Friday, October 03, 2008


I don't usually watch political debates, but last night's American vice-presidential "debate" was going to be entertaining no matter what happened. It wasn't a debate but a bipartisan question and answer session, but I wondered how far Sarah Palin would recover and how Joe Biden would handle any opportunity.

I'm a bit late to the party, but I did have a running commentary going at AGW (see link at right) and I thought I could post here what I wrote there.

9:13 p.m.: If Palin says "darn right" once more I'm throwing a shoe through my TV.

9:28 p.m.: A hard blow just shook Palin up. She's shaky on her legs after getting hit with that "windfall tax in Alaska" punch. But she recovers....

9:36 p.m.: Good use of buzzwords, but Palin makes no sense on the energy/global warming question. "Clean, green natural gas"??? Biden's too boring, but makes more sense.

9:38 p.m.: LOL. Palin: "Some of my best friends are gay."

9:43 p.m.: Who cares. She's hot. Anybody else naked?

9:50 p.m.: Palin: "Diplomacy is bad and irresponsible. But no, diplomacy is very important, but it's hard."

9:58 p.m.: Palin likes to get all her notes in. She probably wrote too-long essays in university. She also likes to show off that she knows her facts. She's trying too hard. She's ducking questions she has no notes for and isn't being called on it.

10:04 p.m.: Palin lands a punch on the vote for war, if what she says is true. It's tough to know. Biden says it isn't true and points out where to look. Palin's shook up and doesn't recover well: "McCain knows how to win a war 'cause he's been there."

10:09 p.m.: Stupid question of the night: what if your president dies? How else are they going to answer?

10:18 p.m.: An unexpected question on whether the vice-president is part of the executive branch and Palin goes down in flames. I'm surprised she didn't mention health care in her answer. Biden rocks the answer.

10:23 p.m.: Biden chokes up talking about his kids and could win the debate right there. Palin's rattled again, but calms down when she finds her way back to her talking points.

10:28 p.m.: I just realized that my daughter will vote in the next US Presidential election. Good lord, I'm getting old.

10:37 p.m.: Palin proves she's not a buffoon, but she didn't do well enough to change anything. Both sides can call this a win - accurately, I think, but Palin needed a knockout and only got a tactical victory on her side. It's a question of goals. It's not a zero sum game.

Biden was there to get his points across and establish why his ticket is a better choice. He did that. He didn't need to knock her out, he just needed to maintain the status quo. Note that he never addressed Palin's competency. His points were all directed at McCain.

Palin was there to show that she's capable. She did that, sort of. Ducking questions didn't help, and she got rattled at times, but overall she leaves the debate a viable vice-presidential candidate, which is a step up from what she seemed to be going in.

In order to make a difference in the race, however, Palin needed to trounce Biden in the debate and that did not happen. The only thing that will save the Republicans at this stage is a Democratic catastrophe.

But Palin stopped the hemorrhaging - a win for her as she pulls out of the death spiral. And Biden sails forward, steady as he goes - also a win.

10:38 p.m.: Is that old hooked-nose guy Palin's dad? Her Israeli puppeteer?

10:41 p.m.: Chris Wallace must have read my analysis during the break, the copycat.

Bonus injury of the week:

I popped a blood vessel in my pinky during the post-hockey handshake ritual tonight. My pinky is purple.


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