Too bad we only get one VP Debate
Because it was much more watchable then the presidential debate
Sarah Palin and Joe Biden offered a much better debate then what we got between McCain and Obama. Both of them were much more articulate then the top of their tickets. Both of them had less meandering answers. Both of them were respectful to each other. The moderator seemed more like to call Palin on being over time. That was irritating. Biden was able to get in the last word too many times.
This is the first time I’d seen Biden talk at length. I am impressed with how he continued bounce back. When he was lying, and even when Sarah had just called him on something, Biden back came back sounding confident. The man has presence. I wouldn’t be nearly as afraid of this election if he were at the top of his ticket. Still nothing to be desired, but a Biden presidency is more palatable then an Obama presidency.
Sarah has two faces: the hockey mom face where she’s smiling and the serious face. I don’t mind a bit of the hockey mom, but it’s the serious face that establishes credibility. I fear she used too much hockey mom. On the one hand it makes her more relatable, and on the other hand she risks not coming off as serious.
Palin really nailed Biden more then a few times. Zingers abounded. I cheered every time she threw his contradictions with Obama back at him. And, like McCain, she got the only laugh of the night. She was rougher on foreign policy, but she did well considering how short of a time she’s had to bone up. Thankfully she brought up the fact that Obama has voted with his party 96% of the time. I think the actual figure is 98%, but it a figure that’s higher then the 90% the Obama campaign has been playing.
After Biden described something as a “Bridge to Nowhere” Palin should have said something to the effect of: “It’s interesting that you deride something as a Bridge to Nowhere. You have a record of voting for Bridges to Nowhere. I had to kill a Bridge to Nowhere that both you and Obama voted for…twice.” He went to her territory and she should have taken advantage of the opportunity to creamed him on it.
Palin did make a great sound bite about how the government needs to learn to do without. Solid gold.
There were a number of answers that she could have done better on. She should have brought up the sun as affecting our planets temperature. She should have come out against the bad government regulation – the bad social engineering that got us to this crisis.
She should have brought states and courts into the gay marriage question. “The only states where gay marriage is legal they had to used activist judges to do so. If some states of the union wish to have gay marriages amended to their constitutions then that is their prerogative, but every state that has brought amendment to the table has voted otherwise. Whenever the people have voted in a state they have voted against and I’m with the majority of Americans on this issue.” Something like that would have fielded better.
There was the question about how a McCain/Palin administration would change policies in light of the financial crisis. She could have made the point that they are already for lower taxes, less spending, less government, and that all the crisis does is make all of those moire urgent.
Mccain/Palin need to make the point that their healthcare plan would decouple Healthcare from jobs. That’s a point that needs pounding. A lot of people are afraid of switching jobs because they would loose their healthcare benefits. She did get in the point of allowing competition between states on insurance. It’s a common sense market approach that everybody can see the virtue of.
A lot of people are going to say their candidate won. I’m not sure. I think they tied on substance and Biden beat her out a little on presence. Not that she a slouch, just that he debates for fun. My girlfriend is less forgiving and says where Biden was 100%, Palin was 80%. She also noted that Palin needed to stop saying ‘maverick’. I think she has a point. More generally, I think that after a point every time she starts talking about John McCain it begins to sound like she’s returning to a safe harbor. She doesn’t stay there, after a regrouping for a few sentences she’s back out there, but still it can seem that way if she returns too it too often.
It is more historic for Palin to be the VP then for Obama to be President and after these two debates it’s become clear to me why. She is competent, whereas he is where he is because of the soft bigotry of low expectations. She’s a step forward and he’s a step backward because she did it on her own and he reaffirms a negative. There was an interesting moment in the debate where Biden is describing how he’d fit into an Obama presidency and he basically said that he’d hold Obama’s hand. Obama sounds very much like a young punk out of his depth, and the evidence and his own VP nominee carries that notion.
I have a fair amount of criticism for Palin, but I think she did real good. She’s no light weight. She certainly did what she needed to do. She was knowledgable, likable, presidential. She’s a smart cookie.
I would have loved to have seen a Palin/Obama debate. She did very well in this debate, and if she performed against Obama like she did against Biden then she’d have seen his feather and raised him a ton of bricks. Won’t happen, but I can dream.
And I would love for a second VP debate. This was far more watchable then the presidential debate.