Yet Palin floats above: "For the moment, for all the facts matter, Palin could have laid the caissons for the Bridge to Nowhere and burned books in the town square. To the huge audience in Virginia, she hung the moon and the stars," Bloomberg's Margaret Carlson writes. "Crowds and celebrity were on the list of Obama's flaws until Palin started attracting the first and became the latter. Now McCain doesn't leave home without her."
"Positive first impressions and high expectations often become undone by additional information," Clarence Page writes in his Chicago Tribune column. "For example, convention delegates and TV viewers loved the punch lines in Palin's acceptance speech to become the GOP's nominee for vice president, like her self-description as a 'hockey mom,' which she equated to a pit bull with lipstick. But nothing ruins a good punch line like additional information."
Roger Ebert casts her as the "American Idol" candidate -- and not in a good way: "I trust the American people will see through Palin, and save the Republic in November. The most damning indictment against her is that she considered herself a good choice to be a heartbeat away. That shows bad judgment," he writes in the Chicago Sun-Times.
The ultimate in celebrification of politics: The candidate who attacked another candidate for being a "celebrity" has launched into orbit himself. "Last month, [McCain] created his own celebrity," the AP's Ron Fournier writes. "What Michael Jordan is to sports, Rick Warren is to religion, Steve Jobs is to business and Madonna is to music -- that's what McCain, Palin, Obama and Democratic running mate Joe Biden are to politics."
Boston Globe columnist Dan Payne declares Palin flatly unqualified: "To the extent he thought about it at all, McCain (an ex-POW) picked her to fix his problems with GOP evangelicals and juice the ticket. That's a lousy reason to let someone so completely unfit stand so close to the presidency."
Bill and Barack break bread Thursday -- and then get set to team up. Former President Bill Clinton is set to hit the trail solo for Obama, starting with a Sept. 29 even in Florida, the AP's Nedra Pickler reports. "There's nobody smarter in politics," Obama told Letterman. "And he is going to be campaigning for us over the next eight weeks, which I'm thrilled by."
On 9/11, an issue that isn't: "The joint appearance at Ground Zero today by Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama will not only commemorate the seventh anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks but also will mark a rare moment in the campaign when both candidates focus on terrorism, an issue that has lost prominence for American voters as the deadly attacks recede in the public memory," Michael Abramowitz writes in The Washington Post.
"Beneath the harsh rhetoric, the two candidates -- who meet today in New York City to commemorate the seventh anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks -- seem to be moving toward consensus on their broad-brush strategies, an unexpected development in what was the most contentious issue in the presidential race four years ago," Josh Meyer writes in the Los Angeles Times.