God sometimes gives us unexpected gifts. Our gift has been a grandson who enlivens our lives and makes retirement very different than the one we anticipated. He is a special joy. And that's "Casey." In 2006 we fulfilled our dream of living in Italy for a year. It was every bit as wonderful as anticipated. This blog begins in 2005 as we prepared for that experience. Since then we have explored many places together. That's the "Travel." And finally, I am a person of opinions--spiritually, politically, on just about anything and that's the "Other Stuff." Welcome to my blog.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

OK-What Happened?

First: I thought Joe Biden was masterful. He spoke well. He spoke with authority. He spoke with the weight of background and depth of knowledge in all issues on the table. He was remarkably gracious to Palin.

Well, the one-liners that I predicted were not so much apparent but..........
  1. 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."
  2. Sarah used the technique called "lies" and misrepresentation as she referenced Obama's and Biden's and John's votes and stances.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Sarah spoke with generalities rather than identifiable concepts and understanding of issues.
  6. 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.
My sense at the end was that Sarah spoke from what she was taught. Biden spoke from what he knows and what is inherent in his personal, own understanding about the issues. He knows, she parrots.

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 |


Chiocciola said...

Excellent points, Jane. Palin did a good job in the sense that she spoke more coherently - but still all talking points, and her smirks drove me crazy! Plus, since when was it OK not to answer any question, but just decide that "well you asked me about Afghanistan but I want to take about energy." Biden was great and did not, as many had feared, get condescending, bully-like, or said any gaffes. I have lots of respect for him now.

Jane said...

Eiren, yes, I forgot to mention the smirks. She does that so well. I like Biden.

Judith in Umbria said...

I was a bit worried when the morning news at BBC said only, "Palin holds her own." I have been finding much UK coverage to be pro-Republican as well as much Italian reporting, but since they can't vote, who cares?
What I really wonder is did HER people who love her blindly understand what went on, because no one else seems to know.

Anonymous said...

Palin smirks drove me crazy too! Biden did great! He is smart and worldly, yet down to earth. Many say she appeals to the everyday person, but I don't know about everyone else, but I don't want an everyday person to be making decisions that effect my life.

Annie said...

I too was VERY impressed with Biden. She could have scored some points at the end by saying something compassionate after he got choked up about his son, but no...she ignored him and stuck to her script. She just seemed very robotic to me. And the smirks drove me crazy too! When she mentioned defending women's rights, I had to get up and leave the room and calm down.

Jane said...

Judith, the impression of people here seems to be all over the board this morning--but, most eventually end up saying Biden was best and their views were not changed of the McCain ticket.

Annie, I too thought Sarah was terribly cold and unfeeling when Biden mentioned his family with tears close to the surface. He is a feeling man. I really thought she showed her inner cruelty.

BTW--what is a hockey mom? In the lower 48 hockey is not the big sport for kids. Does she understand the other 49?

Anonymous--well said. Smirks are so nauseating. And...who are you?

Annie said...

Oh yeah, the hockey mom/Joe Six-Pack stuff is really insulting.

And I forgot to mention all that winking she did at the camera? My mom emailed me this morning and said, "I didn't think that winking was very presidential." LOL

Anonymous said...

Jane, I'm in complete agreement with all the points you have made. Also with the other comments about Palin's constant smirking. I couldn't believe that she actually said out loud that she wasn't necessarily going to answer questions!! And her gagging comments about Joe Six Pack and Hockey Moms - PLEASE!!! Talk about trying to appeal to the lowest common denominator! I loved the Eugene Robinson piece. You are right, the last sentence was fabulous!!

Thanks Jane,


Jane said...

Annie, I love your mom. Donna, do you know anyone who calls himself or herself Joe Sixpack or Hockey Mom? I don't--particularly the Joe Sixpack title. Oh--the pain of palin is terrible.

girasoli said...

I thought Biden did superb! I was really impressed. Palin...not at all. Did you see her reading a couple of her responses? I can't believe she got away with not answering the questions. I am to the point that I turn the station or mute the sound whenever she comes on the TV (my same rule for when Bush comes on my TV). She is so irritating and downright rude with her smirks and winks and condescending responses.