REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Let’s face it: It’s common knowledge Sarah Palin will be at a disadvantage in tonight’s debate. Joe Biden has a far greater breadth of foreign-policy knowledge and he’s a former debate champion. The Republican camp is nervous, and rightly so.

DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I really wish that were the case, but we’ve all witnessed Joe Biden’s dreadful verbosity and propensity for gaffes. People close to the senator are just hoping he can somehow eke out a draw.

RS: Let’s be serious. If there’s one thing we know about tonight’s debate, it’s that Palin has a gigantic task ahead of her. It’s like David versus Goliath, but in this case David doesn’t even have a sling. I mean, just look at her recent interviews.

DS: Come on. She was obviously sandbagging with Couric. Let’s not forget what we saw at the convention. Sarah Palin’s a born politician with uncanny instincts. Frankly, if there’s any intrigue tonight, I think it’s to see if Biden can somehow avoid destroying the Democratic ticket.

RS: That’s just preposterous. Joe Biden’s served in the Senate for more than 40 years and has ingrained himself in the public’s consciousness as the most eloquent orator in the history of political discourse.

DS: Even if that were the least bit true—and it’s not—Biden would still be hard-pressed to win against an unstoppable political force like Sarah Palin. The woman oozes likability. I mean, I’m a lifelong Democratic strategist and even I can’t help it. I love her. If she told me to shave my head and renounce my family, I would.

RS: Yeah, I only wish likability stood a chance against Biden in a debate. If a mad scientist created a genetic amalgam of Oscar Wilde and Stephen Douglas, Joe Biden would make him look like a feral toddler.

DS: Biden? Really? Are we talking about the same guy here? I mean, I’m not sure if I should say this, but the senator has trouble making a bowl of cereal.

RS: Palin can’t brush her own teeth and thinks dolphins are “pretend.”

DS: You know that test where you put an ink dot on a chimpanzee and place it in front of a mirror to see if it can recognize its own reflection as an image of itself? Joe fails that every time. Even after we explain it to him.

RS: Sarah Palin touched the same hot stove 11 times. In a row.

DS: While campaigning in Milwaukee last week, Senator Biden got trapped in a Porta-Potti for three hours. When we got him out, he’d eaten his wristwatch. We asked him why, and he said, “Global warming.”

RS: Yeah, well, there won’t be any Porta-Pottis in St. Louis. I’ve been prepping Governor Palin for the debate and it’s been a catastrophe. It’s not uncommon for her to freeze like a wax statue for minutes at a time. And when she snaps out of it she rambles incoherently about how to field-dress a moose while intermittently giving high-school hockey scores.

DS: That’s nothing. In Senator Biden’s mock debate, he described the Holocaust as a “mismanaged time-share condo” and claimed that Napoleon ended the Cold War. Then he wet himself and hummed the theme to Hill Street Blues.

RS: Please. You’re obviously just trying to lower expectations for Biden’s performance.

DS: And now you’re trying to lower the expectations of the lowered expectations. And it’ll probably work, because you’re such a phenomenal strategist.

RS: Me? Who are you kidding? I’m the worst strategist in the world.

DS: It’s not going to matter. Biden’s going to accidentally burn down the St. Louis Athletic Complex. We’ve already accepted it. We have 911 on speed dial.

RS: Palin’s performance will set feminism back 200 years and give McCain two heart attacks.

DS: Well, it should be interesting at least.

RS: You bet. I can’t wait for the postdebate shows.