Thursday, October 02, 2008

The Vice Presidential Debate (Washington University--St. Louis)

Hi everybody. Quite the evening, huh? Joey the Shark versus Caribou Barbie. Two candidates enter and . . . well, two candidates leave too. I mean, it was exciting, but not that exciting. In terms of knowledge and substance, Joe Biden swept the floor with his less experienced foe. I agree with David Gergen that it was perhaps the best debate performance of his life. Sarah Palin did pretty much how I expected, though I was secretly (okay, not secretly) hoping she'd be reduced to babbling incoherently before her head exploded. She came out in one piece, so the conservatives should be pleased. Instant snapshot polling has Biden as the clear winner. We shall see if that holds up--and how it plays out in parody form on Saturday Night Live. For now though, it's time for those sometimes wild and crazy statements in bullet point form. You know you love them:
  • Loved the dial meter people jumping the gun and giving their opinion on the Wolfbot, which Anderson Cooper had to point out--at least that's my interpretation. Talk about instant feedback.
  • I kinda hate myself for being unable to stop watching the stupid dial meter results on the screen, even though intellectually I knew that 32 people was completely irrelevant.
  • One more bullet point on the dial meter: Why did they change it to men versus women for this debate? Stupid. I wanted to watch the independents.
  • I thought Gwen Ifill was pretty good, though I wish she would have been more challenging.
  • Did Palin answer one question she was asked? At least she warned us: "I may not answer the questions the way you or the moderator want to hear, but I'm going to talk to the American people." What the hell?
  • If I didn't know better, I'd say that Palin was reading a teleprompter. It was completely obvious that she had prepped by memorizing whole paragraphs of general information, which she then chose from depending on the question asked. When she had no answer that would fit, well, then she talked about energy.
  • I'm not sure Palin meant to agree with the Obama/Biden ticket when it comes to civil rights for gays. Will there be a clarification tomorrow? Also, how nice of her to be "tolerant." I'm sure they really appreciate that. (And I swear to God I thought she was about to break out with, "Some of my best friends are gay!")
  • The folksiness! My God, the folksiness. "Darn right." "You betcha." "Doggone it." I was able to ignore it at first, but towards the end there she seemed to be trying to one-up Tina Fey. Do people really buy that crap?
  • Biden gets a laugh when he calls the McCain/Palin health care plan the "ultimate bridge to nowhere." Now the audience must suffer the wrath of Gwen Ifill.
  • Palin believes the cause of global warming doesn't matter. Because, you know, figuring out causes and stuff is done by elite people like, uh, scientists.
  • I know why he couldn't, but when Palin started talking about the Democrats waving the "white flag of surrender" in Iraq, I wanted Biden to knock her off that stage.
  • I cannot believe that she spouted the "they hate us for our freedoms" BS. Bush doesn't even do that anymore. This fact alone shows she is utterly unqualified for the job.
  • When Palin referred to "the Castro brothers," who else immediately envisioned a cheesy boy band?
  • McCain's policies are the same as Bush's. Go Biden! Game. Set. Match.
  • Palin called the NATO commander in Afghanistan "McClellan." Twice. His name is Gen David McKiernan. Joe Biden made the right call in letting it slide because he would have come off as condescending, though I'm pretty sure I heard him sigh when the blunder occurred. Biting his tongue perhaps?
  • Palin gave a shout out. During a vice presidential debate. Seriously.
  • Biden choking up was the most compelling moment of the debate, and Palin's abrupt transition into an attack spoke volumes.
  • Transitioning back to The Best Political Team on Television, I cracked up when Wolf Blitzer referred to the dial meter subjects as "so-called real people." Not surprising that would come from a robot.
  • I know I complain about the strategy sessions in my regular reviews, but I kind of dig the big table of CNNers after these debates. (But no Michael Ware and Christiane Amanpour this time? That makes me sad.)
  • Psst. We can hear your BlackBerry. And it's annoying.
  • Palin in 2012? Do they want me to cry? Because I'll cry.
  • So . . . CNN, what happened to the fact-checking?
  • Wow, I just made about a billion more bullet points then planned. That'll do it.


Blogger Anne said...

Hi Eliza,

Great observations of the debate. You listened thoroughly for me. I can barely tolerate Palin. A lot of my relatives are what you call country people. My mother still considers herself one (she definately is, I can vouch for that). Yet not one of my relatives come on with the folksy act as Palin does. It is ridiculous and seems to me a culivated act that she has perfected. It doesn't come across as real to me. The point where she said "there you go Joe" was when I wanted to put my fist through the screen and knock her down myself. She reminds me of the Andy Griffith character he portrayed in A Face in the Crowd. Joe Biden came across as sincere and someone you would definately feel comfortable with in the White House. 2012 for Palin, please don't make me cringe and dread that election cycle. Like you said she came out in one piece, so her base will say she was great or even won. In their hearts, though, they know Biden carried this debate. Anne D.

5:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didn't you just love the way Palin pointed out how Biden all along wanted to be McCain's running mate, how Biden has all along known that Obama just doesn't have what it takes to be the leader of the free world and most likely doesn't have what it takes to be Mayor of city in Alaska. Who won? It doesn't matter. If it were me...I'd rather be Gov. of Alaska then VP any day........

7:57 AM  
Blogger Arachnae said...

And I swear to God I thought she was about to break out with, "Some of my best friends are gay!"

She actually did say that, or something almost exactly like that, in the Couric interview.

Do you suppose she has ANY idea that Cheney tried to pretend the Veep is part of the legislative branch? I personally strongly doubt it.

12:38 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

@anne-Yeah, I'm not buying the folksiness either. Reminds me of Bush playing the cowboy, when he's really a Yale grad from Connecticut.

@anonymous--I don't know how you can be privy to what Biden knows or thinks.

@arachnae--I guess I missed that. And no, I'm sure she has no idea about most of what Cheney has done. Except for shooting the dude in the face, of course. Heh.

6:29 AM  

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