Like Sarah Palin, singer John Mellencamp was born in a small town. (He occasionally sings about it.) Unlike Sarah Palin, John Mellencamp is very liberal. Liberals, on the whole, do not find Sarah Palin particularly intelligent. Which is why it was surprising to see Mellencamp tell the Associated Press that Palin "can't be stupid," and that she "knows exactly what she's doing."

We're going assume the man who wrote Country Gentleman was complimenting Palin's political acumen, not her ideology. Still, Mellencamp has a point: in the rough-and-tumble realm of presidential politics, a candidate whose biggest vulnerability is that she "says things and winks" is ahead of the game.