My colleague, Jeffrey Goldberg, a reality-based fan of McCain, draws the line:

The issue here is not that Palin didn't know the answer. There are many possible answers to this question, some of which are right and some of which are wrong. The issue here is that she didn't know the question. Because she was apparently ignorant of the subject, she endorsed Hamas' victory, and, in essence, called for the U.S. to "protect" Islamists who seek to use democratic elections to lever themselves into power. And, of course, Ahmadinejad came to power in a more-or-less democratic election. Palin's answer was truly remarkable. A person who could be President of the United States has shown herself to be completely ignorant of one of the most vexing and important foreign policy questions of the day. Freshman congressmen know how to answer this question...

I want to wait and see Palin on Thursday night in her debate with Joe Biden; perhaps her performance in the Couric interview was abnormally bad. But I have a terrible feeling that John McCain has placed this country - and, of lesser importance, his campaign - in an untenable position.

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