Six weeks ago, at the peak of the post-GOP convention bubble of enthusiasm about Sarah Palin, when John McCain was ahead in tracking polls and Barack Obama was buffeted by "Muslim" and "celebrity" and "elitist" attacks, Chuck Spinney, the former defense analyst, made a call that looks very good in retrospect. He said, in part:

"I am beginning to sense that McCain's behavior is destroying himself and that Obama has the good sense or instinct to take a deep step back and let McCain dig a hole so deep he can not get out....I have this vague sense that Obama's goal (maybe instinct is a better word) may be to create an atmosphere (perhaps by looking weak, inter alia)  that encourages McCain to reinforce this self destructive behavior and thereby make his hypocrisy obvious to a majority of the undecided voters."

 His full dispatch is quoted here. An earlier, very prescient call during the Obama-Hillary Clinton showdown in the primaries is here.

Here is his latest judgment, in an email:

How much do you want to bet the Sarah Palin won't replace Ted Stevens after being induced to run in a special election by "popular demand"?

I have learned not to bet against Chuck. This possibility is indeed interesting.

Update: As many readers have politely pointed out, this scenario depends on Stevens being re-elected one week from now, and then leaving or being forced from his seat to open a vacancy. The "being re-elected" part seems increasingly unlikely. Still, Spinney made the right, timely calls in the previous cases!