Eve, good summary of Palin's ABC appearance. The entire Sarah Palin saga has been thoroughly surreal, but there was something particularly weird about watching her deal with enormous geostrategic questions--Russian aggression, Iran and the bomb, al Qaeda--that she'd likely never spent a continuous hour of her professional life worrying about until this month. The absurdity of the scene reminded me of an old Onion advice column titled something like "Ask An Orange Traffic Pylon,"  in which readers seek the life counsel of an inanimate plastic cone--why even bother?

I might cut her some slack for her ignorance of the Bush Doctrine, in part because I hesitated myself about its precise meaning, and even its (sensible) Wikipedia definition suggests it can mean different things (cracking down on those who harbor terrorists, pre-emptive war, promoting democracy) to different people. More interesting to me was her refusal to state explicitly her view on unilateral American attacks against terrorists in the tribal areas of Pakistan. Palin implied that she would support such a thing, saying

we must do whatever it takes, and we must not blink, Charlie. In making the tough decisions of where we go, and even who we target

yet she offered no indication of awareness that the Bush administration acknowledged today we're already doing precisely that.

Still, my guess is that Schmidt, Davis and company were happy with how things went overall. McCain's mate avoided any painful deer-in-the-headlights moments--and right now it appears that such are the things upon which the direction of this country will hinge.

--Michael Crowley