Watching Sarah Palin's heart-to-heart with Katie Couric, I have a couple of gentle suggestions for the oh-so-fragile governor:

1. When you're discussing a subject about which you clearly know nothing, such as Rick Davis's relationship with Freddie Mac, try to refrain from repeatedly using the phrase "My understanding is..." in order to avoid underscoring your complete absence of understanding.

2. Since all of America by now has heard that you are being sheltered from audiences that might be less than 100% friendly, you might want to reconsider making weird blanket statements about how all the people you run across are looking to McCain, and definitely not Obama, for leadership on the financial crisis. You are the base bait, governor; of course everyone you are allowed contact with prefers McCain. At the very least, prepare yourself to engage with evidence to the contrary, such as when Couric drew your attention to polls showing that Obama is, in fact, more trusted on the issue. 

3. And for God's sake, at least try to gather some supporting evidence for the two or three key catchphrases you have been coached to toss around. McCain is a maverick. Great. McCain is a reformer. Super. But when you're doing a sit-down with a real reporter in the midst of a financial-sector meltdown, you really should come armed with a few examples of McCain's mavericky, reformerish behavior on the most important freaking issue of the election. Laughing and flashing that big ol' sparkly grin of yours may distract Pakistan's new hound dog president, but it won't do a thing for Katie.

Shape up, gal. Preparation is the key to survival here. And my guess is that Gwen Ifill will be even less impressed by your spunky, smiley, go-girl shtick. Assuming, that is, that the campaign fails in its current efforts to get your debate cancelled altogether

--Michelle Cottle