CNN is currently running a little timer that appears in the bottom right-hand corner of the television screen; it counts down the days until Thursday night's vice presidential debate. The McCain camp must be shitting itself. His backing out of his own debate against Obama and ditching an appearance on Letterman, only to subsequently re-enter and lose the debate, didn't help; Obama has now opened up an eight-point lead in the polls, a small but significant increase on the five-point lead he held prior.
Certainly, the sentiments exhibited in McCain's decision to 'suspend' his campaign left a bad taste in the public's collective mouth. But the delusional belief that he was the real difference-maker in last week's now failed attempt to solve the financial crisis, along with the more troublesome notion that solving a crisis requires 'taking a break from politics' to go behind closed doors and wheel-and-deal in private, does not really represent anything new and cannot solely account for the polling fallout.
Enter Sarah Palin, the perfect storm whose month-long stint at the center of American politics entered a surreal chapter last week, and could come to a crash-and-burn conclusion Thursday night - potentially in an after-school special type of way. With anticipation of just such a spectacle brewing, prominent opinion-makers have begun calling on McCain to sack her.
The irony in all of this is twofold: first, had McCain chosen anyone else in the field, the upcoming VP debate would be just another VP debate, and not a potential moment of undoing for the GOP's White House bid; second, had he not decided to suspend his campaign last week and remove himself from the scene, Americans would have never really reflected on what a Palin presidency might be like. McCain stupidly created the void and, in a series of priceless interviews, Palin filled that shit like only she, or maybe Billy Madison, ever could.