Don't Misunderestimate Sarah Palin

"Repeating a stump speech is harder in a nationally televised debate, though, when moderators such as Thursday night's Gewn Ifill of PBS are likely to bore in and demand fuller explanations. Any apparent unfamiliarity with a topic also will prove problematic, and a glaring factual mistake will be difficult to overcome.

But Gov. Palin's telegenic gifts could help neutralize some shortcomings. Ms. Casey, the public-radio reporter, credits Gov. Palin's training as a TV sportscaster for her ability to connect with a broadcast audience at home.

In her debates during the 2006 campaign, Ms. Palin would often thank the reporters serving as debate moderators -- invariably addressing them by their first names, and adding a compliment for their insightful questions. She would then turn immediately to the camera to speak directly to a home audience.

"Like a sportscaster, she's learned to be good at dropping the g's, and relating to the viewer as a fan," Ms. Casey explains. "You know: 'It's a big game this weekend and it's gonna be tough. But we're all in this together.'"

I hope that Joe Biden doesn't fail to study her history in debates; we all know what happens when you fail to study history...