Still not ready for primetime

STILL NOT READY FOR PRIMETIME…. At first blush, the notion that the McCain campaign would go to extraordinary lengths just to draw attention away from Sarah Palin’s interview with Katic Couric sounds pretty farfetched. But actually watching the five-and-a-half minute clip from CBS, it’s actually fairly reasonable to think campaign aides saw the interview, panicked, and thought, “We need to do something drastic.”

Hilzoy tackled the highlights (or the lowlights, depending on one’s perspective) last night, but I just wanted to reiterate just how great a train wreck Palin’s interview really was. The governor seemed hopelessly lost, offering answers that varied between odd and nonsensical.

After noting just how disastrous some of Palin’s answers were — most notably about the bailout package preventing another Great Depression — Anonymous Liberal presents a very compelling case that the McCain campaign felt compelled to do something drastic.

“I think the McCain campaign knew the Couric interview would be a disaster as soon as it was done taping and spent much of the day frantically trying to think of a way to push it out of the headlines,” A.L. explained. “The clincher for me is the fact that McCain cancelled his Letterman appearance at the last second and instead sat down for an impromptu interview with, of all people, Katie Couric. The hope was to bump the Palin interview even on the CBS Evening News, which otherwise would have hyped and teased the Palin interview all afternoon and used it to lead the broadcast. Instead, CBS devoted most of its coverage to McCain and played segments of the Palin interview almost as an afterthought. Mission accomplished.”

I’d just add that the McCain campaign has just about run out of time in rationalizing Palin’s inability to … what’s the phrase I’m looking for … be a candidate for national office. The political world seemed willing to allow for a certain learning curve, giving Palin a moment to get acquainted with the rigors of her chosen task. But she’s been a national candidate now for nearly a month, and she doesn’t appear to have the foggiest idea what she’s doing. Worse, Palin is yet to demonstrate any working knowledge of any subject.

The Couric interview reinforced what many already feared — the notion that Palin is ready for primetime is ridiculous, and the idea that she’s prepared to be one heartbeat from the presidency in four months is literally laughable.

There’s a very good reason the McCain campaign wants to delay the Palin-Biden debate, and it has nothing to do with Wall Street.