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The upside for Sarah Palin from her widely panned sit-down with Katie Couric

September 26, 2008 | 10:56 am

Sarah Palin received generally poor marks for her third interview with a major media type since becoming the Republican vice presidential nominee.

Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post called Palin's comment, during her Q & A with Katie Couric of CBS, that the U.S. had achieved "victory" in Iraq "an apparent misstep."

Our own James Rainey, in critiquing the entire interview that was aired in two parts Wednesday and Thursday nights, declared Palin "rambling, marginally responsive and even more adrift than during her network debut with ABC’s Charles Gibson."

Like many, Rainey was particularly struck by an exchange from the second segment, when Couric asked Palin about her claims that, as the governor of Alaska, the state's proximity to Russia gave her a foreign policy credential.

Rainey posits that it was "good news" for Palin that the nation's financial crisis and the uncertain status of tonight's John McCain-Barack Obama debate diverted what had been an unrelenting spotlight on her.

The analysts at MSNBC's political shop see it much the same way, saying in their daily "First Read" memo that "had it not been for it not been for McCain's debate gambit, Palin's near-disastrous two-part interview ... would be dominating the political discussion right now."

They identify another possible positive -- "she has moved her debate expectations to an all-time low."

Might Thursday's Palin-Joe Biden get-together outdraw tonight's McCain-Obama face-off (especially with so many Americans preoccupied with high school football and other start-of-the-weekend activities)?

Regardless, the VP debate promises great theater, given that -- as The Ticket recently noted -- Biden hasn't exactly been hitting the ball out of the park either.

-- Don Frederick

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