everyone was so surprised. With more surprises to come, no doubt, as the media (including the internet) continue to do the vetting that McCain's team didn't do.
Okay, now I'm leaning towards Eagleton again.