Don't get me wrong. I don't mean to suggest Mike Barnicle's nearly as deep in the tank for Obama as Chris Matthews, for whom he subbed for on tonight's Hardball. Mike's actually refreshingly down-the-middle compared to the regular host.
Still, when at the very end of this evening's show Mike asked a question of Jill Zuckman, the Chicago Tribune reporter on the Palin beat, wondering [hoping?] whether the wild enthusiasm for Sarah has run its course, he got an answer that I don't quite think he was expecting.
View video here.
MIKE BARNICLE: Jill, off of anecdotal evidence, I'm not asking for anything specific here, but when you're out in places like Michigan and Ohio, the Sarah Palin effect, does it resonate still, like with working women, or has the economy, helped, you know, stump that?
JILL ZUCKMAN: Voters are so excited to see Sarah Palin. They are chanting her name, the crowds are bigger, there's incredible enthusiasm for her. It's kind of an incredible thing to see.
BARNICLE: OK! I've been chanting your name, Jill.
Cute comeback. I'm sure Jill was pleased. But has the economy "helped" squelch Sarah-mania? Obama slip showing there, Mike?