Well, the debate just finished, and here are my first thoughts on the whole thing:
1. Joe Biden did a great job – better than I expected. (Minor quibble: I wish that he and Palin would stipuate that they are BOTH regular folks who come from regular towns where regular people work for a living, so we don’t have to hear any more about what Bob at the Scranton Home Depot or Bruce at the Yak Junction moose-punching contest think about the economy.)
Biden made some very good points about the war, insurance, global warming, etc. He answered the questions that were asked (unlike Sarah) , and rebutted Sarah’s attacks without seeming to get annoyed with her.
2. Sarah Palin was very annoying. She probably did better than expected, in that she didn’t take out her rifle and shoot her opponent or the moderator, but she didn’t come across as likeable or appealing, but rather as arrogant, pushy, uninformed, and perfectly content to remain uninformed, as she finds knowledge highly overrated. (As others have noted, she seems to share a lot of character traits with George W. Bush.) She had some obviously memorized talking points (“Obama voted for bills about war and taxes and stuff 157 times, and that proves that he is a liberal who wants our troops to die, and who wants to take Castro to lunch on YOUR tax dollars”) that she kept using even if they weren’t applicable to the topic at hand, and even if they were discredited by Biden. I guess her handlers told her that the best defense is a vigerous if delusional offense, but this tactic made her seem woefully unprepared to work with actual grownups on the business of governing.
And when it was stated that she hadn’t answered the question, her reply was something like, “I may not answer the question the way you or the moderator like, but the rules don’t apply to me because I’m a maverick, so instead I will mention several times that I was a small-town mayor, a small-business owner, and a soccer mom, and those jobs require skills that are directly transferable to being the VP, in that they all involve making decisions, getting stuff done, and bossing people around . Also, I am the governor of a really big state, if you only consider land mass, which I personally turned into an energy-producing one by shooting the evil energy barons who were keeping all that oil for themselves. Most importantly, I am a regular blue-collar, illiterate Joe Six-Pack like all the voters out there who follow presidential debates. And did I mention ‘energy’? Energy, energy, energy! And the main reason you should vote for me is that I don’t really know anything, and therefore will bring enthusiastic ignorance to all I do.”
Oh, and when asked if she agreed with Dick Cheney that the Constitution can be interpreted to mean that Vice President’s office is part of both the Executive and Legislative branches of government, and that the VP’s duties should therefore be expanded into legislative matters, Sarah said that she did, and thought that the VP’s job should be expanded if the VP wants it that way. Joe’s response to this about Dick being the most dangerous VP ever (and so purely evil that he should be banished to that one-dimensional universe where they put the “Superman” villains) was great. But anyway, I don’t think Sarah even knew that the vice presidency IS part of the executive branch, so I’m not sure how much we should worry about her plans to be the boss of the Senate.
Well, I have kittens to feed, so the floor is yours. More later.Posted by s.z. on October 2nd, 2008