So. Tonight's the big vice-presidential debate between Republican Gov. Sarah Palin and Democratic Sen. Joe Biden. Which Palin will show up? Will we see the pitbull with lipstick or the incoherent Couric interviewee? It's anybody's guess. But with expectations already at rock-bottom, it's fair to assume she'll look better than many liberals think. What about Biden? As former Gore advisor Michael Feldman wrote in the Washington Post this morning: Joe Biden's mission tonight: Don't screw it up. The economy has returned as the dominant issue, voters are paying attention and they like what they've been hearing from the Obama campaign.
This may sound like a Yogi Berra quote, but here's the important thing to remember: If Palin doesn't lose big, she wins. If a complete newcomer like Palin can play ball with a Beltway insider like Biden, it might be enough to lure hesitant independent voters. Either way, it's must-see TV.
Bring on the drinking games. Thanks to the blogosphere, there's a little something for everybody. Josh Nelson at Huffington Post says every time "Biden mentions Scranton, PA: Drink a Rolling Rock or similar 'working class' beer." When Palin mentions Joe Six-Pack, "drink a six-pack and a cup of Joe." Even Ana Marie Cox at Time gets into the action. At Wonkette, however, they've started drinking already. A taste: - PALIN evades a question by mentioning state rights. - BIDEN says he takes the train home every day. - PALIN fills time by listing all her kids, by their ridiculous names. - PALIN blames Iraq for 9/11. - BIDEN blames McCain for 9/11. - BIDEN makes a sarcastic joke that goes right over Palin's head, along with about half the viewers. If you're not into the drink but still feel like playing a game during the debate, Sam Taylor at The Bellingham Herald has some ideas for VP Debate Bingo. If you want some ambiance, here's a list of bars where you can catch the action.
Nothing new: The state's gubernatorial candidates debated yesterday in Yakima, and it was largely the same back-and-forth argument about Washington's projected $3.2 billion budget deficit as we saw in the previous two debates. Both David Goldstein at Horse's Ass and Eric Earling at Sound Politics have rundowns, and they even managed to agree on something. Namely, that Seattle Times editorial columnist and associate publisher Ryan Blethen should have shaved before the debate.
Remember: The last day to register to vote is Saturday, Oct. 4.
One down, one to go: As you may know by now, the U.S. Senate passed a $700 billion bill to bail out Wall Street yesterday. Washington Sen. Patty Murray voted for the bill, saying: This is not the legislation I would have written. It's not legislation I wanted to support. But this is not the time to tell America's families, 'Sorry, you're on your own' and hope for the best. Meanwhile, Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., opposed the bill, saying: This approach leaves the government with less resources, the troubled companies with less working capital, and in the end may not solve the market's underlying financial problems.
One down, one up: Jeff Mapes at The Oregonian reports a new Rothenberg Political Report suggests Democratic challenger Jeff Merkley leads Republican Sen. Gordon Smith in the Oregon Senate race.
Good point: P-I reporter Gregory Roberts's "swing districts are a key to this election" story is fairly run-of-the-mill. It does, however, note an increasingly common phenomena: The Obama-Rossi voter. ...
Starting point: The Seattle Times has finally published their profile of Democratic congressional candidate Darcy Burner. Her opponent, Republican Rep. Dave Reichert, was profiled by The Times yesterday. If you haven't been paying attention to the 8th Congressional District race, here's a good place to start (especially if you live there). ...