The New York Times > Log In Last week in Michigan campaigning with John McCain, Sarah Palin told an adoring town hall crowd she was willing to play stump the candidate if that's what it took to prove her intellectual worthiness to hold higher office. This unscripted bout of female machismo brought on gales of audience applause, but also summoned a brief tight-jawed look Sen. McCain often gets under stress. Sarah Palin's campaign aides also looked panic-stricken. There was good reason for alarm. The national media has been biting at the bit to get this heretofore relatively unknown politician under the microscope and examine just what she has going for her (other than breasts and ovaries) to qualify her for the Republican ticket. In the few on-line reference sources I've found so far the answer is- not much. My hunch is there are a ton of television political stars starting with MSNBC's Stanford grad Rachel Maddow who would love to see if Sarah Palin was qualified to play political "Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?" One can just picture the fun such an interview would create. Question: Did the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand start World War I, II or III? On international geography: Is the London Heathrow airport in England, France, or Italy? Then there is the always popular riddle from childhood: Who's buried in Grant's Tomb? My guess is Sarah Palin would fail miserably on all questions. Unfortunately, none of this will have a chance to occur. At the insistence of the McCain campaign, the October 2nd vice-presidential debate will be a tightly structured affair with a minimum of free-wheeling interchanges between candidates. Translated this means that Sarah Palin will have been heavily coached and have articulate sound-bites to known questions prior to the debate. What you hear coming from her lips will be analogous to a soap opera actress spouting lines on "All My Children." She may not be as comfortable in that debate setting as when she was interviewed by Fox News Sean Hannity, but watching a bloated Irishman grovel and fawning like an adoring puppy dog at a vice-presidential candidate is something none of us may see again in our lifetimes. Stay tuned folks, it's getting fun.