I spent the day traipsing around the beautiful Granite State, in all its resplendent, multi-hued autumnal glory, to watch Gov. Sarah Palin deliver her stump speech in three venues. (More on that in a later post.) Palin, who not long ago was leading the attack on Barack Obama's connections to William Ayers -- "palling around with terrorists" -- has this week excised all such references from her vocabulary. Today she at no time, in all three appearances, made even a veiled reference to Ayers.
Palin's sudden reticence is in direct contrast to her leading man, John McCain, who has only just recently begun publicly discussing the importance of the Ayers issue -- and in particular, discussing whether he'd be discussing it in tonight's debate.
Then I find that, in between her public appearances (at which Palin was never in any danger of passing within shouting distance of any members of the press), Palin snuck in a local TV interview, in which she said that Ayers is "fair game," and that McCain should talk about Ayers in the debate. And then she went back out in public and didn't talk about it some more. Interesting. (Also interesting: in that WMUR interview, Palin refers to the ethics investigation into her abuse of power as "a political goat-rope.")
Finally, of course, Bob Schieffer pretty much begged McCain to talk about Ayers, and he wouldn't do it. And wouldn't do it. And finally, when Obama practically splayed Ayers out across the table, McCain finally talked about Ayers.
One other brief comment about the debate: somewhere tonight, in the McCain campaign, there is a staffer who OKed the attack on Obama's health care plan for posing a "fine" on Joe the Plumber's company. We should take a moment to feel for that staffer. At some point this evening, he or she will receiving a chewing out the likes of which few of us can even imagine. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, watch here.)