It's Sunday, so it's a good day to chew on esoteric stuff. It goes down easier.

Here's a provocative column from the New York Times' Frank Rich, who asks the question: Why is Sarah Palin acting like someone who believes she is going to be president very soon?

Rich ties into the notion of McCain's health:
Now McCain is looking increasingly shaky, whether he's repeating his "Miss Congeniality" joke twice in the same debate or speaking from notecards even when reciting a line for (literally) the 17th time ("The fundamentals of our economy are strong") or repeatedly confusing proper nouns that begin with S (Sunni, Shia, Sudan, Somalia, Spain). McCain's "dismaying temperament," as George Will labeled it, only thickens the concerns. His kamikaze mission into Washington during the bailout crisis seemed crazed. His seething, hostile debate countenance -- a replay of Al Gore's sarcastic sighing in 2000 -- didn't make the deferential Obama look weak (as many Democrats feared) but elevated him into looking like the sole presidential grown-up.
Rich talks about Palin's "hubristic self-confidence and hyper-ambition:"
* In the last of her Couric interview installments on Thursday, Palin was asked which vice president had most impressed her, and after paying tribute to Geraldine Ferraro, she chose "George Bush Sr." Her criterion: she most admires vice presidents "who have gone on to the presidency." Hours later, at the debate, she offered a discordant contrast to Biden when asked by Gwen Ifill how they would each govern "if the worst happened" and the president died in office. After Biden spoke of somber continuity, Palin was weirdly flip and chipper, eager to say that as a "maverick" she'd go her own way.

But the debate's most telling passage arrived when Biden welled up in recounting his days as a single father after his first wife and one of his children were killed in a car crash. Her perky response -- she immediately started selling McCain as a "consummate maverick" again -- was as emotionally disconnected as Michael Dukakis's notoriously cerebral answer to the hypothetical 1988 debate question about his wife being "raped and murdered." If, as some feel, Obama is cool, Palin is ice cold. She didn't even acknowledge Biden's devastating personal history.
If I can add to this for one moment without necessarily endorsing Rich's premise, one phrase from Palin that stuck in my head Thursday night was this:
"How long have I been at this, like five weeks? So there hasn't been a whole lot that I've promised, except to do what is right for the American people, put government back on the side of the American people, stop the greed and corruption on Wall Street."
Note the pronoun. Vice presidents don't make their own promises. They are beholden to the presidential candidate's promises. John McCain had been making his own pledges for months before Palin came along, but Palin sounds like she's the top of the ticket. An odd way to craft that sentence, for sure. But because of Palin's inexperience on the national stage and her sometimes unusual vocal mannerisms, there's a lot of room for interpretation, or misinterpretation, of anything she says.

Comment: No, there really isn't any room left to interpret it a way other than what it is: a cold-blooded psychopath, assured of her ultimate success and not even attempting to hide it.

That's true, by the way, as to whether Palin is indeed an ice queen. It's possible that she is, judging from her refusal to even acknowledge Joe Biden's personal tragedy. Or it's possible that she simply isn't skilled enough to transition from authentic, human asides back to her pre-packaged talking points.

There just isn't much paint on this canvas yet.