This election, being no different from the previous, will be largely decided by people's gut feeling about the personae of those running. Americans want to elect a king (or a queen) after all in their unconscious desire to be done with this burden of democracy once and for all. As a cultural image, Palin ads some interesting spice to the McCain ticket as both soccer mom and wild west cowboy (not of the cocaine sniffin' Yale variety). While she's certainly "authentic" in this respect, I think she represents a very reprehensible sort of Westerner. As someone who has probably hiked more of the West and done more "authentic" activities in the backcountry than most, I find her views toward the stewardship of land and resources to be both shallow and elitist.
Take the example of her support for the aerial killing of animals from planes. Personally, I find it disturbing that I could be out fishing or camping in some area and have some rich cat shooting down from above me. The idea that shooting animals from planes is a "sport" is ridiculous. If the goal is to kill as many wild animals as possible, why not hook up machine guns to the front of the plane and gun the animals down in an even more efficient manner.
The truth is, this is the sort of "sport" meant for the super rich who can't be bothered to walk more than a 100 yards after leaving their fancy Alaskan hotel. If we extrapolate from her positions on these local Alaskan issues, we can predict that Palin as president would be another Bush, doing all she can to look out for the people "who really matter."