I trust you all tuned in last Friday night to see if McCain was going to show up?

After such a tough week for the old maverick — suspending his campaign, parachuting into Washington, speaking at the Clinton Global Initiative,  and keeping everyone guessing if we’d be watching Barack debate himself — it made for quite the drama and a weird preview of a McCain presidency. As Gail Collins wrote in her Times op-ed piece yesterday:

Imagine what would happen if a new beetle infested the Iowa corn crop during the first year of a McCain administration. On Monday, we spray. On Tuesday, we firebomb. On Wednesday, the president marches barefoot through the prairie in a show of support for Iowa farmers. On Thursday, the White House reveals that Wiley Flum, a postal worker from Willimantic, Conn., has been named the new beetle eradication czar. McCain says that Flum had shown “the instincts of a maverick reformer” in personally buying a box of roach motels and scattering them around the post office locker room. “I can’t wait to introduce Wiley to those beetles in Iowa,” the president adds. [And] on Friday, McCain announces he’s canceling the weekend until Congress makes the beetles go away.

But I digress – this began as a post about Twitter mashups. Maybe you’ve been at a conference recently where the presenter invited the audience send text feedback, projected on a screen above. What if that happened on a national level?

We saw that in the pre-convention debate sponsored by CNN (who’ve been out front on weaving Twitter into news broadcasts). Now Current TV, the independent cable television network founded by vice president Al Gore, has broken new ground by incorporating audiences’ 140-character commentaries from the microblogging service Twitter into their broadcasts.

How cool is that? For the whole story go to Wired for their post Current TV Hacks The Debates and visit Current TV’s Hack the Debate for more episodes. I can’t wait to watch this during the VP debate on October 2nd.