Think of the stupidest thing you ever said. Now think if that stupid thing had been captured on video and replayed about a thousand times a day, usually to the sarcastic asides of late-night comedy hosts. Sarah Palin may botch tonight's debate too, but I'll give her credit for just showing up. It can't be pleasant, going from powerful woman to punchline in the space of a couple of weeks.
I'm not sure I'll be able to watch this debate. I hate seeing people humiliate themselves, even if they should have known what they were getting into. Gov. Palin never came off as one of those pompous, bombastic poseurs who cry out for a pie in the face and a kick in the ass. She's just a happy woman who always got by on a smile and a cheerful stubbornness about having her way. She thought it was enough to know a thing or two about cracking the whip. Who knew they were going to get all specific?
This has been a terrible presidential campaign, not so much vicious as utterly vapid, and too long by half. Gov. Palin's mangled and meaningless sentences invite mockery, but Obama, McCain and Biden have not been much more incisive. Have they? Taken at face value, the central message of both campaigns -- change -- is about as vague as it gets. Note to Gov. Palin: the key to saying nothing is to say it in sentences that can be diagrammed. You might stay below Jon Stewart's radar that way.
Just one more month to go. I don't think I need to watch any more debates. I'll be voting for Obama, unless it emerges that he once shot a man in Reno just to watch him die. It won't be because I think he'll accomplish even half of what he promises. He'll disappoint us; they all do. But beyond the high-flown rhetoric he strikes me as a patient, thoughtful man, and the times call for such men. Boy, do they. Women too. Too bad Gov. Palin does not qualify.