For American presidential campaigns, the run-up to any televised debate is nothing so much as an exercise in managing expectations. Your opponent is fearsome and will probably crush you. Your own candidate will be lucky to form a single coherent sentence. Then, after the debate, you can spin a weak performance as a come-from-behind victory. In this little game of flackery, Sarah Palin could not be better positioned for tonight's face-off against Joe Biden. The Republican vice presidential nominee is up against a respected lion of the senate. Severe economic anxiety has put her ticket nine points behind in a new poll. The debate moderator has a big crush on Barack Obama. And, most importantly, a series of disastrous interviews with Charles Gibson and especially Katie Couric has made Palin look like an uninformed, inarticulate embarrassment. You can watch the complete lowlights in the attached video, including Palin's failure last night to name a single Supreme Court decision other than Roe vs. Wade. But keep in mind that the worse Palin looks now, the better she'll likely appear, to some key voters, tomorrow morning.