Friday, October 03, 2008

Does he Palin comparison to the hockey mom? Or is he Biden his time 'til he's VP?

My observation after hearing a lot of other people's thoughts on last night's debate: Those who lean to the right think Palin won while those who lean to the left think Biden won.


I could have spent the evening watching something entirely different and I would have known what everyone's thoughts on the debates would have been. And let's be honest; people who actually watched last night have probably made up their minds already. One such person who has made up his mind is my co-worker Sam. He leans so far to the left that he looks like a backslash. He doesn't have a blog, but he certainly has some feelings on what went down. So I agreed to allow him to post them here.

Sam, the floor is yours:
1. I thought Gwen Ifill was terrible. I am not sure if she cowed to the Republican’s attacks on her based on her upcoming book about the African American politicians or because of the format. One thing is clear, she flopped big time. She could have made sure there were follow-up questions and/or she could have let the candidates address each other.
2. Sarah Palin didn't "screw up". Talk about the audacity of low expectations. She can actually repeat talking points. WOW. If this is the threshold a VP should pass, we're in deep sh*t as a nation. Tell me it ain't so Joe!!! What's also amazing to me is the similarity between George Bush and Sarah Palin's style and substance (or lack thereof). They both come across as likable, next door neighbor-types that you might consider having a beer with. But it's frustrating to me that they think that they are ready to lead this country. Thank god Bush's record is in full display. Hopefully, the folks that voted for him will not make the same mistake again. But then again, you never know. That's why I believe that voting should only be cast by folks with an IQ over 100.
3. Joe Biden came off a little bit shaky at the start. He didn't know how to address Sarah Palin. But as the interview dragged on, he became more comfortable and really showed his command of the subject matter. On substance, he won the debate hands down.
Is there a guest-poster who would like to offer counterpoints?

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  1. Erin Says:

    I'll offer a few thoughts.

    1. I thought Ifill was ok, but agree that she should have allowed more time for follow up questions and answers. I liked the style of the first prez debate a lot more.

    2. I would argue that Palin did more than just reiterating talking points. I agree that there were takling points involved, but she also added a lot of her own substance. She's an expert on energy policy and issues, and she was much stronger on foreign affairs than she's been in past interviews. I loved her discussion regarding taxes for those making more than $200,000 being a tax that hurts small businesses. This is most certainly the case. Biden's reply that most small businesses don't make more than $200,000 a year was a terrible cop out (with no proof or basis in fact) and I wish she had a chance to come back with the sad fact that higher taxes create and incentive to NOT make more money. I thought her weakness was not having enough info in the bag to dispute the places where Biden was either making things up or lying. Biden said that we pushed Hezbollah out of Lebenon, which is just incorrect. He said Obama never said he would meet Ahmadinajad without pre-conditions when the Obama website states "Obama supports tough, direct presidential diplomacy with Iran without preconditions." On things like this, she would have done well to hit back with facts.

    3. I don't think Biden was horrible. He clearly has been around for a long time and knows how to do this, but his substance was not very far above Palin's, and for someone who's been in the senate since she was in 2nd grade it should have been a knock out. I think the fact is that he is glad to be the VP pick, but he wants to be president, and he probably resents that Obama - who has been around for a couple years - has gotten farther than him. For this, I do feel bad for him.

  2. Erin Says:

    Oh, and I'm representing the voice of Republicans. But I'm not as far right as the little front slash on the question mark key.

  3. Erin Says:

    Oh - and we should stick a poll tax and some more Jim Crow laws onto that 100 point IQ requirement. That's very tolerant of you.

  4. Michael Says:

    Let me just add one thing, to the 100 point IQ requirement...

    Democrats (and liberals in general) claim - quite loudly - that they are for the common man, and not elitist in the slightest...but then come up with such comments as "That's why I believe that voting should only be cast by folks with an IQ over 100."

    First, -votes- are cast, and -voting- is done. If we were keeping score, Sam would be staying home on November 4th.

    Second, how is such an attitude -not- elitist? Voting is a right, not a privilege, much as Sam would like to think otherwise. I might not agree with who he'll vote for but I'm not going to say he shouldn't be allowed to vote. If many on the political left had their way, it would be illegal to hold any opinion contrary to theirs.

    [/fired up]

  5. Mel Says:

    I comment specifically because #1 Happy St has never been a blog focused on politics - mainly because the blog authors are so contradictory in their political beliefs. So in their unique approach to discuss the debate by allowing their readers to comment, has given me a perfect opportunity to exploit my opinion because frankly I am too lazy to uphold my own blog.

    First and foremost, let me first state that I am not quite a back-slash or a forward-slash; I classify myself as "|" - the "middle of the road" symbol created specifically for me to have this argument.

    Having said that, I considered myself undecided prior to the debate. Mainly, because I didn't know much about Joe Biden's ability to not fly off the handle and I hadn't quite seen Palin's ability to have intellectual thoughts not queued via teleprompter. So I honestly tell you that I went into the debate with an open mind.

    Hands down, Sarah Palin went into this debate as the underdog - a woman who so necessarily needed to prove that she wasn't going to be Letterman's new edition of Special Moments in Vice-Presidential speeches. And I tend to be the one to root for the under-dog so I have to admit that I watched nervously in hopes that she didn't have a repeat of her disastrous prime time interviews (that were so painful to watch - it would be comparable to Brian's inability to listen to the National Anthem sung poorly). However, I am not naive to think that what makes a good VP is one who can speak well in front of others. So although she succeeded at what the Republican party so needed her to do (not look like an inexperienced moron), she scored par for me in areas of concern for me personally…..also*.

    On the flip side, Joe Biden needed to take advantage of his superior knowledge (at least when compared to Palin) in foreign affairs. I am not quite sure he did that…at least well. The audience, aside from the majority of Republicans who couldn’t be swayed anyhow, wouldn’t have understood the jargon that Biden used to prove anything more than he knew how to pronounce countries’ names and leaders’ names in an often-times inaccurate or perhaps, more appropriately, incomplete depiction of events.

    The good news for the Democrats is that where Obama lacks, Biden is the perfect void. Conversely, where McCain lacks, Sarah can talk about energy. I am not convinced that Barack Obama would be the better president, but hands down, Joe Biden would be a better VP – which leads me to my response to Sam….

    Sam – when a supervisor gets promoted to a job that he/she doesn’t deserve, the first argument people pose is this: Why didn’t anyone ask me about what I thought?

    The Presidential election is the most elaborate solicitation of feedback in this great country and the opportunity to do so is not one that should be given only to those who could score well on a test. The diverse representation is the direct result of what this country was built upon: the pursuit of happiness. To exclude those who help make the country what it is, would perhaps be in likeness to the CEOs of banks capitalizing on the calamitous result of sub-prime mortgages. Voting is a right and a privilege and excluding those deemed as “unworthy” by Sam would be as irresponsible as not voting at all.

    So I leave you all with this. On 9/11, Cheney was forced to make a military decision on whether or not to strike a counter-attack. God-forbid the United States ever have to face another 9/11. However, I want to know that in the midst of such a crisis, I can rely on the intellect and quick-thinking of the second in command rather than a middle-class, hockey mom from Alaska – a point repeated by the VP-hopeful herself. I get the appeal it’s supposed to have, especially to those struggling to put food on the table and gas in their tanks, but the truth is that Sarah Palin is no more ready to be VP than me. The question each of you need to ask yourselves is, “Does the fact that Sarah has "been at this for five weeks" make her more ready to be VP than Barack is ready to be President?”

    *Note: I am wondering if there is a documented copy of the debate as I would like to count how many times Palin used the word “also.” On another note, I would also like to know how many people are voting for McCain strictly to see Palin wear those skirts, I already know of one.

  6. Michael Says:

    Well said, Melissa. :)

    I am frustrated, mainly, because two highly-intelligent and highly-qualified people chose Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum as their running mates. This is a big problem, and not just for the reasons Mel stated earlier. People need to remember that the VP is not just a figurehead, but also (constitutionally) is the president of the Senate and casts any vote when the vote tally is tied.

    I initially liked the Sarah Palin choice because it was a "thinking-outside-the-box" choice that really shook up the race. She's decisive, down-to-earth, and approachable. That's like the attractive woman at the coffeehouse you meet and chat up a few times. Great, just great. However, should you want to enter into a serious relationship with said woman, she's going to need a few more qualities, like honesty, trustworthiness, stability, and in the case of a VP, some grasp of current issues and cogent ideas on how to deal with them. This is where I'm finding it difficult to go much further - it would be one thing if Palin had good ideas and just an inability to convey them in a public forum. However, the more I see her speak, the more she seems to just be repeating the Republican platform talking points, and if I wouldn't stand for that from the Democratic party, what makes one think that I would stand for it from the Republican party?

    In the interest of full disclosure, I consider myself conservative on finance and security, and moderate/apathetic on social issues. I've never been sold on McCain, and Obama diverges far too much on some key issues for me to seriously consider voting for him. Needless to say, this has been a rough election season because neither candidate really appeals to me in the slightest.

    [/fired up...again]