After a couple of uncomfortable network interviews, some conservatives are now questioning John McCain's pick for running mate. And with only a few days until the vice-presidential debate, advisors to /*Sarah Palin*/ are busy trying to lower expectations about her performance. But for many, the expectations couldn't be any lower.
She can still fire up a partisan crowd, as she did in Columbus, Ohio, Monday, but support for Sarah Palin is not what it once was. Even conservative commentators are criticizing her performance in an interview on the CBS Evening News.
"I'll try to find you some and I'll bring them to you," said Sarah Palin in an interview with Katie Couric on CBS Evening News.
"It's going to be very, very hard to erase the impression that she's given in her network TV interviews. That she is in way, way over her head," said conservative columnist Rod Dreher.
Especially when you're Saturday Night Live's favorite political punching bag.
"You went to the UN for the first time. How was that experience?" asked Amy Poehler, playing Katie Couric on "Saturday Night Live" Saturday night, to Tina Fey, playing Palin.
"Oh you know, it was just amazing. So many interesting people. Though I have to say I was disheartened by how many of them were foreigners," said Tina Fey, dressed up as Sarah Palin on Saturday night's show.
"When you become a punch line in politics, it is one of the worst things that can happen," said George Stephanopoulos on "ABC News: This Week With George Stephanopoulos." "She's become a problem for Senator McCain. There's no question about it."
However, the man who tapped her for the Republican ticket stands by his choice.
"She is a bit of a maverick herself, my friends, she's a bit of a maverick. She will be my partner in reforming everything that's broken in Washington, and she is a leader who knows what it means to put her country first," said Arizona Senator John McCain.
Still, some wonder if all the negative talk will affect Palin, who will debate /*Joe Biden*/ in four days. The answer to that seems to be "no."
"The expectations for Sarah Palin I think are pretty low, so I think she can exceed expectations. I'm not sure that she can disappoint them," said Alex Burns, Politico.com.
And there are analysts who say despite some ominous signs, Palin has performed well in past debates in Alaska.
Governor Sarah Palin will spend the next few days sequestered in Sedona, Arizona, as John McCain's top strategists prepare her for Thursday night's debate. Palin will be making a campaign stop in Southern California on Saturday, appearing at a Republican rally at the Home Depot Center in Carson.