Feature

Will the debate save Palin?

What is at stake when McCain's running mate squares off with Joe Biden

It’s crunch time for Sarah Palin, said Chris Cillizza in The Washington Post online. Conservatives are starting to second-guess John McCain for choosing the Alaska governor as his running mate. If she “can't change the story line” in her Thursday debate with Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden, “it is a MAJOR problem for McCain.”

The debate could prove to be Palin’s last chance to “get her mojo back,” said Carol Marin in the Chicago Sun-Times. Her lack of foreign policy experience was plain to see in her interview last week with CBS’ Katie Couric, and the McCain camp had better help her regain her footing “before another week passes and it’s too late.”

Sure, Palin has her problems, said Tara Wall in The Washington Times. But this obsession with her—columnist Kathleen Parker has even called for her to “bow out”—has gone overboard. Palin will look better once the McCain campaign stops “forcing her to pretend” she's a foreign-policy pro, and once she starts giving “solid, informed interviews,” as she has as Alaska’s governor.

“McCain took a risk in choosing Palin,” said William Kristol in The New York Times. If she bombs in the debate, it will reflect poorly on his judgment. But if she does well, she could give his campaign “a shot in the arm” it really needs.

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