11/03/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The Line That Could Sink McCain-Palin

In last night's debate, there was one answer that caused the entire left blogosphere to spit coffee all over their keyboards, and worked Chris Matthews up. But, the line was largely lost in today's analysis. In the end, however, it could be the undoing of the McCain campaign.

In response to a question as to whether Dick Cheney's view of the Vice Presidency was right, not only did Sarah Palin say it was, but hinted that she'd like even MORE power, as VP.

In just over a week, it is expected that the Troopergate report on Palin's alleged abuse of power will come out. While Republicans have tried like hell to make this seem like a partisan hunt, they've have their legs cut out with every step. In fact, just last evening before Palin took the stage, the court rejected two Republican motions to stop the investigation. And, by the way, it isn't looking good. Apparently, one witness who had maintained Palin did nothing wrong, flipped her story under oath.

And yet, to this point, the McCain campaign could have dismissed the Troopergate report as much ado about nothing - a small-time issue dealing with small time politics - if it implied Palin was guilty of abuse of power. Not that I agree with that, but I could see the McCain camp fluffing it off and pivoting to much more dire issues facing American families.

Not anymore.

If a report is issued that says there is enough to say Palin abused her power, coupling that with Palin's contention that she wants even more power than Dick Cheney will become a strangling distraction for the McCain campaign with just days to go until election day.

Unless there are scary-as-hell circumstances that cause American's to lose their passion for civil liberties and separation of powers (see Patriot Act), Americans traditionally look very poorly at power grabbing and abuse. Even FDR couldn't overcome this sentiment when he tried to pack the court, so it would rubber-stamp his policies.

Of course, this is all moot if the report issues no conclusive finding, or finds Palin innocent of any wrongdoing. But if it doesn't, watch for Palin's answer on Cheney and Power to become a part of any story on the Troopergate report. And from there, watch Senator McCain's campaign get thrown so far off course that it barely limps into Election Day.