Debating The Debate

Well, I watched the Vice-Presidential debate and I’m decidedly NOT all a twitter.

I supposed it was “spirited”; well, as much as it could have been considering it was as much a pep rally for their running mates as it was a debate.    I didn’t hear a lot of “issue meat” from either podium as I would have liked.   I think Biden came across far more substantive but at times, a bit wooden.

I think Palin spoke in broad generalities too, too often when it came to espousing what she believed in and in what a McCain/Palin White House would entail politically.


She got some decent Obama bin Biden licks in.

She compared their Iraq exit strategy as “holding a white flag of surrender”.

She told Biden that the candidates promoting change sure have a habit of looking back and pointing fingers of blame.

In fact, she said a couple of things to Biden that few people have probably ever said to him in his 35 illustrious years on “The Hill”.

Then again, she also said a few things that made my skin crawl.  I’m talking about “nucular”, “Ahkmedinijad” and her incessant repetition of the word that she used to describe herself and her running mate: “meeyavericks”.

That irritating trifecta had me looking for something sharp.   I must admit, her accent is a bit off putting for my ears.

And I could’ve done without those little “gosh darn, doggone” homespun colloquialisms she utters.   And there were the  “you betchas” and all those suffix drops of words ending in “i-n-g”.  Hearing her use words such as “gunna…likin’…placin’…startin’,  made  me go a little crazy.

Now, please remember that I’m from Texas.  I live and work in a world populated by people that have rarely ever pronounced their ‘i-n-g” suffixes.    And if truth be told, I cringed whenever Presidents Bush, Clinton and Carter uttered them in those twangs of theirs.   Personally, I want my President and Vice President to be literate.  Or at least, they should sound that way.

But as performances go, Sarah Palin did OK tonight.  As a friend said, “she can ONLY benefit from lowered expectations”.  He also said that she did well because she didn’t implode.  He thinks that’s enough; I don’t.  While she fared better than she has in previous televised appearances,  I think Senator Biden was smoother, far more poised and at times,  actually seemed more presidential than either McCain or Obama.

He had a real command of issues; I felt she was more coached.  At times he was precise; she was vague and deflective.  I think she also rattled him at times.   His responses (though I must question the veracity of several) seemed to have a genus in real world experience; her responses seemed to tumble forth from her lips like rote.   He won hands down on foreign policy; she’s prettier than he is.  He did fine; she held her own…for the most part.

But even so (and please know that I don’t like saying this because make no mistake, I am a Republican through and through), from my perspective, if there has to be a winner, it was Biden.  Maybe he didn’t win per se; perhaps he just fared better.  That’s my opinion.  Look, what I know about politics could fill a thimble.  I say Biden wons based on my gut reaction as a broadcaster.

OK so, Biden “won” and Palin didn’t exactly “lose”.   Maybe it was more of a draw…I don’t know.

The ONLY consolation is that I don’t think the outcome of this debate is going to sway too many votes one way or another.



  1. It comes down with Palin that she won’t win Mccain the election and she did well enough that she won’t lose him the election.

  2. We seem to be watching the same event though I wouldn’t give Biden so much credit. For someone with all this experience and gravitas, it really does not come across.

    Thinking back to the Cheney/Lieberman debates, Lieberman (who has plenty of experience) got schooled and was out beating erasers behind the building after class.

    No clear winner for me last night but that’s how I see Vice Presidential picks anyway – nothing to win and everything to lose.

  3. Sweet Jesus, what does the woman have to do, levitate? Joe Biden is a buffoon, anyone who has been following his adventures on the Senate Judiciary Committee knows that. The fact that he is from my neighboring state (Delaware, where I go to buy my tax-free liquor and take it back to Philly) makes me particularly sensitive to his idiocy since he is always literally in my back yard.

    The hard fact is that these things aren’t debates, and if you want a debate, go watch some old tapes of Bill Buckley’s “Firing Line” (there must be some on YouTube by now).

    These political debates on TV are, and have always been, dog-and-pony shows, and if you ever want to win one, you had better understand that. If you show up with shizzle, you shine, and if you need any more proof of that, look at what Palin accomplished in the face of the most vicious, relentless media attack I’ve ever seen.

    Shee-it, I even thought her folksiness was fun.

  4. It’s my opinion, Driver.

    I think this buffoon you speak of “showed” better and if this is in fact, nothing more than a dog and pony show, then yeah in that regard, he won.

    I find it very hard to like Palin, though God knows I’m trying. I don’t like not liking her because of my Republican leanings but as I said, I’m not going to support a candidate simply because of party affiliation or because we share the same plumbing fixtures.

    I don’t like her folksiness. I find it distracting and I just don’t find her “gosh darn tough enough”. That’s MY opinion.

    It’s sad that “debates” have evolved into nothing more than pageants with all the shizzle and shine of something Burt Parks could appreciate. These should be rowdier and far more along the lines of a Geraldo approved chair tossing melee.

    You watch and judge your way, Driver and I’ll do the same. That said, I can’t and won’t vote for Obama/Biden for obvious reasons and I will CONTINUE to have my doubts about McCain/Palin until they can give me a reason to cease doubting…..

    Or until she levitates.


  5. Hey, don’t get mad, that was just MY opinion! That buffoon I spoke of showed presentable only because he managed, with at least as much coaching as his opponent got, to try to not say something foolish, for once.

    It is a shame that our politics are dog and pony shows, but in this age of reality TV, that’s the game, and if you don’t play it well, you lose and then the socialists laugh all the way to the new government banks. Our politics have become “American Idol”, a phone-it-in show for idiots, but the stakes are much higher than even “Survivor.”

  6. Driver…you know me better than that. I’m not mad–I’m Teflon coated when need be, but I don’t like Palin and am bothered when I’m questioned (outwardly or subtly) for having doubts.

    I am geniunely concerned for my party. I simply don’t think MCCain/Palin is strong enough to pull it off next month and sadly, I think that’s due mainly because the Bush administration has been so incredidbly bastardized by the Left and the MSM.

    And you know I’ve been grappling with my disregard for Palin in my head. I don’t like her and I don’t know why. The man in my life says it’s beacuse she’s a woman and I hold her to a different standard. I don’t agree with that. I don’t like what she stands for…her gender not withstanding. I think she’s too rigid and unflinching in certain areas. I wouldn’t like those qualities in a man.

    I agree with you about politics and how people use it for their own gain. I don’t like how politics have evolved into this “pageant’ aspect. Raw horsepower, intellect and savvy be damened. Now it’s all about “the show”.

    Frankly, I don’t think it’s been the same since Kennedy/Nixon.

  7. I’m not mad either–just sayin’

    I agree with your take LK 100%. I love Palin (goshdarn–not like Luv, Luv, but I do love her). Biden, however, directed his attacks at Bush and McCain (wisely) and left Ms. Palin, mostly alone. That was brilliant strategy. She did get some good kicks in but she and John need to really ramp up, ’cause I’m afraid they is fixin’ to lose.

  8. My initial reaction last night was the same as yours, Laurie. (BTW, good to see you hanging out over at the Buffet…did you get enough meat?)

    Someone over at Hot Air made a GREAT point…you can easily look more confident in a debate if you believe your lies.

    Which was Joe Biden. Your average American does not have the time to be an expert on foreign policy…and Joe Biden certainly was passing himself off as one.

    So when he said that “we kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon”…most Americans and the buffoons at MSNBC, the NY Times and Newsweek…just let that pass.

    Uh Joe… Hezbollah RUNS Lebanon.

    And then Joe suggested NATO forces could fill the void to provide peace in the region.

    Uh Joe…NATO does not have that authority…

    But UN forces do. And as any Israeli can tell you, they have been SUPERB at quelling Hezbollah’s terror activities along the Lebanon/Israeli border (just google “Green Helmet Guy”)

    I was screaming at the TV during all of this…because he was lying (or stupid) and Sarah could have CRUSHED him on this.

    But bless her Alaskan bumpkin heart…she does not as of yet have the foreign policy background that would have enabled her to jump on Biden for this.

    Post Mortem…Sarah Barracuda won this debate. But only to those informed enough to see through Biden’s bullshit.

  9. I’m not a politician, Nigel. I’m not a political analyst and I don’t follow politics close enough to be versed in commenting one way or the other about whether Biden was lying or whether Palin is ill prepared to tackle a global arena in terms of legislating.

    I go with my gut instincts. Therefore, mine tell me that I don’t think she won this debate at all. I don’t necessarily think she lost it, but I don’t think she won. Every politicans lies and if you’d take a bi-partisan look into everything Palin said, she stretched the truth too. They both did.

    BIDEN: Complained about “economic policies of the last eight years” that led to “excessive deregulation.”

    THE FACTS: Biden voted for 1999 deregulation that liberal groups are blaming for part of the financial crisis today. The law allowed Wall Street investment banks to create the kind of mortgage-related securities at the core of the problem now. The law was widely backed by Republicans as well as by Democratic President Clinton, who argues it has stopped the crisis today from being worse.

    PALIN: Criticized Obama’s “plan to mandate health care coverage and have universal government run program” for health care, and added: “I don’t think it’s going to be real pleasing for Americans to consider health care being taken over by the Feds.”

    THE FACTS: Wrong on several counts. Obama’s plan does not provide for universal coverage, only mandates insurance for children and doesn’t turn the system over to the government. Most people would still get private insurance through their work. Obama proposes that the government subsidize the cost of health coverage for millions who have trouble affording it and he’d set up an exchange to negotiate prices and benefits with private insurers — with one option being a government-run plan.


    I have no regard for Biden. Couldn’t vote for Obama if you held a gun to my head and I simply don’t like Sarah. As a Conservative, I want to, but I can’t.

    That said, this will not be an easy election for me.


  10. Nah Laurie, I get it. Remember, my gut was the same as yours last night.

    And your average American doesn’t have the time or the resources to know when a politician is full of crap (of course we can always assume that they always are).

    I could argue the regulation/deregulation angle all day long…but what good would that do? Remembering that average Americans will ultimately decide this election…some of the nuances of this debate really don’t matter.

    You have your reasons for not liking Sarah Palin. I remember John Cusack’s line in Hi Fidelity (to Jack Black):

    How can it be BULLSHIT to state an opinion?!

    And I’ll leave it at that.

And now, you may opine your ass off...

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