"McCain supporter Sen. Lindsey Graham tells CNN the McCain campaign is proposing to the Presidential Debate Commission and the Obama camp that if there's no bailout deal by Friday, the first presidential debate should take the place of the VP debate, currently scheduled for next Thursday, October 2 in St. Louis.
In this scenario, the vice presidential debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin would be rescheduled for a date yet to be determined, and take place in Oxford, Mississippi, currently slated to be the site of the first presidential faceoff this Friday."
Like Kevin Drum, I had been saying "ha ha, I suppose they'll try to reschedule the first Presidential debate for October 2nd", as a joke. Silly me, and silly Kevin, to think that the McCain campaign would manage not to make that ludicrous unforced error. I think I know why, though: after her interview with Katie Couric, they surely cannot want Sarah Palin to have one more moment of unscripted TV time than is absolutely necessary.
For the most part, people have focussed on the part where Sarah Palin cannot come up with specific examples of McCain favoring regulation. (Note to Sarah Palin: boxing. I'd mention McCain's attempt to regulate tobacco, but since he's flip-flopped on that one, best not to bring it up.) But I was also struck by this bit from the interview:
"COURIC: Would you support a moratorium on foreclosures to help average Americans keep their homes?
PALIN: That's something that John McCain and I have both been discussing whether that is part of the solution or not ... you know, it's going to be a multifaceted solution that has to be found here.
COURIC: So you haven't decided whether you'll support it or not?
PALIN: I have not.
COURIC: What are the pros and cons of it, do you think?
[Translation: OK, you don't want to commit. But do you have the slightest idea what the salient considerations are?]
"PALIN: Well, some decisions that have been made poorly should not be rewarded, of course.
COURIC: By consumers, you're saying?
PALIN: Consumers and those who were predator lenders also. That's, you know, that has to be considered also. But again, it's got to be a comprehensive long-term solution found for this problem that America is facing today. As I say, we are getting into crisis mode here."
[Translation: Not a clue. But whatever the solution is, it ought to be comprehensive and long-term. Such a relief to know she doesn't actually favor temporary solutions that do not address the entire problem. Had she had more time, no doubt she would have come out for solutions that are judicious, well-designed, effective and (of course) bipartisan. And I'll bet she doesn't think people should play politics with this issue either. Call me psychic.]
Sarah Palin has been described as a quick study. But she has been surrounded by briefers for nearly three weeks, and she's still completely unable to string together an intelligent thought on the mortgage crisis. Would a moratorium on foreclosures keep people in their homes, or would it make banks even less likely to make mortgage loans, while driving them closer to insolvency? Is this sort of heavy-handed government interference in the market a desperate measure called for by desperate times, or is it more like Robert Mugabe's efforts to stop inflation by banning price increases? (I probably shouldn't wonder whether Sarah Palin knows who Mugabe is...) It would be nice if the running mate of one of the oldest candidates for President ever had some ideas about these issues. Since she's been prepping constantly, it's pretty alarming that she doesn't.
I served with quick studies. I knew quick studies. Quick studies were a friend of mine. Sarah Palin: you're no quick study.