Friday, October 03, 2008

The Palin Show Finale

Well, Sarah Palin did well enough last night. Had she repeated on stage the disaster of her Couric interview, I think the election would have been over. As it was, she played well to conservatives. One thing I’m pretty sure of is that McCain will now put her on ice for the rest of the campaign. I will be surprised if we see her again in an unscripted event, and I'm guessing she will be less of a news item going forward.

This debate was a kind of a middle ground between a canned speech and an interview. Unlike an interview, where the reporter can keep asking a question until it is answered (or not answered, as we saw with her previous interviews), in a debate you can ignore a question and just shout out talking point words: (Maverick! McCain! Doggone it!).

Some other observations:

  • Given the format of the debate, where follow-ups are discouraged, I thought Gwen Ifel did a decent job. I only wish she had asked a question about science. Given the current administration’s hostility to science, it would have been good for Palin to answer questions about creationism and abstinence programs.

  • Why do Mccain and Palin keep repeating that Obama voted not to support the troops with funding? It's such an outright distortion. Obama voted against a bill without a timeline, and McCain voted against a bill with a timeline. It had nothing to do with "supporting the troops." I guess when Palin says “the nice thing about running with John McCain is I can assure you he doesn't tell one thing to one group and then turns around and tells something else to another group,” what she means is that they are willing to mislead everybody.

  • Is anyone buying the line that “the fundamentals of the econmy are strong” = “our workforce is strong.” That’s just silly.

  • Palin kept saying we should look forward, and not back to the Bush administration. Also we don’t have to know what caused global warming. Yes, just like my broken down car. We don’t need to know why it broke. That’s just looking backward, gosh darnit. We need to face the future and just get that car running!

  • What’s with the winking thing? Is she running for vice president or prom queen?

  • Palin: “You're one who says, as so many politicians do, I was for it before I was against it or vice- versa. Americans are craving that straight talk” Hmm. Bridge to nowhere, anyone? Or, how about that troopergate investigation, that she was for before she was against? Also, has she met her running mate, John McCain, who was against drilling before he was for it, against agents of intolerance before seeking their endorsement, against torture before voting for it, and oh so many more flip flops?

Biden did finally snap at the end, when Palin called McCain a maverick for the 800th time.

Look, the maverick -- let's talk about the maverick John McCain is. And, again, I love him. He's been a maverick on some issues, but he has been no maverick on the things that matter to people's lives.

He voted four out of five times for George Bush's budget, which put us a half a trillion dollars in debt this year and over $3 trillion in debt since he's got there.

He has not been a maverick in providing health care for people. He has voted against -- he voted including another 3.6 million children in coverage of the existing health care plan, when he voted in the United States Senate.

He's not been a maverick when it comes to education. He has not supported tax cuts and significant changes for people being able to send their kids to college.

He's not been a maverick on the war. He's not been a maverick on virtually anything that genuinely affects the things that people really talk about around their kitchen table. Can we send -- can we get Mom's MRI? Can we send Mary back to school next semester? We can't -- we can't make it. How are we going to heat the -- heat the house this winter? He voted against even providing for what they call LIHEAP, for assistance to people, with oil prices going through the roof in the winter.

So maverick he is not on the important, critical issues that affect people at that kitchen table.

I agree with the analysis that Biden won the debate, and Palin exceeded expections. But, again, the only thing that matter’s is whether it caused any voters to change their minds and switch votes. We won’t know that for a few more days.


    Eric Sink said...

    Palin did very well. She didn't screw up in any major way. She erased the worry that she will be huge embarrassment to the republican party.

    Her comments on civil rights for same-sex couples are probably causing a little bit of consternation among the evangelical right today. Other than that, she did exactly what she needed to do.

    It is unfortunate that most people don't seem to mind when she ignores a question and repeats the litany on her index cards. It bugs the heck out of me, but overall, she seems to get away with it just fine.

    I seriously doubt Palin brought many new voters to McCain. She had a lot to lose in this debate, and not much to gain. She calmed the worries of republicans everywhere, but she didn't do much that should attract new voters to her as a leader.

    Biden was very, very impressive. I was more worried about him screwing something up than Palin. I fully expected him to have lots of moments where he rambled and just wouldn't shut up. I also expected him to slip and say something that would be seen as an attack on Palin.

    Surprisingly, he handled himself very well. Whenever he went negative, it was always about McCain, not Palin. And by Biden standards, he was almost terse.

    Overall, a very watchable debate. I expect both sides are very happy with the outcome. Biden won, and Palin didn't lose.

    brownie the paranoid said...

    The rising level of censorship on this blog is beginning to disturb the serene pond of my consciousness.

    Dan S said...

    I don't understand what you are saying, because your consciousness has never been serene pond. Also, I don't get the bit about censorship either.

    brownie pond said...

    I amar prestar aen...
    The world is changing...
    han mathon ne nen...
    I feel it in the water...
    han mathon ne chae...
    I feel it in the Earth...
    a han noston ned 'wilith...
    I smell it in the air..