The Free Sarah Debate Is Mostly Bunk

There have been some complaints that the McCain campaign has been hiding Sarah Palin away and over prepping her, when they should be just turning her loose. Hence the debate over whether they need to “Free Sarah.”

The McCain campaign’s rollout could have been better. They should have sent her out to do a lot more interviews with friendly, conservative outlets right off the bat, but here’s the thing a lot of people are missing: there is a very steep learning curve when you get into a national campaign.

You are expected to master a truly enormous amount of information and the honest truth is that none of them have it all down when they start, even the guys like McCain and Biden who have been in the Senate for 4,000 years. It takes them about a month to get to the point where they know the answers to most all of the questions that they get asked — but, and this is a big “but,” the other 3 candidates in the race got to start out back at the beginning of the primary season with much less media attention on them than Palin has had.

Palin is having the same big problem Fred Thompson had: they both burst right onto the main stage and had a spotlight shined on them while they were still getting caught up to speed. After a certain point, Fred caught up and was putting on great performances, but by then, the moment had passed him by (Also, regrettably, I just don’t think Fred wanted to be President badly enough).

In Sarah’s case, I think tonight is a make-or-break moment for her. She has surely been prepping for this debate in one form or another since the day McCain chose her and how’s she judged will largely hinge on it.

If she knocks it out of the park, everyone will be back to talking about what a genius pick she was for McCain. If she bombs, people will say she’s in over her head. If it’s somewhere in between — well, we’ll see.

Personally, I think she’s going to do just fine. We’ll find out if my confidence in her is misplaced tonight.

PS: Make sure to head over to RWN tonight where Melissa Clouthier will be liveblogging the debate.

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