McCain Back in Debate: Desperate or Diligent?

that,” Berman says.

On the vice presidential front, following a trip to New York to meet with foreign leaders and demonstrate some foreign policy credibility, Palin performed poorly in an interview with CBS anchor Katie Couric, clearly struggling to provide thoughtful, knowledgeable answers to questions that veered away from her standard talking points. Since her nomination, McCain handlers have treated Palin much like a hothouse orchid, tightly controlling her public appearances.

“It certainly raises questions as to why they’re doing it. The only solid evidence I have that the percentage of Americans who’ve concluded that she’s not qualified to be president and therefore not a safe choice for the position for which she’s been nominated has been rising lately. And I’ve got to believe there’s some relationship there,” says Brookings institute fellow William Galston.

Biden also has experienced a few bumps along the trail, most notably saying that the insurance company AIG shouldn’tget government bailout, forcing Obama to criticize the remark. Is he becoming a problem as predicted? “If I know anything about presidential campaigns, I’m sure there have been some targeted exchanges between Obama’s staff and Biden’s staff. But you know that if you get into bed with Joe Biden, that’s one of the things that’s climbing in with you,” Galston says.

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