It was in 2004, and it was a congressional race for an open seat in the Missouri 5th, and Cerner tried to buy a seat at the healthcare reform table by buying a congressional seat for Jeanne Patterson, who is married to the head honcho at that gigantic healthcare information technology company.

Sarah Palin is Jeanne Patterson on the national stage, and Patterson was sooooooooo out of her depth in a congressional race that it wasn’t even funny.  She came off looking like a Tupperware lady who had read too much Ayn Rand.

When I saw Mike Allen’s article at Politico that quotes her saying “As for that VP talk all the time, I’ll tell you, I still can’t answer that question until somebody answers for me what is it exactly that the VP does every day?”  

When I read that, it was naggingly familiar, but I couldn’t remember why.  But I wracked my brain long enough that if finally came to me.  

Like I said, Patterson was running an unforgettably bad race against Emmanuel Cleaver, for gods sake, for the open seat being vacated by Karen McCarthy.  

What started as a televised debate ended up a priceless campaign commercial for Cleaver.  She was asked the most elementary of questions…How does a bill become a law? And her response was she was not prepared to answer that question because she didn’t know it was going to be asked.   Cleaver stepped back, looked toward her, put his fingertips together and watched her flail about.  

It was the moment her candidacy ended, even though she limped on to election day.  I have a feeling that this is going to be painful to watch, just like that was.

And since I dredged up that debate, I have to tell you the best part of that story – As it happened, my kids and I were watching the debate live.  My youngest would turn 18 two weeks before the election, and had three friends who had enlisted.  She was hyper-engaged that year.  

When Patterson couldn’t answer that question, my kids and I looked at one another, and every last one of us had the same wicked twinkle in our eyes as, in unison, we burst into song: