The vice presidential debate, Thursday, between Gov. Sarah Palin and Sen. Joe Biden simply could not have gotten here fast enough. It was a dreadfully long wait. In fact, it was utterly agonizing. Every part of me knew that this debate undeniably would stand as a very critical one, the contents of which could inarguably throw the election in favor of the other guy. If Sarah Palin were to screw up now, that was it. We were done. Kaput.
But it wasn't going to be over until it was over. Just getting there was only half the battle. Now we had to watch it.
Turning on the TV, I was a literal bag of nerves. Now, don't get me wrong here. Of course I think that McCain made the right choice when he picked the Governor of Alaska to be his running mate. Of course I think that while not fully qualified on day one, that she certainly does have the stuff to be the president if suddenly McCain kicks the bucket. Yet still...
It's a nervousness akin to watching President Bush just before taking up the presidential podium. Or like watching Gerald Ford debark an airplane. You know that for the most part your guy is in command. But somewhere in the back drop, an ominous and looming dark shadow prevails. We've been here all too often before.
The trip. That one fatal step that would send the sitting president falling straight onto his ass.
Now, you can bet your good, hard-earned money that Lorne Michaels and Tina Fey were watching this debate with eager anticipation as well. But their nerves were steel. For them there were no doubts at all. The trip was coming. Palin was going to deliver the one-two to the punchline, and there you'd have it.
There goes our meal ticket, baby.
If the world of the debate were more like the world of the Looney Tunes, Michaels and Fey would not see Sarah Palin at all, but rather a talking, buttered slice of bread.
But it never happened. That fatal err. There were no gaffes to speak of. No requests for that lifeline as Fey would joke. No bereft stare. There was nothing at all but concise, direct, and pointed arguments in favor of the McCain-Palin ticket, and a clear sense that Palin really does have something to stifle the echoes between those two ears of hers.
For me there was a sigh of relief. A sense of victory, and of affirmation.
Now I'm just going to have to watch SNL this weekend to see what they've replaced their Sarah Palin jokes with.
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