The last Hail Mary pass?

THE LAST HAIL MARY PASS?…. We talked the other day about what kind of wacky stunt the McCain campaign will come up with next. John Dickerson argued that it’s only a matter of time before McCain’s reckless, erratic behavior produces the need for “another adrenaline injection,” and Slate explored some possibilities, including the notion that McCain might challenge Obama to suspend both campaigns “so they both can go and personally drill for oil offshore.”

In considering the Hail Mary options, we may have overlooked an obvious one.

In an election campaign notable for its surprises, Sarah Palin, the Republican vice- presidential candidate, may be about to spring a new one — the wedding of her pregnant teenage daughter to her ice-hockey-playing fiancé before the November 4 election.

Inside John McCain’s campaign the expectation is growing that there will be a popularity boosting pre-election wedding in Alaska between Bristol Palin, 17, and Levi Johnston, 18, her schoolmate and father of her baby. “It would be fantastic,” said a McCain insider. “You would have every TV camera there. The entire country would be watching. It would shut down the race for a week.”

In general, it’s wise to be very skeptical about how the British press reports on U.S. political strategies, especially within a presidential campaign. And if you’re thinking this falls somewhere in the “too good to check” category, we’re on the same page.

But as Josh Marshall concluded, “[Given] what we’ve seen so far, I can’t say I’d be surprised if the moral jalopy that is the McCain-Palin Straight Talk Express sunk us even further into farce with something like this.”

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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.