Running mates as surrogates

RUNNING MATES AS SURROGATES…. After a debate, campaigns generally want high-profile figures telling the media how great their candidate did. And as a rule, it’s hard to top the running mates as high-profile figures.

It was pretty interesting, then, that the Obama campaign was anxious to get Joe Biden in front of the cameras — while Sarah Palin was nowhere to be found.

Indeed, as this CNN clip shows, Biden was not only out there, he was excellent, offering a forceful and on-message denunciation of McCain, and explaining how right Obama was. (Biden delivered the same critique on CBS and NBC.)

Some viewers at home seemed to think it was unfair that CNN interviewed Biden as part of the post-debate coverage, but didn’t have Palin on. Eventually, Wolf Blitzer had to explain to the audience that the network wasn’t slighting anyone.

“We’ve been getting some emails from views out there wondering why we spent some time interviewing Joe Biden, the Democratic vice presidential nominee and not Sarah Palin, the Republican vice presidential nominee,” Blitzer said. “We would have loved to interview — we’d still love to interview Sarah Palin. Unfortunately we asked, we didn’t get that interview…. We’re hoping that Sarah Palin will join us at some point down the road.”

As Michael Crowley concluded, “It’s pretty strange when a candidate can’t trust his own running mate to be out there spinning on his behalf. And it’s funny that a lot of McCain supporters seem to think that’s about media bias and not the fact that Palin is in lockdown somewhere.”

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Steve Benen

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.