It has gotten so obvious that even the Democrats' strategists have started to notice: Sarah Palin has stolen some of their candidate's rock-star thunder. So they do what they always to when there's a crisis: They call a meeting.

As that prissy guy stalking the Geico gecko says, "Let's listen":

Axelrod: OK. This is getting serious. We need to take action. I've gotten all your memos.

No, we are not going to have Barack make a speech about how all the people in Alaska are so are bitter they cling to their snowmobiles and guns for moosehunting. Bad idea.

Don't tell anybody, but I sent a back-channel message to Mark Penn. Unfortunately, all he could think of was another of those "3 o'clock in the morning" spots. After all, they worked for Hillary.

The only problem is that when it's 3 a.m. in Washington it's 9 p.m. in Alaska. Palin could argue that she'd be wide awake and alert.

But a TV ad is a good idea. I've had our media people create one:

"I'm Joe Biden. And I approved this message."

(Show wide shots of crowds chanting)

"Palin, Palin, Palin!”

(Voice Over)

"Oh, sure, she's a miracle worker who has breathed new life into the Republican Party, a tough woman, and the biggest celebrity in the world."

(Hold shots of chanting crowds but superimpose images of Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, which then imperceptibly morph into Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham.)

"But can she lead?"

Axelrod: You get the idea ...

Anybody else?

Staffer:: How about if he changes his name back to Barry?

Axelrod: I suggested that, but Michelle said no.

Staffer:: Maybe he could challenge her to a basketball game.

Axelrod: The only thing wrong with that is she might win, beating him at ANOTHER of his own games.

Staffer:: How about this?: We replace Tom, Bob, Jim and Gwen at the debates with Randy, Simon and Paula. Maybe we even abandon the polling places at the election, since they're so unreliable anyway, and use telephone call-in votes, just like "American Idol."

Axelrod: Hmmmmmmmmm .......


Visit Mr. Franken's website at www.bobfranken.tv.