The Note: The Big Shift

And there's not enough of her to go around: "Republican congressional candidates anxious for a safe and popular national political figure to campaign with appear to have landed just that in Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin," The Hill's Aaron Blake writes. "But with demand extremely high and supply low, it appears the new GOP vice presidential nominee will have to be rationed carefully in the fewer than 60 days before the 2008 election."

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice seems less than impressed. ABC's Jonathan Karl: "In a less-than-hearty endorsement, Rice declined to say anything more positive about Palin than 'she gave a terrific speech' and 'she's a governor of a state here in the United States' during her interview with Zain Verjee of CNN. Asked point-blank if Palin has enough experience, Rice said, 'These are decisions that Senator McCain has made. I have great confidence in him.' Confidence in Palin?  Rice didn't say."

If McCain could only figure out how to handle the niceties . . . At the convention, McCain "gave her a hug, not a handshake. Ms. Palin got another hug at a rally here outside Kansas City on Monday," Elisabeth Bumiller writes in The New York Times. "The same McCain-Palin embrace -- businesslike, to the point -- was on display at a rally over the weekend in Colorado Springs, but this time Mr. McCain's wife, Cindy, was on stage. Moving quickly after his clasp of his running mate, Mr. McCain took a short side-step and planted a peck on his wife's cheek."

Recalls Geraldine Ferraro, of the "hands-off" strategy employed by her running mate, Walter Mondale, in 1984: Anything more, and "people were afraid that it would look like, 'Oh, my God, they're dating.' "

Mark your calendar for Babs: "Barbra Streisand will be among the headliners at a fund-raiser for Barack Obama on Sept. 16, where she will perform for the presidential candidate at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel," Variety's Ted Johnson reports. "The plans for the event were outlined this morning and Streisand confirmed that she would take the stage. The hotel ballroom holds an estimated 700 people."

Surely you, too, have gotten the e-mail from Anne Kilkenny of Wasilla, Alaska -- the one that starts, "Everyone here knows Sarah, so it is nothing special to say we are on a first-name basis." "The 2,400-word e-mail, circulated on blogs, Web sites and through e-mail chains, has become an Internet hit embraced by many Democrats and Palin critics and attacked by Palin supporters," per S.J. Komarnitsky of the Anchorage Daily News.

"The 2,400-word e-mail, circulated on blogs, Web sites and through e-mail chains, has become an Internet hit embraced by many Democrats and Palin critics and attacked by Palin supporters."

The Sked:

McCain and Palin campaign in Lebanon, Ohio, at 10 am ET, and hold a 3:30 pm ET rally in Lancaster, Pa.

Obama starts his morning outside Dayton, Ohio, talking education policy, and ends his afternoon in a different Lebanon -- in Virginia.

Sen. Joe Biden is in Missouri, with a town-hall meeting Tuesday morning in Columbia, and a community meeting later in the morning in St. Louis.

Get the full political schedule in The Note's "Sneak Peek."

President Bush Speaks to the National Defense University's Distinguished Lecture Program at Ft. McNair in Washington Tuesday morning

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