The Guilfoile-Warner Papers

October 3

Well, the Republicans finally got their pit bull back on a leash last night and this morning I suspect she'll be shoved back into her travel cage. After a week in which Sarah Palin was allowed to run rabid across CBS News, brutally savaging McCain's credibility with her ignorance, Palin seemed to get out of last night's debate without opening any new wounds. Like Michael Vick's dogs, she was a horror in our living rooms every night for about a week and now she'll be packed up and we won't hear from her again, at least not in any unscripted sense, until the election. The pundits are talking about how she just barely met expectations, but I think that's backwards. After her disastrous performances with Katie Couric, I think most Americans wanted more. Sarah Palin had become America's own David Brent, a television spectacle so cringeworthy we were tuning in to see what impossibly embarrassing thing she might say next. And doggone it, she didn't really deliver. There were minor gaffes, like not knowing the name of the U.S. Commander in Afghanistan and clearly not understanding what Gwen Ifill was talking about when she referred to Dick Cheney's bizarre assertion that the office of the Vice President is not part of the executive branch. She probably did just enough to make most of America shrug with indifference, which was just enough to make all those who are ideologically bound to Sarah Palin sigh with relief. Imagine for a moment that you and I are monkeys and Sarah Palin is running for Vice President of Monkeys and the debate moderator asked, "Governor, can you explain your previous support for cosmetic testing on animals?" and Palin answered, "Bananas." That was what the whole debate sounded like to me. Of course, we knew going in that Palin wasn't going to answer any questions because it's become clear that she doesn't know the answers to any questions, and I suppose that is what the media means when they say she "met expectations." The only astonishing thing that occurred all night was when she actually said, "I'm not going to answer any of your questions." I guess I have to give her a little bit of credit for that. That's moxie.
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