Needless to say, I've been obsessively reading all of the political stuff I can get my hands on today, to see if there's any consolation anywhere in the world.
There's not really, but Christopher Orr from The Plank offers probably the most coherent prediction of what needs to happen in tonight's debate of everything I've read today:
I think he's pretty spot on. Obama, who was the new guy last week, won the debate in the minds of independents and undecideds because they really had no idea who he was and he convinced them that he was ready and able to be President.
Now, I think it's still true that Palin's performance tonight is likely to be the more crucial--if she craters, she's done; if she does even marginally okay, she'll stop the bleeding. But there may again be a difference between elite and voter expectations similar to the one that prevailed last week. Among other factors, I suspect many undecided voters feel they know more about Sarah Palin at this point than they do about Joe Biden.
Could Biden screw the debate up badly with a series of gaffes or a bout of senatorial bloviating? Sure. But if he's as funny and approachable and casually hyperfluent on policy as he's been at his best, it's possible he could win this thing regardless of what Palin does.--Christopher Orr
This week, weirdly, Biden is the new guy. The press haven't talked about him that much, everyone's been too focused on Palin, and in much of the country, he has not been much of a Congressional Superstar like, say, Hilary Clinton or Ted Kennedy.
Tonight will be very interesting to say the least. I will be on the edge of my seat, ripping out my hair and chewing on my fingernails until it's over.