McCain Spokesman on Palin Debate Stakes, Why She Actually Does Know Foreign Policy

ST. LOUIS—Asked by reporters in the media room here at Washington University how nervous he was about tonight’s debate between Sarah Palin and Joe Biden, McCain campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds said that he was “an even-keeled five.”

He tried several times to downplay the significance of tonight’s outcome, arguing that, historically, vice-presidential debates have not been decisive in determining the winner of the election. Referring to the first presidential debate in Mississippi a week ago, he said, “I was a touch more nervous because I recognized the gravity of the event.”

He did provide a hint about the way Palin may be planning to deal with debate questions relating to international affairs, saying that when people talk about foreign policy, “in many instances you are talking about dependence on foreign oil.”

As governor, Palin pursued a narrow agenda that was largely focused on natural resources and, in particular, oil.