Running mates—and vice-presidential debates—are supposed to be mere sideshows of the general election. But that conventional wisdom may be shaken by this year's campaign and this week's debate between Sarah Palin and Joe Biden. The Republican candidate was widely mocked for including among her foreign policy credentials the geographic proximity of her home state of Alaska to Vladmir Putin's Russia. "You can see Russia from parts of Alaska," said Palin. Yes, but you can mainly see Alaska and more Alaska, as this week's New Yorker cover makes plain. The conceit on which it is based, Saul Steinberg's famous 1976 vision of New York at the center of the world, is after the jump.