QUOTE OF THE DAY…. I’m not sure if the McCain campaign has thought this line through.

“[Sarah Palin is] going to learn national security at the foot of the master for the next four years, and most doctors think that he’ll be around at least that long,” said Charlie Black, one of Mr. McCain’s top advisers, making light of concerns about Mr. McCain’s health, which Mr. McCain’s doctors reported as excellent in May.

First, it’s not an especially good idea for top McCain aides to joke about whether McCain is going to survive four years in office.

Second, it’s not an especially good idea to describe McCain as “the master” on national security, given that he’s embarrassingly confused about national security and foreign policy for quite some time.

Third, it’s not an especially good idea to concede, on the record, that the Vice President during two wars will need on the job training.

And fourth, John McCain’s top strategist has effectively told the New York Times that the Republican nominee for V.P. won’t be ready on Day One, but that’s fine, because McCain will probably live until 2013. Seriously. That’s his argument.

I’d love to hear some enterprising political reporter who travels with the McCain campaign to ask the senator, “In the event of a tragedy or national calamity, and a President McCain were unable to carry out his duties, who does John McCain believe is the single best, most trustworthy, most capable, most reliable person in the entire United States to lead the free world?”

Joe Lieberman? Tom Ridge? Lindsey Graham? Dick Lugar? John Warner? No, it’s Sarah Palin.

I just want to see McCain or one of his top aides say this with a straight face. Just once.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.