Well, the one-liners that I predicted were not so much apparent but..........
- Sarah's direct disrespect for Obama and Biden was clearly, deliberately displayed by the use of Joe and Barak. This was the subtle meanness that she uses so well. Biden courteously, consistently respected Sarah with the use of her title--Governor. We first saw this with "Charlie."
- Sarah used the technique called "lies" and misrepresentation as she referenced Obama's and Biden's and John's votes and stances.
- Sarah tried very hard to drive a wedge in the public's eye between Biden and Obama. With a smile, she tried to creatively create situations where she could wield a presharpened knife.
- Sarah clarified at the beginning that she was not going to be accountable to either the moderator's or Biden's questions. This paved the way for her to stick with what she learned at her "debate camp." She simply would not address an issue that she was not prepared for.
- Sarah spoke with generalities rather than identifiable concepts and understanding of issues.
- She proposed that the US led the way in climate change concerns and issues and recognizing its importance. If I recall correctly, we were the country that would not join in with other countries when pacts were being designed and agreements reached on addressing this issue.
I will say that Sarah was more coherent than I expected and what she has shown before. She does seem to be a competent study of crib notes. I do not have any increased sense that she understands history, what has happened, what the world is about. Sarah did nothing to minimally convince me that she is ready. She did not give substantive answers. I will say that she was masterful in redirecting a question to the questions she was coached to answer.
Senator Biden's knowledge and grasp of the world does give me confidence in him should he need to step into the presidency.
A little bit before the end, Sarah's snideness came through as she insulted and demeaned Biden. She made sure she went through her talking points.
That is the difference between these two candidates. One would lead us; one would come close to being a cheer leader-the only thing needed would be pom poms.
If I hear the word maverick one more time, I think I will be sick. I think using a held baby as a vote getter is despicable--using a child as a prop is unconscionable--even more so when parading him on stage at 10:15 after the debate. Folksy does not make a world leader. Increasingly I am angry at John McCain for doing this to the country.
Debate is over. Time for the pundits and polls.
One Last Comment: Our 10 year old watched the last part of the debate. Suddenly, he said: Joe Biden answers questions, why doesn't Sarah Palin? Out of the mouth of babes.
I love the last line in this commentary.
The VP Debate: The Strangest I've Ever Seen
Exactly an hour into the debate, Joe Biden began an answer by saying, "Facts matter, Gwen."
To him, maybe. To Sarah Palin, maybe not. The pattern, so far, has been one of Biden presenting facts and Palin countering with… saying stuff. Sometimes she throws in a fact, but mostly she seems to be offering a string of approximate policy positions, encomiums to the American spirit, disputed interpretations of Barack Obama's record and anecdotes from Alaska.
She has a certain charm, but I wonder how viewers are reacting to the way she just declines to answer the question at hand and pivots to more solid ground. I had forgotten how effective Biden can be in these debates. So far, he hasn't been patronizing or insulting. In terms of working-class street cred, Palin is in a league – or a universe – of her own. (Don't ya think?) But Biden holds his own.
I confess, though, I don't know what anybody is making of this. I don't even know what I'm making of it. This is the strangest debate I've ever seen. It seems like an interplanetary exchange, with poor Gwen Ifill trying to keep the Enterprise from falling into the wormhole.By Eugene Robinson | October 2, 2008; 10:22 PM ET |