Grate expectations

The princess and the human gaffe machine go at it in the first and only VP debate Thursday. Already cable news networks are overstating the low expectations for Sarah Palin. Hello! We’ve had enough of low expectations — like eight years worth.

Palin is going into the debate with the benefit of the doubt and sympathy. The media keeps saying that the pressure’s on Joe Biden not to come across condescending and patronizing. Once again the liberal news organizations ignore a double standard where the male of the species is concerned. Apparently, it’s impossible for women to be condescending and patronizing to men. But them’s the rules and Biden has to make sure he doesn’t come across like the first time Lou Grant talked with Mary Tyler Moore: “I hate spunk!”

Meanwhile, America’s Sweetheart doesn’t need to go for the jugular — she can strum those many heartstrings out there in the small town we like to call America. Can’t you just hear her? “I’m a working maum with concerns just like you.” All those Hillary holdouts will choke up just like their candidate did in New Hampshire. By the way, Hillary won that primary.

But if it’s a policy wonk’s paradise — and questions about the economy prevail, what’s Palin to do? Why try what’s been working — she’s one of us and not the Washington elite. “The economy’s a mess — hokey smokes, look out Joe Six-Pack, yer beer’s flat!”

Biden should be subdued ( a lofty goal for certain) and let Palin talk and talk and talk. If just for the sake of more material for the nation to enjoy, at Palin’s expense. One might think that the McCain campaign would be better served if they sent in Tina Fey to take Palin’s place. We know Tina would be up to the task. But here’s one way Palin could get the upper hand at the outset of the debate: when she first speaks she should say something like, “I’m not Tina Fey — but she plays me on TV.” That would set the tone and Biden would be hard-pressed to get the audience back. In fact, Palin should make a surprise visit this Saturday on “SNL” — especially if she does better than suspected in the debate. Seeing her with Tina Fey would swing a million votes to McCain — easily. To hell with issues — let’s get back to where this campaign should be: about personalities. The GOP has Miss America on the ticket. Now if John McCain can only win that ever-elusive title of (his own words) Miss Congeniality.

Speaking of McCain, his campaign said they’re finally gonna let Palin be herself. But McCain did her more harm than good the other night when McPalin sat down with Katie Couric. Apparently Palin agreed with Barack Obama chasing al-Qaida into Pakistan (something McCain scolded him for during the debate.) Palin answered that question off-the-cuff when it was asked by a voter at a mall in Philly. At first, the McCain camp said the answer didn’t count because it was asked by a voter (who do we think we are?) Then McPalin agreed it was a “gotcha question.” It was painful to watch: McCain looked like Palin’s daddy defending her in the principal’s office because she missed too many classes. As if we need to be reminded that so far this political semester, America’s Sweetheart needs a lot of home-schooling.

Republicans are trying to define Obama as the fear of the unknown. They’re completely ignorant to the fact that Palin is the fear she’s unknowing.

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