Friday, October 3, 2008

The VP debate

The only VP debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin was... interesting.  Joe Biden was remarkably restrained, on-message (attacking only John McCain), and didn't come off as either Papa Bush (against Ferraro) or Rick Lazio (against Clinton).  The best Sarah Palin could do was be folksy and wink at/flirt with the audience, and try to be Reaganesque ("Say it ain't so, Joe... there you go again!") as she repeatedly avoided answering the questions.  Unfortunately, Gwen Ifill didn't push her; maybe she was a little wary of appearing partisan after the recent right-wing attacks on her neutrality for writing her book on Black politicians.

On climate change, Sarah Palin said she's not convinced about anthropogenic (my word, not hers!) effects - but that we should do something about it (even if it's just, as Palin apparently believes, natural cyclical changes?)  Palin also claimed that the USA should bring other countries along - but ummm... isn't the USA, under Bush, the only industrialized country to not sign the Kyoto Protocol?  Joe Biden, quite appropriately, pointed out that without knowing the reason, we can't fix the problem.  And he also said that pollution from China affects the western USA, showing a depth of knowledge (or at least, awareness, which is just as important).

On Israel, Sarah Palin said "I am so encouraged to know that we both love Israel." (h/t Milbank)  Ummm... you are talking to Joe Biden, who's been doing this s*** ever since you were in the second grade.  I am glad Joe didn't point out what a neophyte she is, who said recently that she was too busy governing Alaska to follow the war in Iraq (and if she can't do that, what about other foreign policy issues, like Israel?)  That might have been taken as "sexism."  Also, doesn't Sarah Palin's Church seek to convert, or at least encourages conversion of, Jews to Christianity?  What sort of a friend to Israel is she?

Toward the end, Joe Biden had an awesome smackdown of "Maverick" McCain - "on the issues important to the American people, he's no maverick!"  And best of all, Joe related his touching story of knowing what it felt like to wonder if his child would survive... It was genuine, heart-felt, and warm.

And all Palin said in response was... "mavericks!  we are mavericks!"  Yes, you definitely are - while the rest of America was sympathetic toward Joe, you just trod on... All the folksiness was revealed as an artifice, just cold calculation.  Kos says "Anyone who knows what Biden has had to deal with raising his kids wouldn't have blithely made that comment."  Someone who knows but doesn't give a s***, easily would have.  And that a***hole was Sarah "hockey mom with a Down's child" Palin.

Barack Obama picked a great Vice-President.  John McCain played craps with the country's future.


Alkibiades said...

I think Joe Biden just freakin' rocked last night.

You know I was not initially an Obama supporter, mostly because I thought he was a neophyte and I didn't think he would be able to handle the Republican hate machine. Boy, was I ever wrong.

Time and again Obama has shown himself to have almost uncanny political savvy. And one of the ways I have seen that savvy is in picking Joe Biden as his running mate. Yes, Biden has had some gaffes, but lets face it, the man is a McCain attacking machine!

The debates may not have a lot of impact on the daily polls, but I think they do have an impact on enthusiasm levels.

For myself, I have gone from being just "anti-McCain" to actually "pro-Obama". And these debates have been a large factor in solidifying my support. In fact,
I haven't been this excited about electing someone to office since Ann Richards!

RS said...

For a few days, I wasn't sure Obama made the right decision, as Obama was attacking McCain more than the usual attack-dog VP - but I suppose that comes because Obama picked Biden to help him govern, not win the election.
But yesterday changed all that - mainly because I saw Biden on TV. I am sure he's doing the same thing on the trail, and for that, I am really happy :-)

Ann Richards, eh? That's saying something for a Texan :-)