Get ready for the mother of all political rope-a-dopes

Someone has to do it, so it might as well be me.  I'm calling the upset in tonight's vice presidential debate: Sarah Palin over Joe Biden, by a landslide.

It won't even be close.

For my money, the hottest governor from the coldest state is going to shock the world tonight.

The "Ditz from the 49th State" routine is going to be thrown out the door and replaced with a fierce, lucid, powerful debater who's simply been biding her time waiting to strike at the cowering hearts of Democrats like a lethally venomous cobra.

Just wait and see.

Think something along the lines of Will "Frank the Tank" Ferrell vs. James Carville in "Old School" (

Then again, if this article about Palin's hollow, yet effective, debate skills are any indication, she might conjure up images of from another movie as soon as she's hit with a hard question: Alicia Silverstone's "Clueless" (

But I'm still calling the upset in tonight's debate.

I have to admit that like most people the more I read about the Republican vice-presidential nominee and the more I see of Palin's interviews with Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric, the more I think, "She can't really be that dumb, can she?"

The woman has a college degree for crying out loud.  She's worked her way from the PTA, to small-town mayor, to governor of Alaska, to being a "heartbeat away from the presidency" if she can win the election with John McCain. 

There has to be more to Palin than a sweet set of legs, right?  She has to be more than a delicious piece of arm candy for McCain on the campaign trail, right?

Palin got some hearty laughs at the RNC when she said the only difference between a hockey mom like her and a pit bull is lipstick but it's looking more and more like lipstick is also the only difference between her and Dan Quayle.

Biden, the Democratic vice presidential nominee, has been in the public spotlight long enough that we know for a fact that he's just a gaffe-prone politician.  With his long track record, that's simply who he is.

It's just Joe being Joe the way Manny is just being Manny for the L.A. Dodgers.

However, at this point there's still some mystery around Palin who, from the Republic National Convention until now, has shown an alarming decline in brain power more dramatic than anything I've seen since Cliff Robertson brought "Flowers to Algernon" to life in the film "Charly."

But now I think I'm finally on to the evil genius of the McCain campaign and if I'm right Biden is in for the shock of his life in tonight's debate.

The horrible, clueless interviews with Gibson and Couric?  The impression that Palin has made no effort whatsoever to learn anything about her running mate or the major issues facing the nation? The constant effort to dodge the press?  The odd feeling that she's getting utterly incompetent, worthless coaching from Team McCain?

I've got it all figured out.

It's all a big sham.

All one big, brilliant effort to lower expectations for Palin heading into this debate.

This is the rope-a-dope to end all rope-a-dopes and Palin is set up to land knockout blow against Biden tonight.

Now, I could be totally wrong.  And at this point smart money says I'm just as likely to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq or a winning baseball team in Kansas City as I am to find an intelligent thought in Palin's head with the election on the line.

One way or another, tonight's debate is going be chock full of entertainment value.  Let the countdown to an evening full of belly laughs begin.


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