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The "Oh, crap!" moment in the debate

By Bertram de Souza (Contact)

Published October 18, 2008

Things were going along swimmingly for Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama during last Wednesday's third and final presidential debate, when moderator Bob Scheiffer of CBS asked a question that brought a smile to Obama's face and an "Oh, crap!" look from McCain.

The question was powerfully simple: Why do you think your vice presidential running mate is qualified to be president.

Obama didn't miss a beat as he rattled off U.S. Sen. Joe Biden's qualifications and vast Capitol Hill experience to establish that he is well prepared to occupy the Oval Office. The Democrat particularly focused on Biden's foreign policy credentials and the fact that he is recognized in this country and abroad as one of the most knowledgeable.

Then it was McCain's turn to defend his vice presidential pick, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Talk about straining credulity: She's a maverick; she has taken on members of her own party; she stood up to Big Oil; she's a maverick; she's a Washington outsider; she isn't in the pocket of any special interests in Washington; she's a maverick.

And, McCain added, her husband, Todd, is "a tough guy."

Now, there's a reason for all Americans to sleep well at night. Should McCain win on Nov. 4 and is unable to fulfill his duties as president, Palin will take over — and she'll have a tough guy by her side. That should send shivers down the spine of every terrorist.

If only Obama had been as quick on his feet as McCain.

After ticking off all Biden's qualifications to serve as president, he should have added, "And Joe's wife is real babe. She's hot, man. She sizzles."

Ridiculous? No more so than McCain talking about Sarah Palin's husband.

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