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Thursday, October 2, 2008
posted by jason | 11:27 PM | permalink
A four ways of considering this debate in different contexts:

1. In a vacuum: Biden wins hands down. Offered very substantive remarks that addreessed questions fully. I don't agree with most of his answers, but he is a good debater, very knowledgable and came off very strong. Palin seems to think voters don't want to hear her answers to what seemed to be fair questions from the moderator. I am guessing SNL will have some fun with that moment. Palin wasn't non-substantive, she had some good moments, but Biden proves more knowledgable and stronger.

2. In context of Palin's recent interviews: Palin wins. Much better performances in this different format. Thumbs up, as Matt Miller has said in the comments, she was under intense pressure and came through. Very outstanding.

3. In context of future career: Mildly helpful. Palin's main constituency, the evangelical working class, was reassured. The problem is in a future GOP primary (20xx- there will be one at some point) she will be running against other people who are stronger competitiors in that arena than Obama (see Huckabee). She won't be the lone conserative in the race, it won't be so clear cut and oppositionless from her home party. I doubt she will ever appeal strongly from the wonk/intellectual end, and she won't be the only pro-life candidate in the field. I am not saying she is a shoe-out for a future primary, but she is no shoe-in. This debate helped her keep a foot in, but will the leg follow?

4. In context of the 2008 election (oh yeah- nearly forgot!)- Biden wins. You see, Palin's answers are great for the base. But everytime Palin is seen arguing against income distribution and what not, Biden and Obama have effectively framed it as arguing against the middle class. And McCain and Palin seem to be suckers for it. Her principles are right without a doubt, but independents are un-idealogical by definition. They aren't interested in why free market principles work- or else biden wouldn't have been knocking it; and actually neither would she have with her Wall Street greed line. It's a bad year and a bad time in the cycle to be put in a position of arguing conservative principles.

Anyway, that's my opinion.
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You were obviously watching a different debate than the rest of us.

The only points that Biden made were not factual. Biden denied what he just recently said about clean coal. Biden tried to paint McCain as having voted against funding our troops. Governor Palin called him on both of these lies & on many others. Biden also lied about McCain support for the war in Bosnia. This was when Biden called the people of Bosnia the "Bosniacs." He should be renamed, Joe Biden - the great foreign policy lightweight.

Joe Biden lied at least 10 times during the debate according to Karl Rove. Governor Palin mentioned that Biden had said that he would have run on the same ticket as McCain. Palin hit Biden hard for saying that higher taxes were patriotic. I could go on & on.

Jason, Palin is not Mike Up-Chuck-abee. Governor Palin is not the enemy. She did very well & you're allowed to admit it now.

Jason, are you still sour over Mitt not getting the VP nod? I like Mitt too, but Sarah is great also! Need to stop this picking on her. You know, the Founding Fathers did not envision this government run by lawyers and just the wealthy. They formed this government so that regular "Joe six pack" would be able to govern also. They wanted the farmers, local businessmen, etc. to represent their people. No, she is not going to have the pointed knowledge about what goes on in the Senate as Joe Biden, who has been there for over 20years, but she has been gifted with an excellent ability to lead, and is in touch with America. She understands what is going wrong in Washington. Whereas, the DC elite have rationalized away any reason and integrity.


I argued against Mitt being the VP. Ask anyone who knows me, or read my posts from the time at Race42008. He wouldn't been good for the job.

So it couldn't possibly be sour grapes.

Zues and Michelle,

Could it be possible the swing independent that don't care about ecenomic principles as much they do money in the wallets would actually find Bidens repeated plays to them to be more enduring? I am guessing so.

It's funny. In the primaries when I wrote a couple posts knocking Mitt and everyone came to me asking if I was looking for publicity or something ridiculous. The argument was I should never say anything negative about Mitt because people come here to be rallied. Now it must be because I hate Palin and I want Mitt as VP.

In both cases people just ignore the obvious: I am just being honest and trying to look at it from several angle. It's OK to find fault in people you support. It actually helps them.


Hopefully you can take a little criticism because you seem to be in need of it. You were very hard on Sarah for the Katie Couric interviews. I think we can both agree that your criticism was not needed in that case. Everyone, including Sarah, knew the interview was not handled well. But the fact of the matter is that Sarah performed very well last night and your faint praise combined with a relatively harsh critique is unfair to her and offensive to us, her ardent supporters.

You are basically asking her to give up her authenticity to cater to some mindless independents. It won't work. John McCain may very well lose this election because that is his modus operandi. If you want to complain about something, maybe you can start with John McCain's praise of Al Gore. If it were not for Sarah Palin, the election of John McCain would be beyond hope.

Tin Man,

Would you rather I say she will win over independents when I don't think her performance will lead to that? Are you looking for someone to give honest opinion or are you looking for spin? If you want spin I can forward you some McCain campaign press releases.

I haven't told her to do anything. I just said how I thought independents would view the performances. You seem to have confused my assessment of how she will be perceived as advice.

As for the videos, sorry she was terrible. It wasn't cut and paste editing, it was bad performance plain and simple. I think everyone thought so. And look what happens, we complain and wa-la: McCain and her change there game and we get a better performance at the debate.


I agree with you assessment of the debate.

Did Sarah Palin do a good job? Yes. She surpassed the very low expectations set for her and was charismatic.

Did Sarah Palin beat Joe Biden? No. She kicked away several questions and focused on political talking points instead of provide substance.

This election is not about ideology, but competence and accountability. Talking points is not enough.

I have read three polls today from SurveyUSA, CBS, and CNN all saying that Joe Biden won the debate last night. We will probably see more that reaffirms this on Saturday.


It is not your honesty that I think you should give up. It is your focus. You seem to think Sarah Palin is John McCain's biggest problem when it is John McCain that is John McCain's biggest problem.

Aside from the pick of Sarah Palin, that man behaves like he has a political death wish. Focus more of your blasting on the old man and less on his remarkable running mate. His catering to independents on the issue of global warming is the height of stupidity.


I don't ever remember arguing Palin as McCain's largest problem. I did show some videos of her putting out a pitiful performance in interviews and I did put up my thoughts on the debate.

McCain's largest problem is his desire for stunts over issues, and unfortunately Palin seems to be one of those stunts. That's not even a comment on Palin.

The larger problem Tin Man is that you seem to think Palin should be beyond reproach. Fine for you, but this isn't a Palin site.


Sarah Palin is not beyond reproach. You misunderstood me. I agree with your assessment of the Couric interview. But I do not think your distinctly negative tone concerning her is helpful to our cause. And when she does well, its okay to brag it up a little more before you launch into your constructive criticism. Declaring a liar like Biden the winner of that debate is ludicrous.

Tin Man,

A bit more understood.

But a couple points:

1. 3 polls since the debate have come out all three have Biden the winner by large margins.

2. Sara never answered the question. in general that's something I don't like.

3. If I thought Palin had won I would have said as much.

4. On the videos I was a little peeved that they put her in a situation she couldn't handle. I think she was plucked from the vine a bit early. The debate shows her a bit stronger, not so nervous, but she still stuck to talking points and avoids topics at hand. I want to see her ace an MSM interview with direct answers. When she can do that, I will feel comfortable with her.

Anyway, we'll probably just have to agree to disagree.


Give her time, she will only get better. It is incredible to me that she has done as well as she has. Watching her in the debate, I couldn't help but draw comparisons with Ronald Reagan. She has decades less experience than the Ronald Reagan I remember, but there was that same authenticity and that same ability to connect with the American people.

The problem with this election cycle is not Sarah Palin or even John McCain. It is an ignorant group of independent voters who do not recognize that we are on a river that ends in a waterfall called socialism, and a careless set of Republicans that saw no harm in short excursions towards that waterfall.

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