Palin Coverage Squeezes McCainUs Weekly released its much-anticipated Sarah Palin issue, resurfacing in it a January incident in which the John McCain running mate laughed along with a shock jock who called her Republican rival a "bitch" and a "cancer" on the state. Us got fresh quotes from the woman in question, a cancer survivor who is still quite pissed about the incident despite a halfhearted apology from Palin. The celebrity weekly also questioned whether the father of Palin's forthcoming granddaughter really wants to have kids. As right-wing bloggers are bitterly noting, the coverage scandalizes John McCain's running mate before the magazine's 12 million readers, mostly the very females Palin was recruited to attract. It's not lost on any of them, either, that Us Weekly owner Jann Wenner is a big Barack Obama supporter. With coverage of Palin's various scandals — the love child, the radio thing, troopergate, etc. etc. — still everywhere, Palin's role in the campaign is being severely restricted, the Wall Street Journal reports in a page-one story today:

While vice-presidential candidates traditionally act as the chief attackers of the opponents, Gov. Palin's speech [at the Republican convention] will focus on her personal narrative and legislative record, not on criticizing the Democratic ticket, said a senior McCain adviser...

The adviser said he would be shocked if she spoke about her daughter's pregnancy, noting that the campaign considers that issue off-limits.

...She has been cramming on Sen. McCain's positions in preparation for a debate against Sen. Biden, who has been involved in national and international affairs for over three decades.

So, just to recap: Palin is useless to McCain as an attack dog; useless in ending the love child scandal; and worse than useless in the debates because Joe Biden will probably eat her alive. There's even been speculation she might leave the ticket.

Meanwhile, the Journal adds, McCain aides are apparently fanning out in Alaska to tamp down any further scandals by somehow keeping all Palin associates from speaking with the press.

While she's going easy on the Democrats and saying nothing of substance about the one issue everyone now associates her with, Palin will apparently try to raise money through 16 events scheduled in swing states this month. Maybe she'd just be better off auctioning her daughter's baby pictures to one of the celebrity weeklies!