Gov. Sarah Palin is getting the Katie Couric treatment in more ways than one.
After the second night of Couric's interview with the Republican vice presidential nominee ran on The CBS Evening News, MSNBC commentators Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann began speculating Thursday night that Gov. Palin eventually could be removed from the ticket led by presidential nominee John McCain.
The speculation by commentators who have supported Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama didn't appear to be fueled by anything other than the commentators' belief that Gov. Palin had performed poorly in her third network interview.
Couric knows all about speculative news stories, having been the subject of several that claimed she was on her way out of the anchor seat because of the sinking ratings of The CBS Evening News since she got the job.
Couric has survived those stories. She certainly was in her comfort zone with Palin, following up on the Alaska governor's vague answers and telling her that former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger agrees with an Obama stand on negotiations with the leaders of Syria and Iran that Palin had called "naive."
On Wednesday night, Couric pressed Gov. Palin to give one specific example of Sen. McCain pushing for more regulation in his 26 years in office.
"I'll try to find you some and I'll bring them back to you," answered Gov. Palin.
Couric was courteous and respectful on both nights. That meant her demeanor wouldn't become an issue, as Charles Gibson's superior attitude had in ABC's earlier interview with Gov. Palin. All in all, Couric's impressive performance should boost her anchor stock -- or at the very least halt more speculative stories on her departure from the anchor seat.
While anti-Republican comments on MSNBC often are taken with a grain of salt, Gov. Palin's performance with Couric also received low grades on CNN, which prides itself on fairness.
CNN host Anderson Cooper promoted footage of the Palin-Couric by saying "you've got to kind of see it to believe it."
On a CNN panel, even Republican strategist Ed Rollins conceded that Gov. Palin has lost her confidence and added the McCain campaign had made a mistake to keep her away from the media for so long before sending her out to be interviewed by the biggest news interviewers.
Paul Begala, the outspoken Democratic strategist who Thursday called President Bush "a high-functioning moron," added that Gov. Palin didn't have good answers for questions she had been asked before (by Gibson).
Gloria Borger, the CNN analyst, agreed that the McCain campaign hasn't helped Gov. Palin by managing her.
"They took away Sarah Palin," said Borger. "She doesn't know who Sarah Palin is and what she thinks, either."
Of course, the big question is what does America think of Sarah Palin now? Your thoughts on the Couric performance and the MSNBC speculation?
-- Alan Pergament