The Note: The Gambler

Who's running Alaska, anyway? "The McCain campaign is speaking for the Alaska state government these days, especially when it wants to ensure that nothing embarrassing about Gov. Sarah Palin emerges before Election Day," per the AP's Matt Volz. "Questions for the Palin administration are most often answered by McCain staffers, including Meghan Stapleton, a former Palin spokeswoman; Taylor Griffin, who worked for President Bush's campaigns in 2000 and 2004; and Ed O'Callaghan, a McCain campaign lawyer and former federal prosecutor from New York."

Even Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell can't reach the governor regularly: "Until she was hacked, we were communicating just about daily. Now I'm talking with her chief of staff," Parnell said.

What might have driven a different day: "Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden delivered a withering critique of John McCain's national security and foreign policy yesterday, saying the Republican presidential nominee would 'dig us in a deeper hole' instead of making the country safer and restoring America's position in the world," Lisa Wangsness writes in The Boston Globe.

"Biden argued today that McCain has shown poor judgment in his support for the war in Iraq, while Obama has been a consistent critic of a war that began 10 months before he became a U.S. senator from Illinois," Howard Wilkinson reports in the Cincinnati Enquirer.

The Washington Examiner endorses McCain-Palin: "America is at war overseas and in an economic crisis here at home. Many of her citizens believe the country is on the wrong track. It is for times such as these that men like John McCain are made, to put country first so that it can be put right in its time of need."

New soundtrack at Obama rallies: "Centerfield" is on the playlist, before "Signed, Sealed, Delivered." Adam C. Smith of the St. Petersburg Times: "Now John Fogerty caps it off before Stevie: 'Oh, put me in, coach -- I'm ready to play today; Put me in, coach -- I'm ready to play today; Look at me, I can be centerfield.' "

The Kicker:

"Hey John, I got a question! You need a ride to the airport?" -- David Letterman, shouting at John McCain as he was getting makeup applied for his interview with Katie Couric -- after canceling on Letterman.

"You are even more gorgeous than you are on the [TV]." -- Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari, to Sarah Palin.

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