They won’t check Obama’s campaign coffers for evidence of fraud but give them a neophyte VP who’s been shaky in her interviews and they are on the case. You’ll find that at the end here after a helpful reminder from Fred Thompson about how vicious the SNL skits would have been this month if she’d sunk to Biden’s depth of stupidity.

Ed has your official debate open thread coming at eight. For my own part, I’m eager to see her come through not because I think it’ll tilt the election — with two more debates and god knows what kind of economic drama to come, this’ll be a distant memory by election day unless one of them implodes — but because after a hard month on a big stage under excruciating pressure it’d be gratifying to see her earn some respect. Plus, she has no future in national (and maybe even state) politics as a punchline, needless to say. If you’re looking for a race whose outcome may depend on what happens tonight, think Republican primaries 2012, not general election 2008.

Whatever happens, the base still loves her. Cross those fingers.