This is a big week for Sarah Palin. It may be an even bigger week for John McCain. This Thursday in St. Louis, Palin and Biden have their only vice-presidential debate. Biden has his own challenges but let's talk about Palin for a moment.
I just looked at Sarah Palin's schedule this week. She is not holding any public events Tuesday and Wednesday. She'll be in Sedona, Arizona holed up at John McCain's home doing debate prep.
Here's the good news for Palin. The bar will be very low going in. Everybody is going to expect Biden to clean her clock. If Palin can hold her own and not make any embarrassing goofs then she will have survived.
Her interview with Katie Couric was not her best moment for sure. She looked unsteady and if she appears that way again Thursday the McCain campaign will take a huge negative PR hit.
Clearly she is being handled very closely by the McCain campaign. They don't want her to make a big mistake. In essence, they are putting Palin in the position of playing the football equivalent of the 'prevent defense". In other words, giving up a few yards is OK as long as she doesn't give up the back breaking touchdown
The problem is this: Palin, by all accounts, is a smart, articulate woman. Why put her in shackles? The political strategy by the McCain camp makes sense from a textbook standpoint but one of Palin's biggest attributes is her communication skills and her ability to be real. If she's working off talking points it takes that element away and makes her look like every other politician. Voters I have been talked to like her because she's a breath of fresh air.
If she is this 'maverick" then maybe voters need to see more of her free-wheeling maverick side and let Sarah be Sarah. Her tightly scripted answers aren't necessarily having the desired effect.