Sarah Palin's Short Leash and Joe Biden's Latest Gaffe

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Did you notice that the McCain campaign has insisted that question-and-answer segments for the vice-presidential debate October 2 in St. Louis be a lot shorter than they'll be for the three Obama-McCain clashes that commence in Oxford, Mississippi, this Friday evening.

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Sarah Palin
Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin

As Patrick Healy of the New York Times reported Sunday, "McCain advisers said they were only somewhat concerned about Ms. Palin’s debating skills compared with those of Mr. Biden, who has served six terms in the Senate, or about his chances of her tripping her up. Instead, they say, they wanted Ms. Palin to have opportunities to present Mr. McCain’s positions, rather than spending time talking about her experiences or playing defense."

So there goes any chance at some good free-wheeling fun. Heck, there probably won’t even be any direct exchanges between Sarah and Joe. Not fair! No moose-killing stories? No lipstick on pit bull reprises? Worse yet, perhaps, this, too, lessens the odds that gaffe-prone Biden will commit another one of his delightful gaffes.

My latest favorite verbal blunder stumbled from his loquacious mouth during a Monday evening interview with CBS news anchor Katie Couric.

When Couric asked about catastrophic financial news of late, Biden said, "When the stock market crashed, Franklin Roosevelt got on the television and didn't just talk about the princes of greed. He said, 'Look, here’s what happened.'"

To which one blogger quipped, "And if you owned an experimental TV set in 1929, you would have seen him. And you would have said to yourself, 'Who is that guy? What happened to President Hoover?'"

- Ellis E. Conklin

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