Gov. Palin knocked it out of the park and beyond tonight. Eschewing the suggestions of pundits that she leave going on offense to others, she gave the single best critique of the Obama campaign to date. Payback time; you go girl!

Now even the mainstream pundits are waking up to the fact that selecting her wasn’t about getting “Hillary voters” – duh – but capturing the much larger populist, reformer zeitgeist – both male and female — that has had it with condescending elites and politics as usual in Washington.

Gov. Palin is a living foil to the Sen. Obama we are coming to know. The McCain campaign must be looking forward to contrasting Obama’s association with Tony Rezko and passive acquiescence to Chicago politics to Palin’s active refusal to compromise her ethics and track record of taking on corruption; Obama’s ultra-extreme views on abortion to Palin’s moral responsibility in not aborting her Down’s Syndrome baby (and ditto for her daughter); and his fantasy blather on the capacities of alternative fuels v. her real life achievements in energy production.

In short, Gov. Palin does an excellent job of embodying the zeitgeist and symbolizing the change we really want – a grounded real person (think Cincinnatus), who understands politics but isn’t about making a career of it, a doer not just a talker, who has high principle, a positive vision, and embodies our best selves.