Kathleen Parker's take sounds right to me:
Every now and then, in walks a man or woman who turns the world inside out and upside down.
Barack Obama was such a man.
And now, Sarah Palin is such a woman.
Just as the first African American on a presidential ticket revealed to us how little we have come to terms with race in this country, the first woman in the Republican vice presidential slot has revealed how far we still have to go in our gender reckoning.
To put it plainly, Palin is seriously messing with our templates. We know what political women in the USA are supposed to look like — and she's not it.
Whoever wins this election, it has been historic in so many ways, and we're going to be talking about race and gender in ways that weren't possible before the election.