Saturday, October 4, 2008

Can I Call You Joe?

Sarah Palin redeemed herself in the VP debate with Senator Joe Biden this week. She didn't win, obviously, but she didn't make a fool of herself, either--and that's pretty much how low the standards were going in. If I were voting Republican, I'd breathe a huge sigh of relief.

I enjoyed the VP debate much more than the presidential debate a week ago. This time I watched the whole thing--from the "Can I call you Joe?" kick-off to the "God bless you" finale. Excluding, of course, the minor (though annoying) kid-related interruptions. (They obviously do not have any appreciation for the historical importance of this political season, or they'd be more cooperative.)

Here are my random observations:
  • If I were playing a drinking game during the debate, the drink-word for Palin would have been "maverick." She must have used it 20 times to describe herself and McCain. Maverick means "independent in thought and action." Palin was not specific about the policies and accomplishments that qualified either of them as mavericks, and I don't buy it.
  • Here's the transcript if you want to check for yourself.
  • Actually, I observed that Palin was not specific about much. Biden challenged her several times to specifically elucidate how McCain's policies would be different from W's, and she could/would not.
  • Someone needs to tell Sarah Palin that soccer moms comprise perhaps 3 percent of the total U.S. population--so she needs to find a way to relate to the rest of us.
  • The whole country wanted to swat at that little clump of bangs stuck to Palin's left eyelash every single time she blinked. Or maybe that was just me. (Props to Queen.)
  • Biden's drink-word was "fundamental"--he used one form or another at least nine times.
  • Biden deserves a medal for refusing to correct Palin when she twice referred to the commander in Afghanistan as McClellan (a Civil War general) rather than McKiernan--especially after she corrected his take on "Drill, drill, drill!" to "Drill, baby, drill!"
  • Both Palin and Biden got their facts wrong at times during the debate. This website is a great source of fact-checking analysis.
  • Gwen Ifill was no Jim Lehrer, if you know what I mean. Why did she not make any attempt to rein Palin in, especially when she blatantly said she would not be "answering questions the way the moderator would like"?
I know we tend to see what we want to see and hear what we want to hear, but I came away from the debate with a renewed respect and admiration for Senator Biden. I thought he did a great job keeping on point and responding to Palin's criticisms with specific, pointed replies.

What did you think? Come on: Tell me what you really think.

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