As of right now, tonight's VP debate is still on, though it would not be at all surprising if some last minute "emergency" forces the GOP to withdraw Sarah Palin and get the hell out of dodge.
The Republicans have tried numerous devices to frame this debate, haven't they? Expectations have been lowered to the point where if Palin simply shows up, doesn't bite the head off of a pigeon and flash the crowd, it will be considered a good showing. By accusing the moderator, Gwen Ifill, of being "in the tank" for Obama because she wrote a book about the recent rise of Black politicians - despite the fact the book was announced in August, and both sides agreed to use Ms. Ifill weeks ago, they've constructed another excuse for a poor performance by Palin. Today, McCain uncorked the latest in his ever increasing line of verbal gems - when asked why Obama's poll number were rising during the economic crisis, he responded that "beacuse life isn't fair". Wow.
The format should be helpful to Palin, since it won't involve a lot of back and forth between the candidates. However, given her recent cringe inducing interviews with Kaitie Couric, Palin has to be considered dangerous whenever she's near an open microphone and is posed a direct question. Joe Biden should simply answer the questions posed, using his breadth of knowledge on whatever topic is brought up, and the difference between the candidates will be readily apparent. It should not be difficult to allow Palin enough rope with which to hang herself.
Perhaps the most refreshing effect of the handling of Palin is that the media, and much of the country, doesn't seem to be buying the Rovian bullshit this time. Every excuse is treated with figurative eye rolling by the press, and even conservatives are calling shenanigans on the Palin pick in particular, and McCain's candidacy in general.
Should be an entertaining evening no matter what. Grab some popcorn, kiddies!