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Your Views On North Korea, Ms. Palin?

The news that North Korean despot Kim John Il may be dying or dead is more than a little unsettling. The lines of succession in that desperate country, which has perhaps a dozen nuclear weapons, are unclear. US intelligence about the hermit kingdom is pitifully thin.

In other words, this is white-knuckle stuff. And if I'm the Obama campaign, I'm pushing the media to envision how a President Palin might handle it. For starters, ABC's Charlie Gibson could perform a real public service in his upcoming interview with Palin by pressing for her views on our negotations with North Korea, its nuclear program, and what Kim's death would mean.

The Russian invasion of Georgia last month was a real boon to McCain's campaign, which used it to cast a spotlight on Obama's experience. A crisis in North Korea could bring the silly cultural debates over Sarah Palin's back to the sort of thing this campaign should really be about--stuff like, you know, preventing American cities from getting nuked.

--Michael Crowley