Mr. Obama’s advisers said that compared with the mountains of data they had gathered on Mr. Pawlenty and Mr. Romney, they had far less information on Ms. Palin. Their dossier consisted of a thin document based mainly on her run for governor and newspaper clips about an investigation into whether she was involved in pressing a top state law enforcement official to dismiss her sister’s former husband from the state police. And, they said, given her short time in high office, there is relatively little video of her readily available.
Aides said the party was sending staff members and allies in Alaska to sort through public documents relating to Ms. Palin’s time in the governor’s mansion, her two terms as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, and her two terms as a member of the Wasilla City Council.
Democrats were not the only ones doing some fast regrouping. Republican organizers said the convention aides in charge of reviewing every speech delivered from the lectern are now on the watch for blunt attacks on Mr. Obama’s readiness to lead. They are aware that such criticism in a high-profile setting would provide an opportunity for Democrats to make the same charge against Ms. Palin, who has almost no foreign policy experience and has been governor for just 20 months.
Several Republican delegates said they too were shocked by the selection of Ms. Palin and, while they wished her well, were deeply concerned that she did not have the experience in foreign policy or national security to be commander in chief.