The nomination of Sarah Palin as vice president on the Republican ticket appears to have put the Democratic presidential campaign in a tail spin.

Barack Obama appears exhausted and has misspoken on at least two recent occasions, something he can’t afford to do in such a tight race. Major polls now show Sen. John McCain close on the Illinois Senator’s heels, if not ahead in some cases.

Obama’s VP choice Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del) helped the Republican campaign this week when he said Hillary Clinton would have been a better choice than him.

His comments came at a rally in New Hampshire when an audience member made a remark against Hillary Clinton.

"Make no mistake about this," Biden responded. "Hillary Clinton is as qualified or more qualified than I am to be vice president of the United States of America. Let's get that straight. She's a truly close personal friend, she is qualified to be president of the United States of America, she's easily qualified to be vice president of the United States of America, and quite frankly, it might have been a better pick than me. But she's first rate, I mean that sincerely, she's first rate, so let's get that straight."

If she’s the better candidate, then why isn’t she on the ticket? The single biggest decision Obama has made, including during his short stint as a U.S. Senator in which he has missed 45 percent of Senate votes, has been to name his VP candidate. Apparently, by Biden’s own admission, he didn’t even get that right.

When you just toss the ball up there like that, the Republicans can do little else than hit a homerun with it.

But, Biden’s latest flub shouldn’t be a surprise since he is known for sticking his foot in his mouth, and apparently it’s catching.

During a recent interview Obama, referred to himself as being of the Muslim faith.

"Let's not play games," Obama said. "What I was suggesting – you're absolutely right that John McCain has not talked about my Muslim faith. And you're absolutely right that that has not come."

Interviewer George Stephanopoulos interrupted with, "Christian faith."

"My Christian faith," Obama amended.

Was this just a slip up on Obama’s part??Probably so. Is he Muslim? He says not. Was it a misstep or the truth coming out? Who knows.

Frankly, Obama can be a member of any faith he wants. What makes this a big misstep is that he has fought for a long time to disspell the rumors that he is a Muslim. This slip up last Sunday ignited the pundits’ tongues and the issue is now back in the forefront.

But, his most recent comments, who some say were an attack on Palin, created a worse backlash.

Palin posed this joke during her Republican National Convention speech: “Do you know what the difference is between a hockey mom and a pit bull? Lipstick.”

On Tuesday, Obama said  – supposedly in reference to McCain being no different than President George W. Bush – “You know, you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig.”

Now, this phrase is pretty much cliché in the world of politics. McCain himself has used it. But, those similar comments were usually in the context of policy, not a person.

Obama’s choosing to use that phrase now was probably not a good idea – considering the hoopla it has raised – and Palin’s recent association with the word “lipstick.”

This sort of mumbo-jumbo is really just politics as usual.

But Palin’s biggest critics have said she can’t possibly be a mother and serve as vice president of the country. There have been jabs made that she is less qualified to serve because she is a woman. She has been sexualized all over the Internet.

Obama’s remarks could have been an attempt to cool the fever Palin has raised among Republicans and some independents. If it was, it backfired.

 She has galvanized the Republican ticket and that has Democrats running scared. Palin has received more press because of these so-called criticisms than for her agenda.

The last thing Obama and his Democratic handlers should have done was add to the Palin circus. It does nothing but hurt their cause.

All the candidates should stick to the issues, of which we have heard very little of as of late.