When John McCain tapped Sarah Palin for his VP he was taking a big gamble. New York magazine says the decision was “driven by a signal insight provided by his ever-pessimistic pollster, Bill McInturff: that unless McCain did something dramatic to alter the dynamics of the race, he was doomed.”

The feature looks at her performance at the RNC last week, saying:

“She was glamorous, confident, homespun, sassy, snarky, and unafraid to wield the stiletto. In fact, she seemed to delight in plunging it into Barack Obama’s kidneys. She said that being a small-town mayor was kinda like being a community organizer, “except that you have actual responsibilities.” She sneered that a presidential campaign isn’t “a journey of personal discovery.” She called Obama an elitist, an egotist, a taxer, a spender, an accomplishment-free zone. By the end, you had no doubt why they call her Sarah Barracuda.

“How well the baring of Palin’s teeth played in America-land was difficult to gauge. But the thumbs-up verdict in the hall was nearly universal and was seconded by the panjandrums of the political-media industrial complex. As NBC’s Chuck Todd crisply put it, “Conservatives have found their Obama.”

Read the full feature, The 60 Day War, here.