Here's why the mile-wide, inch-deep celebrity of Sarah Palin is a requirement for John McCain -- he can't cut it on the stump without her because he simply cannot draw crowds or enthusiasm with his low-energy, dry, empty politicking and poor message. She is a very flawed distraction, but a distraction nonetheless because of the novelty she represents for the Kool-Aid drinkers and the fundies. This is what happened in Philly (and PA is a battleground state):

Republican presidential candidate John McCain cut short his first public appearance without running-mate Sarah Palin after chanting supporters of Democratic rival Barack Obama interrupted his speech.

After lunching with a roundtable of women at Philadelphia’s Down Home Diner, McCain shook hands with supporters and strode up to a podium to deliver a statement. But as he spoke, chants of “Obama, Obama, Obama” filled the room.

...“It’s time to leave the talk behind and start shaking up Washington and fixing our economy, taking care of the problems facing our families. We’re going to give a tax cut to every family with a child,” he said.

His words were barely audible.

McCain quickly got used to those big crowds of adoring, cheering onlookers when he had the Alaska governor at his side. Alas, it was a miragel they weren't there for him. You might recall that it was not that long ago when a McCain rally looked like this:

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More below the fold. Let's not succumb to the distraction of Palin as a celebrity, but make sure that her myriad scandals she's piled up as a public official come to the fore instead of the hockey mom drivel. The bloom will be off the rose soon enough - and McCain knows it.

And the official position now is that they will spend more time together than apart. Does she need training wheels as well?

In a break with tradition, Republican presidential candidate John McCain and his running mate Sarah Palin could spend more time together on the campaign trail than apart, a senior campaign aide said Wednesday.

"It is under serious consideration that they will spend more time together than not and more time than is traditional," the aide told reporters aboard Palin's campaign plane during a refueling stop in Montana en route to Alaska. "There's just a huge amount of enthusiasm."

With just 55 days left until the November 4 election, joint appearances will take a huge bite out of the number of media markets the candidates can reach.

Some observers have speculated that the campaign kept them together because Palin wasn't ready to go it alone, or because they were concerned she would draw bigger crowds than McCain.

More distraction, as he hides behind her parka as questions mount about his abuse of power over his wife's crimes stealing prescription drugs from her charity and his strongarming of a whistleblowing former employee.