Pat, what is it with all your whining about how tough the press is treating Sarah Palin?

Gee, you are even taking on Tina Fey — watch out, she may impersonate you on “Saturday Night Live”!

To be fair, Pat is angry that Palin seems to be getting ganged up on by the press and those seeking comic relief. No question she is a magnet. I mean, really, how tempting a target, with her Katie Couric interview, her inability to point to any newspapers or magazines she reads, her 312 days of per diem when sleeping in her own bed, her $40,000 reimbursement for family travel and her abuse of power trying to fire her Trooper brother-in-law. Not to mention the unbelievable report of $150,000 in designer clothes and the $23,000 makeup artist who is making nearly twice as much as McCain’s foreign policy adviser. (Do you suppose the makeup artist doubles as Palin’s foreign policy expert?)

I know Pat loves her stands on all the social issues like abortion and gay marriage. I know he loves those pictures of her hunting and fishing. That’s fine. But we are in the midst of an economic meltdown, and you want Palin as vice president or, heaven forbid, president? Do you really think she is able to sit across the table from foreign leaders, to work with Congress, to support McCain in any substantive way? After watching her these past two months can you really say that she could hold a candle to those who have served this country in the No. 2 spot before? The sophomoric speeches, the inability to answer the most basic of questions about policy, the complete lack of depth of understanding of what it takes to be president — that’s a really big leap of faith to ask of the American people.

I have to say that I think there has been far too little scrutiny of Sarah Palin, not too much. After all, going on “Saturday Night Live” but not on “Meet the Press” or “Face the Nation” or “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” does not seem wise if you are trying to prove yourself as qualified and knowledgeable and ready to lead.

If this ticket goes down in flames on Nov. 4, it will be interesting to see what happens to Pat’s friend Sarah — will she form an inner circle, bone up on the issues, dive into a plan that sets her laser focus on 2012? Will she show us not just the sizzle but the steak? Will she impress the press and the pundits with her substance over the course of the next four years? Or will she go back to Alaska and settle in after her 15 minutes of fame and fade away? A very interesting question — Pat, back to you!