Watching Sarah Palin just now in the vice-presidential debate redefined the meaning of the phrase self-belief. Only someone with an innate sense of self-belief could honestly believe themselves capable of something which the rest of the (liberal) world thinks an impossibility - becoming vice-president of the world's biggest power.
If you're wondering how she could imagine herself able to pull off such a role then I think I know the answer. According to the Sixties' R&B singer Dionne Warwick, she of Walk on By, American schoolchildren get that self-confidence drummed into them as part of the national curriculum.
Warwick told an audience (including Louis and me) at last Saturday's National Book Festival on the Mall that her teacher told her to write American on the blackboard thus: "Amer-I-can". Warwick was then asked if there was a 't' in American. "No," she replied. "Well, there you go," said her teacher. You have to believe that Palin had a similar lesson because otherwise I don't know how she could even begin to imagine she could actually do the veep's job come January 19.
(Warwick was speaking at the book festival to promote her new children's book, Say a Little Prayer, a kiddies' self help book...... Louis was seeking tips!)
As the post debate dissection gets underway on the rolling news channels, all the talk of winners and losers seems to have missed the obvious loser of the evening: poor little Trig, Palin's six-month-old son. He was made to stay up for the debate so he could be handed to the Alaskan governor for a photo op at the end of the floor show. I let Louis sleep through it - after all, I know he'll be up at 5am and raring to tune into CNN's The Most News in the Morning to catch up on what he missed. After all, he'll need to be able to hold his own with the babies on babieswhobrunch hill come milk time in the morning.