The Note: The Wreckage

Per ABC's Karen Travers, of the 31 current House Members on ABC's list of competitive races, 24 voted against the bill -- including 11 of the 15 Democrats, and 13 of the 16 Republicans.

We hope Gov. Sarah Palin wasn't hoping for debate prep to be quiet.

The New York Times' Adam Nagourney crystallizes the challenges in her big week: "she heads into a critical debate facing challenges from conservatives about her credentials, signs that her popularity is slipping and evidence that Republicans are worried about how much help she will be for Mr. McCain in November."

Said former Bush speechwriter David Frum: "I think she has pretty thoroughly -- and probably irretrievably -- proven that she is not up to the job of being president of the United States."

Added Jim Greer, the GOP chairman in Florida: "I think the Katie Couric interview shows that she needs to be briefed more on certain aspects."

Who's the drag now? "Since joining his ticket, the overnight political celebrity has seen the shine come off her poll standings and doubts surface among some conservatives once excited about her candidacy," the AP's Alan Fram writes. "The Alaska governor still draws huge crowds and energizes McCain's drive for the White House. Yet a whirlwind month after he made her his running mate, Palin is starting to seem very, very vulnerable."

The latest prescription -- if you ask Bill Kristol or Mitt Romney or Rick Wilson or Frank Gaffney: Let Palin be Palin.

Point taken: "Sarah Palin will take a more forward-leaning approach and do additional interviews in the weeks ahead, a top aide said today," per Politico's Jonathan Martin.

And yet -- get the siren ready for this one: "Of concern to McCain's campaign, however, is a remaining and still-undisclosed clip from Palin's interview with Couric last week that has the political world buzzing," Martin reports.

"The Palin aide, after first noting how 'infuriating' it was for CBS to purportedly leak word about the gaffe, revealed that it came in response to a question about Supreme Court decisions," he writes. "After noting Roe vs. Wade, Palin was apparently unable to discuss any major court cases."

Where does this fall on the spin scale? "The fact is that she has done incredible job. And I'm so proud of the work that she's doing," he said of his running mate, in the joint Katie Couric interview.

She does seem eager for the debate against Sen. Joe Biden: "After a week that provided plenty of fodder for Saturday Night Live material, the Republican nominee for vice president was a crowd pleaser today and seemed eager to talk about the upcoming debate," Jimmy Orr writes in the Christian Science Monitor.

Could Tina Fey be helping? "Does the impression hurt Real Palin, by cementing the idea that she's unprepared for the job? Or does it help her, by helping to set expectations for the debate so low she can hardly help but clear them?" Time's James Poniewozik writes.

Ready to rumble: "I've been hearing about his speeches since I was in the second grade," Palin said of her rival. (For the record, she was busy winning beauty contests when McCain was a freshman congressman.)

Nothing like expectations: "He's going in there to debate a leviathan of forensics, who has debated five times and she's undefeated in debates," Biden spokesman David Wade says of Biden's chances against Palin, per ABC's Matt Jaffe, Imtiyaz Delawala, and Nitya Venkataraman.

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