Palin sends the cringe meter off the dial
No one will be more relieved than John McCain if a major crisis erupts on Thursday to overshadow the debate between the vice-presidential candidates, Sarah Palin and Joe Biden.
Alaska's one-term governor is hugely popular with voters, but she is also a liability for the Republican ticket, as her painful-to-watch interview last week with Katie Couric of CBS News showed. Her woeful inexperience and the yawning gaps in her knowledge of basic issues reminded voters of McCain's advanced age at 72, and sparked questions about what sort of president she would make. Her performance prompted one right-wing commentator, Kathleen Parker of the 'National Review', to call on her to quit. "Only Palin can save McCain, her party, and the country she loves," she wrote. "She can bow out for personal reasons, perhaps because she wants to spend more time with her newborn."
That explains why the McCain campaign did not want his running-mate anywhere near Friday's presidential clash in Oxford, Mississippi. Instead, Palin watched it on TV in Philadelphia, while Senator Biden gave countless interviews in the media "spin room" outside the Obama-McCain debate.
However, the CBS interview was buried under a torrent of news about the Wall Street bailout plan. In fact, running-mate debates rarely matter: in 1988 the Democratic candidate, Lloyd Bentsen, smacked down Dan Quayle, telling him, "You're no Jack Kennedy", after the Republican tried to don the mantle of the assassinated President. But the evening was declared a success for Quayle, and the Republicans won the election.
Woody Allen's remark – "Eighty per cent of success is just showing up" – may be enough for Palin. Indeed, Biden must be careful to avoid humiliating her too badly, for fear of being called a sexist bully.
To have your say on this or any other issue visit www.independent.co.uk/IoSblogs
- 1 Michelle Rodriguez: Fast & Furious actor apologises after telling 'minorities' to stop taking on 'white' roles
- 2 Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes, may now face the death penalty
- 3 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 4 Robert Mugabe eats a zoo for 'obscene' 91st birthday party
- 5 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
Michelle Rodriguez: Fast & Furious actor apologises after telling 'minorities' to stop taking on 'white' roles
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Putin critic may have been murdered by Islamic extremists, says president-led committee
British are sexually uptight, dirty and drink too much – according to Spanish book
Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes, may now face the death penalty
PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Russia's roadmap for annexing eastern Ukraine 'leaked from Vladimir Putin's office'
£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...
£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...
£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...