While the candidates for President (that would be McCain and Obama, in case you’ve been living under a boulder) easily agreed to a freewheeling format of question, answer, and open exchange for their three scheduled debates, the two camps had to go through some version of the Versailles Treaty (ok, maybe not *that* controversial) to get rules for the VP debates done. From the NY Times yesterday:
At the insistence of the McCain campaign, the Oct. 2 debate between the Republican nominee for vice president, Gov. Sarah Palin, and her Democratic rival, Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., will have shorter question-and-answer segments than those for the presidential nominees, the advisers said. There will also be much less opportunity for free-wheeling, direct exchanges between the running mates.
McCain advisers said they had been concerned that a loose format could leave Ms. Palin, a relatively inexperienced debater, at a disadvantage and largely on the defensive.
Ha. Ha ha ha ha. Ya think? The article continues:
Commission members wanted a relaxed format that included time for unpredictable questioning and challenges between the two vice-presidential candidates. On Wednesday, the commission unanimously rejected a proposal sought by advisers to Ms. Palin and Senator John McCain of Arizona, the Republican presidential nominee, to have the moderator ask questions and the candidates answer, with no time for unfettered exchanges. Advisers to Mr. Biden say they were comfortable with either format.
Of course Biden was comfortable with either format.
All of this comes just as Palin is getting set up to meet with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Colombian President Alvaro Uribe next week in New York while the two men are at the UN. This will be, I’m not kidding you, her first meeting with foreign heads of state. McCain will be showing her around New York like a prom date. Even the Wall Street Journal got in on the sarcasm, noting that Palin will also meet Henry Kissinger:
Gov. Palin will also meet the ever-social Nixon-appointed National Security Advisor/Secretary of State Mr. Kissinger, who surely has much wisdom to impart about the big country one can see from Alaska.
So, to review, McCain will take his little pit bull to the prom and then put her back in her cage, lest she make a fool of herself, for the debates.