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Palin and the “Gotcha” Question

That, and other news, in today’s Political Panorama.

Every campaign spends the days leading up to a presidential debate minimizing expectations of their candidate, but John McCain’s campaign is turning its attention to the content itself in Sarah Palin’s matchup with Joseph Biden on Thursday. Specifically, a spokeswoman, Nancy Pfotenhauer, said on “Fox & Friends” yesterday that Gwen Ifill would “have a lot to answer for” if the queries were too weighted toward foreign policy, when it is the economy that Americans are now most concerned about. Also of concern” A series of “gotcha” questions, which McCain himself has complained about in recent days.

This close to the general election, I have serious doubts as to whether some kind of attack on the debate itself will work, any more than it worked for Barack Obama in April. After a poor performance at a pre-Pennsylvania debate, moderated by Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos, Obama complained about the line of questioning — but quickly dropped it when it made it seem like he was whining.
 
Newman Memories: David Mixner recalls Paul Newman’s political involvement, including an anecdote where the actor, who died on Friday, helped him during a difficult political setback.

Russert’s Replacement: The New York Times reports on the latest plans for “Meet the Press”. NBC News “is leaning toward an ensemble of hosts that would be led by Chuck Todd, NBC’s political director, and include David Gregory, a correspondent and MSNBC anchor, according to a person who had been briefed on the proposal but was not authorized to comment, partly because the plans were not set. Like the turnover of anchors at all three network newscasts, the process of choosing a successor for Mr. Russert has been closely watched in media and political circles.”

Clinton Ad: The McCain campaign released this ad today that uses former president Bill Clinton praising their candidate.

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