Saturday, October 04, 2008

"Say it ain't so Joe" - The 2008 Vice Presidential Debate

I had the opportunity to review Thursday's one-and-only Vice-Presidential debate in St. Louis, Missouri last night and it looks like the entire thing didn't turn out to be the fiasco that many predicted it would be. Instead it was a concise and mature debate between two individuals who proved they would have no problem stepping into the shoes of their Primaries, should - Lucas forbid, anything happen them.

Many, in both the opposition and those even within their own camps, were worried that there would be a monumental screw-up from either or both of them - damaging their respective campaigns. It was expected that Senator Joe Biden would would attack Governor Sarah Palin coming across as condescending or a patronising "bully" or either say or do something to offend the moderator Gwen Ifill or Palin herself by spewing some of the racist or sexist remarks he's blurted out (accidentally?) in the past. Similarly, they were those who were worried that Palin would present herself has a complete muppet who would voice statements that would make the creators of the Bushisms calenders jump with glee. However all groups were surely shocked when Biden remained a perfect gentleman throughout and there was little evidence of the Caribou Barbie phenomenon next to him on stage. It left some wondering even if they had been replaced with clones...

Because neither of them spent time sniping each other as McCain and Obama did; Palin and Biden had more time to actually discuss the issues. They outlined their position on the economy, energy and foreign policy and even spoke about something they equally hoped wouldn't happen: replace their presidents. Throughout the debate (I watched the ABC coverage, because I like their split-screen gimmick) it was obvious that Sarah Palin was in awe of Joe Biden. She had listened to his Senate speeches many, many years before she had even considered running for public office and mentioned on several occasions in the debate that she held the utmost respect for him. Upon meeting him for the first time before taking the podium, she politely asked him: "may I please call you Joe?". Biden for his part seemed just as awestruck, not by her almost non-existent experience compared with his many decades obviously, but her ability to be so endearing while presenting the opposite viewpoint of his own. Here was a "common"-by his Washington elite standards- "Hockey Mom" debating herself into the second-highest office in the country and pulling it off. There wasn't a red-blooded straight male watching that who wasn't salivating a little at both her beauty and the power she wielded on that podium - the giant grin that Biden sported while listening to her spoke volumes about his own thoughts which most likely centered on her inviting full red lips that seemed to... Ahem! Sorry. I'll move on.

Naturally as expected, both the Democrats and the Republicans are claiming that their respective candidates won. It seemed to me that Biden was little more convicted in what he was saying and probably presented a more convincing argument but I'm sure that most people weren't even listening to him as they were looking at Palin, waiting for her to speak and look up directly in into the camera, it truly didn't matter what she was saying, so long as she was looking directly into our hearts.

For the scant few people who care about facts and figures, I have been made aware of this posting on Factcheck.org concerning the fact that on many counts both Biden and Palin were wrong on a lot of their points. It's evident from this that Palin made a small few more blunders than Biden, but his were more serious than hers. Also Palin's blunders could be attributed to her inexperience or perhaps ineptitude, but Biden has no such similar excuse and so was almost certainly deliberately lying or otherwise distorting the facts. And as someone pointed out to me yesterday: it's well documented that Americans favour complete idiots over bold faced liars in government.

The debate was intriguingly chaired by Gwen Ifill, who nefariously did not inform the debate commission that she was writing her first book, one about African-American politicians that would majorly feature Barack Obama - and even named for him. When coupled with her snippyness towards Dick Cheney in the '04 VP debate, it would have been prudent for the Republicans to demand a more neutral host, but it was perceived that she could remain neutral and I could not find any evidence other than political neutrality throughout the debate. So kudos to Ifill.

From The Baltimore Sun: "Thursday night's vice presidential debate between Sarah Palin and Joe Biden was seen by 69.989 million viewers, the second-largest TV audience for any presidential or vice presidential debate since Nielsen started counting the number of persons watching debates in 1976. The largest national audience ever for a presidential debate was 80.6 million viewers on Oct. 28, 1980, for a meeting between Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan." Now, can anyone care to guess how many of them were tuning in to see Biden? Were any of them? We're now only half-way through the debates. McCain and Obama lock horns again on Tuesday. I know however that it won't have half the entertainment value as this one...

2 comments:

Dahar Master said...

how anyone outside the bible belt, can even think of identifying those small minded idiots who what to carry what to carry on G.W's reign of terror, beggars belief! come on for gods sake!

constance said...

Sarah Palin is not better than me. Shouldn't she be?

She is merely a novelty act. We all love how my girl Tina Fey lampoons her, but people! Tina doesn't even have to rewrite half the comedy act!

I would love to know what Palin's IQ is. I see that she only has a bachelor's degree after switching schools six times in six years with a hard hitting major in communications/journalism. I sure as hell don't call that a scholarly discipline.

Creedon, you like abcnews. Have a look at this article about her "education."

She graduated from the University of Idaho. She's got a Bachelor's degree. This folksy "I'm just like you 'Hockey Mom'" thing is utter bullshit. I don't want someone who is like me. I want someone who is smarter than me. Better educated than me. Better traveled than me. Better read than me. Someone who speaks more languages than me.

And even the great Peggy Noonan agrees that she is "gimmicky" and declared the Republican presidential bid to be "over" when McCain made his historic mistake. That's Peggy Noonan, politically conservative, Reagan's former speech writer, who writes for the Wall Street Journal (Oh look! I can name a newspaper!)

That's right, sugarpuff. She put words into Ronald Reagan's presidential mouth! I notice that you "neglected" to mention this disturbing vote of no confidence on your blog.

Sarah Palin is not better than me. I am an ordinary, everyday citizen of the United States. People in the executive office should be extraordinary. It's no less than we deserve.