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By Thursday at 10:30 p.m. Eastern time, we will have our answer on where this campaign is going.

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Let Sarah Be Sarah

By Thursday at 10:30 p.m. Eastern time, we will have our answer on where this campaign is going.

It seemed as if Senator McCain had lost his running mate. In the “Spin Room” after the McCain-Obama debate Friday night, Governor Sarah Palin was nowhere to be seen or heard. All through the Friday night debate in Oxford, Mississippi, Barack Obama was making casual with “John” followed by the Cheshire Cat Biden doing the same thing. Was Gov. Palin AWOL? Or was she bound and gagged by the McCain campaign? Either way, this was a strategic error and we don’t know the impact….yet.

It appears the McCain Campaign is keeping her away from the press, except for Charlie Gibson of ABC News, Sean Hannity of The Fox News Channel and Katie Couric of CBS News. That is a big mistake. Sarah Palin ought to be doing talk radio and doing it every day. She ought to be doing press avails on the way to and from these mammoth events where she’s drawing rock star crowds. The more people see her and hear her the more they love her and the less they see her, the more room the detractors have to hack her to pieces.

Even vice presidential hopeful, Mitt Romney, weighed in on MSNBC and makes sense when he says, “Holding Sarah Palin to just three interviews and microscopically focusing on each interview I think has been a mistake. I think they’d be a lot wiser to let Sarah Palin be Sarah Palin. Let her talk to the media, let her talk to people … Look, she wasn’t selected by John McCain because she’s an expert in foreign policy…John McCain’s the expert in foreign policy…She’s a person who identifies with people with homes across America.”

There’s no doubt it’s hard to be the object of attacks from all sides and the press has been vicious in their attacks. Even Palin’s parents have appeared on Fox News complaining the media vultures are just looking for the bad and not the good. Welcome to national politics, folks.

Sarah Palin needs to wipe the floor with Sen. Biden on Thursday and then show up at Saturday Night Live with Tina Fey on Saturday. If she’s going to be the Vice President of the United States she’s got to get past the left-wing loon feminists and show she can take it. I believe she can. The concern is valid — she’s stumbled a bit in the last week but the benefit of that is the expectations are so low for Gov. Palin and so high for Sen. Biden it will be difficult for him to win and for her to lose.

Gov. Palin is in Sedona, Arizona with her family practicing for the debate and I’d like to be a long distance coach. If I were advising her, I’d tell her to be herself, know her stuff and drop her voice pitch just a bit. Speak slowly and carry a big stick. If she comes out in control, Sen. Biden has to follow her lead or he will look like a bully.

The McCain campaign has not revealed the identity of the stand-in for Sen. Biden for the mock debates. However, it perfectly suits the Obama campaign and its international flare that Biden’s stand-in for Palin is the Canadian-born Governor of Michigan, Jennifer Granholm. I guess anything north of Washington, D.C. will due. To have the governor who has run her state into the worst economic downturn in the United States — which is an achievement in itself in this economy stand-in for a governor of a state that has a booming economy is the typical Democrat way to do things. Lift up mediocrity and make fun of success, it’s the Democrat way.

The biggest test for Sarah Palin is the debate in St. Louis. When you are a first, every day is a test. But this is uncharted waters just as every day is uncharted for Senator Obama. We don’t have a litmus test for a candidate like Sarah Palin and it will be about 5 weeks before we really know how any of this affected the outcome of the election. While I am concerned, I am still confident, provided the McCain campaign lets the Governor be herself.

But be prepared. If Sarah Palin is successful against Joe Biden, the media who has been hacking at her all week will not give her the credit for her success. They will say that she was coached well. If she does poorly, she’ll be savaged.

So far, Sarah is the Rodney Dangerfield of this election. By Thursday at 10:30 p.m. Eastern time, we will have our answer on where this campaign is going.

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Written By

Ms. Zoller, a recovering congressional candidate, is a political analyst and conservative talk show host for WXKT FM 103.7 in Gainesville, Georgia and syndicated on The Georgia News Network. She is one of the Talkers Magazine "Heavy Hundred" Talk Shows in America. She can be seen regularly on cable news. She is the author of "Indivisible: Uniting Values for a Divided America." You may contact her through www.marthazoller.com.

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