John McCain's running mate remains absent from the limelight, presumably studying for the vice-presidential debate. Fareed Zakaria, author of The Post-American World, writes in Newsweek that Sarah Palin is "utterly unqualified to be vice president."
"...she has never spent a day thinking about any important national or international issue... The next administration is going to face a set of challenges unlike any in recent memory. There is an ongoing military operation in Iraq that still costs $10 billion a month, a war against the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan that is not going well and is not easily fixed. Iran, Russia and Venezuela present tough strategic challenges.
"Domestically, the bailout and reform of the financial industry will take years and hundreds of billions of dollars. Health-care costs, unless curtailed, will bankrupt the federal government. Social Security, immigration, collapsing infrastructure and education are all going to get much worse if they are not handled soon.
"And the American government is stretched to the limit. Between the Bush tax cuts, homeland-security needs, Iraq, Afghanistan and the bailout, the budget is looking bleak. Plus, within a few years, the retirement of the baby boomers begins with its massive and rising costs (in the trillions).
"Obviously these are very serious challenges and constraints. In these times, for John McCain to have chosen this person to be his running mate is fundamentally irresponsible. McCain says that he always puts country first. In this important case, it is simply not true."
And on CNN, longtime newsman Jack Cafferty has some choice words about the prospect of Palin being "a 72-year-old heartbeat away from the presidency."