Yes, but she had executive experince going back further than that. And though people might scoff at being a mayor or agency commissioner, executive experience at any level is valuable compared to being in the legislature where few people lead and the buck is easy to pass. Of course, Jindal has that too, having run a state agency and a hospital system before he went for elected office.
Palin's the only reason this wasn't a 15 point blowout. That takes nothing away from Jindal as far as I'm concerned; I hope he whips Louisiana into shape and then makes it to the White House sometime soon. If I were McCain I never would have looked at him simply because the opportunity in LA is something we might get once in 20 or 30 years, and he may be the only guy in the state who can take care of it.
Sarah added 13 points to the total. That is the best estimate that I have seen.
While she kept conservatives from staying home, I believe she turned off many voters with her "gollee gee" persona. Like it or not, people think high office requires a "studied seriousness".
Bubbly won't cut it.
As for Jindal, he needs to be able to communicate - something McCain is lacking. To win votes nowadays, a politician must have looks and an actors' stage presence. "Merely" having good ideas isn't enough. Time will tell if he has the ability.