Sarah Palin said Wednesday that the United States could be headed for another Great Depression if Congress doesn't act on the financial crisis.

She made the comment in an interview with CBS' Katie Couric while visiting New York to meet foreign leaders in town for the U.N. General Assembly. As Palin sought to establish her credentials in world affairs, First Lady Laura Bush said that Palin lacked sufficient foreign policy experience but that McCain has foreign policy experience himself. Still, Bush told CNN that she has a lot of confidence in Palin and that Palin was "a quick study."

Palin met with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari before joining McCain for an evening session with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

In the interview, Couric asked Palin whether there's a risk of another Great Depression if Congress doesn't approve a $700 billion bailout package. She said, "Unfortunately, that is the road that America may find itself on."

She said the answer doesn't necessarily have to be the bailout plan that the Bush administration has proposed, but that it should be some form of bipartisan action to reform Wall Street.


Officials of a small Christian university in Newberg, Ore., say a life-size cardboard reproduction of Barack Obama was hung from a tree on the campus, an act with racial undertones that outraged students and school leaders.

George Fox University spokesman Rob Felton said Wednesday that the commercially produced reproduction had been suspended from a branch with fishing line around the neck. Taped to the cardboard cutout was a message targeting participants in Act Six, a scholarship program.

Newberg police Sgt. Tim Weaver said officials are working with the university, which has about 1,800 students, to find out who was responsible. He said the U.S. Secret Service also was notified.


Former President Bill Clinton says if Democrats want someone to dump on John McCain, he's not the guy.

Some Democrats have been complaining that Clinton has not been enthusiastic enough in his support for Obama and heaping too much praise on McCain.

But Clinton told CNN's "Larry King Live" on Wednesday: "I just don't believe that getting up here and hyperventilating about Gov. Palin, or Sen. McCain for that matter, is a productive use of a former president's time and is not a vote-getter."


The campaign isn't over, but the voting is underway. Millions of voters will cast ballots before the Nov. 4 Election Day, thanks to expansive new early-voting laws.

In parts of Georgia, voting began last week. In Iowa, residents may vote starting today. And absentee voting starts Oct. 5 in Minnesota. More than 30 states have set up a mechanism for people to vote before Nov. 4.

About 14 percent of the electorate voted early in the 2000 campaign. That figure jumped to 20 percent in 2004, and this time around it could rise to more than 30 percent, said Paul Gronke, head of the early-voting information center at Reed College in Oregon.

Both campaigns encourage early voting, particularly among people who tend to vote sporadically.

"It's the easiest way to avoid the Election-Day lines," one McCain volunteer told an Ohio voter by phone.

"Early voting is one of the big phenomena this year," said Tad Devine, chief strategist for Democrat John Kerry's 2004 bid. "This puts a premium on early organization. It affects where you send your candidate and when. It affects where you spend money on television times."