Okay I give in…

blogging the Veep debate.

1. “Nice to meet you.”  Wow. She really hasn’t been to Washington. “Can I call you Joe?” No, you can call me Senator Biden and I’ll call you Governor Palin.

2. He has a nice smile, and manages not to look condescending. (so far.)

3. She’s wearing all black. Very frumpish and an interesting contrast to Hillary’s traffic-cone orange suit.

4. She winked at the camera!  wow.

5. She is framing herself as a populist more than she is defending McCain’s experience.  “Team of Mavericks?”  Hm.

6. Biden knows his stuff, but she connects with the people.

7. She seems to have memorized a script.  She stares into the camera quite robotically unless she is consciously trying to be cute. (wink)

8. I think she forgets she’s on camera when she’s not talking. She looked pissed when Biden pointed out she avoided the question.

9. “I may not answer the questions the way the opposing candidate or moderator wants, but I’m talking directly to the American people…” I SO hope that doesn’t sell.

10. Biden talks about values behind tax policy.  Go Joe!

11. She’s trying to redefine patriotism to be anti-government. Wow.

12. Ok, her characterization of Obama’s healthcare program as “taken over by the Feds” is a flat-out lie.

13. “We don’t call that redistribution, we call that fairness” is a great line.

14. So far Biden is much more likable. But then I’ve never liked mean girls.

15. Calling the McCain/Palin healthcare bill “a real bridge to nowhere” was risky. How will it play?

16. Biden was clearly prepared for the question about what will change due to the economic situation.Nice

17. Nice reframing of offshore tax dodgers as unpatriotic.

18. And she is NOT answering the question. Again.

19. She “blessed the hearts” of the big oil company executives. How lovely.

20. There is NOTHING she will change due to the economic situation, because she’s only been at this for five weeks.  And she believes McCain wouldn’t need to change anything either.

21. Biden knows McCain’s policies/positions better than Palin does.

22. She appears to be losing confidence. Suddenly remembered to look at the camera! And now she looks pissed, not cute.

23. Energy, energy, energy.  I’m guessing it’s the only subject she feels truly comfortable with.

24.  Getting tired of “heckuva” and “darn good” and “real” instead of “really.”

25. Palin’s energy policy reply is clearly memorized.

26. “It’s definitely manmade.”  I’m glad he didn’t get flustered. “In order to solve the problem, we have to know what created it.” Good point.

27. She’s all for “Drill, Baby, Drill.”

28. “Senator O’Biden” oops. Even made Joe chuckle.

29. Do you support capping carbon emissions?  Palin: “I do.”  Biden “We do.”  Point Biden.

30. Oops…lost focus and interest for a moment there.

31. “I am tolerant.” Always a bad thing to have to say.

32. Damn on the gay marriage issue.  Sigh.  But glad he followed up on the civil rights issues with Palin.

33. She got her groove back as soon as the war came up.

34. “Al Quaeda” and the “Shia extremists.”  Is that a new, expanded definition of our enemy? And is Iran full of “Shia extremists?”

35. 10 billion dollars a month. Good point there.  “We will end this war. For John McCain there is no end in sight.”

36. I think “Your plan is a white flag of surrender” was a beginner’s way of trying to reframe.

37. She’s trying to pit Biden against Obama. She is giving him an opening to defend his faith in Obama.

38. “John McCain voted against funds for our troops.”  Yes he did.

39. “God love him, but he’s been dead wrong.” Folksy Biden is in the house and effective.

40. Getting bored again…

41. She’s looking tense and uncomfortable again.

42. She spoke with Kissinger and she agrees with his “passion for diplomacy.” It sure seems like she is contradicting herself.

43. Sorry Joe, most of us aren’t with you when you get to “security apparatus of Iran.”

44. I’m glad he got back to plain English after his foray into politic-speak. “Go the extra mile in diplomacy” was a great line.  And good reminder about Spain!

45.  “A two state solution is the solution.” Wow, I never thought I’d hear that from her. Does she know what it means?

46.  (53 minutes in) Joe seems pretty mad at Bush.  Not quite so friendly and charismatic…

47. How sweet she is. “I’m so glad we both love Israel.”

48. “I haven’t heard how his policy is going to be different from George Bush’s” monologue is effective.

49. Nuclear weapons answer by Palin is very awkward and she’s been retrained about how to pronounce “nuclear.” She slips, but it’s not as bad as it was.

50.  “Facts matter, Gwen.”  And using the Commanding General in Afghanistan’s statement from today is great.

51. Biden goes right back to McCain’s record which I think is smart.

52. Palin is up on “McClellan’s” comments about Afghanistan. Damn. She was way prepared.

53. (1 hour in) First time Joe Biden has looked unprepared and uncomfortable.  Interesting. I think he expected a slam dunk with the McKiernan bit.

54. Wow is her flag pin big!  Bigger than his.

55. Bosniacs?  Did he mean Bosnians?

55. “We can make a difference. We can rally the world to act.”  Good direct statements.

56. “It’s so obvious I’m a Washington outsider.”  Yup.  And she just invoked the very thing she’s been accused of with the Bridge to Nowhere. “Being for it until you were against it.”  Interesting.

57. McCain/Cheney pairing may be more powerful than McCain/Bush.

58. “John McCain knows how to win a war and he knows what evil is.”   Wow.  That’s quite a big statement.

59. I’m glad Biden started the “if Obama died” question the way he did. It would be a national tragedy and that is not to be taken lightly.

60. Wink count: 2.

61. She is the average working-class family? Hm. The governor of Alaska is “average.”  And another pretty nice dodge of the question.

62. Clearly Biden’s major talking point continues to be McCain=Bush.

63. Palin’s folksy comments made absolutely no sense to me. “God love ya, there ya go pointing backwards agin?”

64.  Shift to education–dodge. Though I like that she wants flexibility in No Child Left Behind.

65. “Of course we know what the Vice President does.”  You didn’t last time they asked. Oh, but that was just a “lame” joke.

66. Biden knows exactly what he would do. “Help Barack Obama govern.” Advice. Not afraid to disagree. Very good answer.

67. Somebody coach her on basic grammar and sentence structure, please! I can’t take much more Yoda speak.

68. She just made his point about Cheney.

69.  She’s not going to answer what her real weakness is. I’ll be interested to see if either of them do.

70. (76 minutes in) Palin invokes Reagan. Surprise. (not.)

71. Joe goes with humility and honesty. Though passion and lack of discipline are not too damning.  Still, I appreciate his “Look, I’m not going to change.” Reminds us that he too is a single parent and knows a bit about being a regular guy.  Seems to tear up for real when he talks about almost losing his son.

72. Palin and McCain have had to come over to Obama’s frame/ground. “The American people want change.”

73. “No maverick on the things that matter to people’s lives.”  Thanks, Joe.  It’s true.

74. Final question.  Good question!  “Can you think of a time you had to change your views due to changing circumstances?”  He starts out pretty esoteric and jargony–but I think gets back to plain English. And I’m glad he said, “I changed and I’m glad I did.”

75.  “Quasi-caved?!”  No change or compromise on principles. “Up there in Alaska…”  And right back to her talking points.

76.  The pit bull is back. Attack attack attack.

77. It was clearly the “mainstream media’s” fault she couldn’t answer the questions in an interview format.

78. Reagan invocation #2. Rambling.

79. His closing is more polished. Good or bad? You decide. “Champ, when you get knocked down, get up. It’s time for America to get up together.”

5 thoughts on “Okay I give in…

  1. SD,

    Great post. I loved your commentary, especially this…

    56. “It’s so obvious I’m a Washington outsider.” Yup. And she just invoked the very thing she’s been accused of with the Bridge to Nowhere. “Being for it until you were against it.” Interesting.

    You were right on target with your points. Lets see how much longer the McCain campaign allows this circus to continue!

  2. 28. Oh, I missed the “O’Biden”! 🙂 Funny!
    43. Started reading my book for a minute there.
    54. Right about there I started talking about her flag pin, too. It’s so spangly!
    55. Peter said to me, “Bosniacs?” I said, “We call them Bosnamaniacs!”
    79. I wish he’d drop the line entirely. It’s too much that “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” myth. It rubs me wrong every time he says it, but this time he framed it slightly better to fit the situation.

  3. That’s interesting, Jess, and thanks for passing it on. My son’s best friend is a Bosnian Muslim refugee/immigrant and I’ve never heard the term! They call themselves “Bosnians”–at least here.

  4. Thanks, Sean. You’re bringing it all back — like raw onions do. Yuck!

    I thought the black suit was classy, but the spangly flag pin was dreadful. I guess even in Alaska they like their bling.

    She seemed well-rehearsed and determined to make her points regardless of the questions, which is not a good trait in a national leader. For me it was Biden hands down. The folksy twang got old in about three seconds, and I was wincing with every dropped final “g.” Nook-you-lar drives me nuts — I thought eight years of Bushisms was more than enough!

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