Biden v Palin

So our one and only chance to hear the #2s debate has come and gone.  My thoughts on the affair have been simmering for two days now.

I’ll admit that I enjoyed the event more than I should have because we added a VP Debate Drinking Bingo component.  No joke.  You’ll be happy to note I eeked out my one Bingo on the second to last sentence of the debate when Joe Biden finally said, “When you get knocked down, you get right back up.”  I had needed that square since 20 minutes in.

My overall thoughts…

1.  There was no ‘game-changer.’  No soundbite will be replayed over and over.  Most people mention that this was good for Palin, because this means that she didn’t screw up.  That’s partly true.  However, in general,  a no-big-moment debate is a win for Obama.  Because he is ahead.  It is like the 7th inning of a game in which no one from either teams scores.  That’s usually not a bad thing if your team is already up by 5 runs.  Obama is up.  He doesn’t need any game changers to win the election.  McCain does.

2. Biden was in a tough spot, and he performed as well as he could have all things considered.  He is a guy known for his passion, and he gets fired up very easy.  However, that could have been disasterous if he came off as the angry older white man attacking the new celebrity female face.  Think Obama’s loss in the NH primary to Hillary…women voters don’t like to feel like a female candidate it getting unfairly attacked, judged, or criticized.  But Biden avoided that here.  Some criticize him for letting her slide on some points when he could have pounced.  But I think he played the odds and knew that it was not worth the risk.  A draw is a win for Obama.

3.  The moderator was brutal.  Gwen Iffel never challenged any candidate and allowed each (Palin especially) to spout off anything, even when it had nothing to do with the question.  I especially think she let Palin off way to easy on the same-sex rights issue.  It was comical.  Palin simply ignored the broader question asked about health/property benefits.  Instead, she actually ignored Iffel’s question, and said “If you would have asked me about marriage I would say that I support traditional marriage.”  Absurd.

4. Palin’s winking at the camera seemed ridiculous to me.  The extra accent, folksy words, and style come off as an act.  How much of it does she play up for the sake of creating an image?  

5. The ultimate thing to remember is that all of this campaign silliness is directed at a very select group- about 7% of the voters who genuinely haven’t made up their minds yet.  Not only that, but the only ones who really matter are the people in that 7% who live in the handful of states that matter. It seems like on that front, Biden was made more headway.  That’s the bottom line.

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2 comments

  1. Great analysis, BFF. You summed up my thoughts better than I ever could.

    One thing- I’m frustrated with many saying Palin did well because she “didn’t screw up”. Since when is that a barometer of success, especially when the stakes are this high and this important? I see where the argument is coming from, but to me, a VP and potential President needs to do more than not screw up and it angers me that Palin is getting applauded for a just barely average performance. Sure, she didn’t have a deer in headlights moment or loose her cool, but she never really answered any question, rambling on about whatever she chose, throwing in a “maverick” for good measure every few sentences.

    Well gosh darn, awe shucks, son of a monkey’s uncle, slap my knee, I guess that’s just the reality of the situation. But it in no way should be.

  2. I completely agree. Its the sad reality.

    However, to be honest we are on the way up in that regard. The “W” years were a time when it was considered a huge political liability to be considered an ‘elitist.’ Of course, that is a loaded term which meant more often than not it was considered a bad thing to be intelligent. But, this election is slowly pivoting away from that…because the ‘aww shucks’ routine isn’t actually working in the polls.

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