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Sarah "Joe Six Pack" Palin gets ready to rumble

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Could the vice-presidential debate actually be consequential this time around? You bet. No offense to any of the vice-presidential wannabees, but a Biden - Romney showdown or a Biden - Pawlenty (remember him?) contest or a Biden - Portman (who?) debate would not likely be must-see TV.

We've got Joe Biden and Sarah Palin to look forward to. And make no mistake, this thing is being billed as the Thrilla' in Manila, but could end up as disastrous for either or both as Milli Vanilli.

The gaffe-meisters

After all, we've got one candidate who is synonymous with gaffe-prone. Go ahead and Google "gaffe prone." Top result? Joe Biden. Google "Joe Biden." Top related search? Joe Biden gaffes.

In the other corner, we've got Sarah Palin. And in the short time the country has come to know this moose-hunting, hockey mom from Alaska, she's gone from hero to zero, from chic to geek, from rising star to falling star in just one month.

When you consider that the rise and fall of Sarah Palin has occurred in just one month, you see the impact of this incredibly short news cycle. With all the news reports, analyses, talk radio, TV punditry, late-night jokes, skits, You-Tube remixes -- it feels like we've known Sarah for months if not years.

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