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Friday, October 03, 2008

I am officially excited about Obama/Biden 2008

Like many of you I spent some time last night watching the debate between Joe Biden and Gwen Ifill Sarah Palin. Also like many of you, I have been seeing a variety of punditry on it this morning, most of which remarks on how Palin managed to exceed expectations while Biden still did a good job. These achievements were, respectively, nothing special and very impressive. In the case on Palin, given her performance in other settings, I think that "exceeding expectations" really just meant that she didn't fall down. I mean, really, watch the following clip and tell me she doesn't remind you of that kid who really likes eating paste... you know, in high school:

Joe Biden, on the other hand, had the difficult task of trying to smack some sense into the Republicans while not giving the impression that he was smacking Sarah Palin around. Because, you know, she's a girl and girls can't take it. Riiiiiight. Sure they can't. Still, Biden managed this goal with supreme aplomb- tearing into John McCain with dignity and respect.

So am I here to just repeat what the pundits are saying? Nah, not really, but I did want to ask y'all for your opinions on the debate. Particularly, I'm wondering a couple of things.

First, initially in the debate Palin seemed to be going for folksy charm and meaningless platitudes. Biden, on the other hand, came out of the gate aggressively arguing about policy. For a while there Palin stuck to strategy, then looked cross, and then started making fairly direct and- I thought- insulting remarks about Biden and Obama. In other words, I think there was a distinct change-up in her strategy from folksy reassurance to an effort to bait Biden into making a mistake. It didn't work but, to me, it came across as: "Crap, this isn't working, time to go with the other strategy they taught me."

Second, we really got to see two Sarah Palin's last night. One Palin was calm, collected, and had direct talking points with distinct taglines. The other Sarah Palin was a confusing, nonsensical wreck. Oddly, the latter seemed to be present at the beginning and end of her comments when she was struggling to dance around the real question and the former Palin came out once she had wrenched the subject around to something else. So, basically, it felt like the campaign staffers just gave her a series of set-piece talking points and told her to get onto them as fast as possible no matter what happened.

In short, I think Biden did extremely well and Palin only held her own by comparison to what many of us knew might happen instead.

What do you think?

Cross-posted on Scatterplot.

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Blogger Mister Troll said...


People watch cars go around in circles, not because it's interesting, but because there might be a massive crash.

On an unrelated note, the debate was a boring disappointment.

Friday, October 03, 2008 9:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When watching the debate it ticked me off that she wouldn't answer the question asked or comment on any charge from Biden. But I wasn’t sure how it would play for most folks. Her obviously canned answers came across as knowledgeable without substance, you know, good political speak. The pundits after the debate seemed to focus on this, which made me even more nervous about how normal folks would view her speech – and it was a speech, just out of order. You can really go through the debate and put her stump speech together. Part on energy here, section on taxes there, insert bit on education here. Anyway, I was much relieved to hear this morning that the rest of America seemed put-off by that too and considered Biden the winner.

But she did what she had to do and make John McCain’s decision to pick her one less bad judgment for Obama and Biden to point to. She largely covered her inability to think on her feet fairly well, though it did come through a little at times, especially when she was thinking, “now how can I turn this into one of those things they taught me”.

Friday, October 03, 2008 10:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my previous comment I forgot to mention something that's really been pissing me off. Sarah, it IS "Drill, Drill, Drill." If you want to correct someone on something so absurd at least be right.

If you don't believe me, search in Teh Google for T. Boone Pickens and watch his commercials. He clearly says "Drill, Drill, Drill."

Or, if you don't like an oil-man turned alternative energy guy, then search for Larry Kudlow. I've heard him say "Drill, Drill, Drill" so often that my ears bleed anytime I even see him on CNBC.

Listen Sarah, I mean I can call you Sarah, since we're so folksy and all, a little tip; if you want to come off as a smart ass, try to get it right, otherwise you just look like a twit that has no idea what she's talking about.

Though maybe she only watches CNBC with the sound off.

Friday, October 03, 2008 11:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suppose I need to up Mr. Anonymous' dosage of tranquilizers now. Between his CNBC addiction and the debate he's in need of a fix harder than caffeine.

Not that I disagree with any of his points, but the fact that she didn't soil herself on stage pretty much meant that it wasn't a crushing defeat.

What bothers me most is that she's advocating for an expansion of powers in an office that she's aspiring to hold in the near future (one that she admitted to not knowing much about in the first place to boot). I really thought Cheney had "Most Nightmareish VP" locked up tight but at least I am confident he can pronounce "nuclear". To think that she's serious about an admittedly creative and useful "solution" to Cheney's subpeona follies is disturbing on so many levels.

I guess I should be self-medicating with those tranquilizers too.

~Mrs. Anonymous

Saturday, October 04, 2008 2:40:00 AM  
Blogger TDEC said...

I was very disappointed with Ifill - considering how the controversy surrounding her seemed to make her hold back, she should have given up her spot to someone who was going to ask follow-up questions, not just let the VPs avoid them. Otherwise, Palin did her paper-thin populist thing, and Biden was impressive, very impressive considering the idiot things I have heard him say. He was all a VP should be. I am amazed that not more attention was given to the fact the he and Palin agreed on gay rights, when that was really one of the more amazing moments. Also, nobody commented on the fact that Palin's body language was so much less hostile than McCain's (closer to Obama's, actually), or that she (like Obama) now professed to agree with Biden on some things (like gay rights!)...odd.

Monday, October 06, 2008 6:51:00 AM  

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