Gov. Sarah Palin's words in her debate tonight evening with Sen. Joseph Biden, the Democratic vice-presidential nominee, will be piped into America's ears through GOP presidential nominee Sen. John McCain in a simultaneous translation. This was not meant to muzzle Palin's spontaneous conversation, McCain asserted, but to prevent any Al Qaeda ventriloquists lurking in the auditorium from putting words in her mouth.
"I have more experience than anybody else on earth in counterterrorism," McCain said, "and I know Gov. Palin has a unique vocal timbre easily imitated by terrorist mimics." He announced that he has suspended a dentist appointment, a fact-finding trip to Guam and the annual Beer Distributors' Ball in Phoenix to be in St. Louis -- to protect the spunky, four-eyed Girl of the Frozen West.
"Gov. Palin will more than hold her own in tonight's debate if I have anything to say about it," McCain predicted, "and, obviously, I will. She'll bring up what I call the Iraq Free-For-All and how Sen. Obama's call for calm discussion plays right into the hands of the prime minister of Spain and other strongman tyrants. But let me make it clear that even if you hear my words and not hers, she is her own person."
The perky Alaskan moose-butcher was busy trading walrus recipes with the Mrs. Dalai Lama, a McCain campaign spokesperson said, and unavailable for comment, but, in any case, McCain wasn't finished.
"I have now decided, in the urgent interests of protecting our national security, to suspend my trip to St. Louis for tonight's debate," he then told a shocked press corps. "Now isn't the time for a fair and free exchange of ideas by seekers of high office -- which is why I invite Barack Obama to join me in rushing back and forth around the nation on chartered jets until something happens."
Bruce McCall, a humorist, is a regular contributor to The New Yorker and Vanity Fair. He is the author of "All Meat Looks Like South America: The World of Bruce McCall" and "Zany Afternoons."
This post originally appeared at the Washington Independent