… and Keith Olbermann is wrong. I just saw a few minutes of left-wing TV, and Olbermann was crowing about the disaster that will befall Sarah Palin in tomorrow night’s debate. He even had a guest who said that Joe Biden was receiving very bad advice from people who say he should be careful tomorrow night, and that Biden actually needs to go for a knockout blow. (This overall point was reinforced by many, many, many replays of the snippet where Palin doesn’t name more than one Supreme Court decision.) Right after Olbermann came Maddow, who, in her first few minutes, brought in a sense of reality, playing clips from some of Palin’s Alaska debates–in which Palin appeared smart and likeable: not a wonk, but intelligent. Maddow’s point was that it’s far too early for Democrats to count their chickens; and she’s right.
Actually, I think Biden has much more to lose tomorrow night than Palin does–if he comes off looking like a bully or a chump, he will be a national laughingstock for having lost the debate; he’ll be the big businessman shown up by Norma Rae, and therefore the Goat of the Year. The stakes are sufficiently high for him that I think it’s important for him to use some self-deprecating humor, as early as possible. He’s almost certain to be asked, early in the debate, whether he thinks Palin’s qualified. He could respond: “You know, I’ve seen reports in the media that some Democratic operatives want me off the ticket because I occasionally–more than occasionally (grin)–run my mouth and say dumb things. And of course I’ve seen the reports that some conservative pundits think Sarah should be off their ticket. So I think it’s time for bipartisanship: If people want us off the ticket, Heck No, We Won’t Go! Are you with me, Governor? . . . But seriously, I think she’s a concerned and public-spirited person” etc. etc.
Update: I was of course not saying Maddow was right about our friend Steve Hayward! I hadn’t seen his post when I wrote mine.