Today, Governor Sarah Palin gave only her third news interview since becoming Sen. John McCain's running mate, to CBS News' Katie Couric.
Sen. Biden often sticks his foot in his mouth, but at least Sen. Obama trusts him enough as a person and competent leader that he gives him the opportunity to make mistakes. Everyone knows he's competent, even conservatives, so if he's not particularly well-spoken from time to time, he gets the benefit of the doubt, God love 'im.
But they've got Gov. Palin memorizing her answers.
The key to seeming like you haven't memorized answers is changing them a little bit if the question changes slightly.
I'm reminded of one of my favorite stories from middle school. The students in my grammar class traded their papers to grade, and I got the paper of a guy who, to put it kindly, wasn't known as a stellar student. But I was amazed: as the teacher read off the correct answers from the book, the guy was getting every single answer 100% correct. But his answer to the last question -- an essay question -- was a little curious: "Answers may vary."
I raised my hand and said, "Mrs. Kling? My paper says, 'Answers may vary.'" Well, it was immediately apparent to Mrs. Kling that my guy had cheated, copying the answers straight out of the book. He went to the principal's office, and that was that.
The crack-me-up funny part of Sarah Palin's rote memorization of stock lines of fluff is that her answers don't vary. It's the same thing over and over and over again. Maverick, hockey mom, shake up Washington, reform, thanks but no thanks, maverick, maverick, maverick. It's like John McCain is a Jedi, and she's a storm trooper.
I'll tell you what I want to know. Who the heck's going to be whispering the answers into her ear if John McCain dies?