Smart. It restores the “pitbull in lipstick” image that the Couric interviews dissolved, it increases the chance of a golden Biden jackass moment by getting under his skin, and it keeps the spotlight off of her own answers. The debate’s supposed to be “about” Palin; to the extent she can make it about Biden or, better still, about Biden’s disagreements with Obama, it’s a victory even if she spends half her time tapdancing on policy.

Sarah Palin plans to go on the attack in tonight’s debate, hitting Joe Biden for what she will call his foreign policy blunders and penchant for adopting liberal positions on taxes and other issues, according to campaign officials involved in prepping her for tonight’s showdown…

“This is going to finally put her back into a position where we see her like we saw her the first couple weeks,” a McCain official said. “She was herself. She was authentic, and people related to that. … Tonight, she’ll get into a rhythm. You’re going to see her in a way that you haven’t seen her yet.”…

From her debate playbook, as described by McCain officials:

—Throw Biden’s own words back at him…

—Highlight past Biden foreign-policy positions as a way to undermine his core strength…

—Highlight places where Biden and Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) have differed, including primary-season statements about Obama’s readiness to lead and his positions on Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan.

Follow the link for examples of each. Exit question: What’s Biden’s goal in this debate? The media claims Palin’s the one for whom the bar’s been set low, but realistically all Biden has to do to protect Obama’s lead is sound reasonably informed and coherent (even if he isn’t) and not pop off at his opponent. Shouldn’t be hard for a six-term senator. Be Joe Cool for 90 minutes, take any abuse with a smile, and tear down McCain at every opportunity and he’s guaranteed a draw, which is all he needs. If he can’t resist a zinger at her expense, the obvious angle would be to try to counter her own immaculate blue-collar-ness with his own. Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the most down-to-earth millionaire of them all?

Update: I know what he means but Joementum’s not helping by phrasing things this way.