Friday, October 03, 2008

VP Debate

So being lazy these days(really busy is a better word) I haven't had much time to cover all that's going on... and there's been plenty.

Last month we got to see John McCain and Barack Obama go toe to toe and while many had mixed feelings of who won, I wondered why McCain had so much trouble talking to Obama without being condescending. Not that he has to, I was just wondering if it was an issue of contempt, fear or just some side effect of having cancer in the face.

Last night we got to see the VPs give it a go. From the very beginning I was rolling my eyes as the completely out of place Governor from Alaska greeting the distiguished Senator by asking if she could "call him Joe." But my criticism of Palin didn't really have much to do with her style so much as her lack of understanding of the point.

Joe Biden was fairly on topic regularly throughout the debate. He tried best to make accurate statements in the way of his and Obama's position and he did a great job of hammering on the idea that McCain/Palin is just another Bush/Cheney. Palin on the other hand seldom answered the questions being asked her or even stayed on the general topic of discussion at all. Her responses never went deeper than her talking points.

suggests that she may have been reading directly from pre-written notes the entire time. I don't know about that so much, but I can say that her lack of ability to stick with any given subject that wasn't just repeating herself over and over again and her inability to actual speak on several of the topics brought up directly leads me to believe that she approached this event like you would a high school debate. She read a bunch of stuff about Biden and Obama's records(at least the Republican spin of them: commenting that Obama voted for or against bills that McCain himself held the same position on really isn't an attack) and she didn't pay attention to anything she was asked or statements that were made about her or McCain.

I've read reports that suggest that they both entered the debate with energy and that neither held back on their attacks. I disagree with the latter half of this. Yes Palin showed energy as did Biden, but instead of the clear focus of Biden, Palin sounded like a well memorized machine.

I should also mention(and this is one I've been challenged on with justification that it's a good thing somehow) is that her stance on several issues was not the same as what McCain's campaign has suggested in the last 6 months. Her stance on gay marriage, regulation, the environment, etc. were more the popular opinion of the day, not the position of the McCain campaign. So either there was some major flip-flopping going on or Palin was coached to stay moderate to attempt a draw on those voters. In that I think she failed. Commentary from a stump speech works great when you're surrounded by Republicans that support you, but no comment Palin made had the impact in my view that Biden's correction on the McCain healthcare plan.

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