Thursday, October 02, 2008

VP Debate Analysis

AP Photo

Tonight's VP debate was somewhat different than I expected. No gaffes from either size. However, I make note that Joe Biden did not tell the truth in his first three answers (and more).

I can summarize Joe Biden's debate talking points very simply.
  1. John McCain is always wrong.
  2. John McCain has no plan - for anything.
  3. Blah, blah, blah.
Joe Biden did what he had to do and that was to not stick his foot in his mouth. Don't get me wrong. He's a smart guy and he was prepared. Some people commented that Sarah Palin sounded rehearsed but Joe Biden stayed on his talking points throughout the night.

This evening was about Sarah Palin. It was a huge test for her in front of the American people. Could she answer questions without being stumped or saying something to embarrass herself? She graduated magna cum laude tonight. She didn't get dragged into questions that were difficult to answer but moved into the campaign's talking points. I think this had more to do with the fact that the debate couldn't be edited than anything else. Editing can inaccurately make people look dumb. Isn't that right Mr. Gibson and Ms. Couric?

On Fox News pollster Frank Luntz had a roomful of people who rated the debate throughout the evening. When Sarah Palin talked about personal responsibility and not allowing another Fannie Mae debacle to happen, her numbers went very high among Republicans AND Democrats. When politicians connect with the American people on issues like this, it trumps party affiliation.

Tonight, Sarah Palin proved she could stay in the ring with the tough ones. She connected with middle America like no other candidate has. That was a recurring comment among the Luntz panel. Joe Biden came across as an entrenched Washington politician and did not connect with the American people, except on one occasion when he talked about his family.

Barring unforeseen events, I expect November 4 will buck the polls and will be a huge surprise. My prediction - middle America will put McCain/Palin in the White House and there won't be any need for a recount.

1 comment:

Rand Careaga said...

"Magna cum laude?" From a mail order degree mill perhaps. She proved she could perform. She demonstrated that she could serve up the buzzwords with which she'd been filled. The format itself did not lend itself to much more. But then you say "Editing can inaccurately make people look dumb." Fair enough. Savor this morsel from the unedited transcript at CNN:


IFILL: Let's move to Iran and Pakistan. I'm curious about what you think starting with you Sen. Biden. What's the greater threat, a nuclear Iran or an unstable [Pakistan]? Explain why.

BIDEN: Well, they're both extremely dangerous. I always am focused, as you know Gwen, I have been focusing on for a long time, along with Barack on Pakistan. Pakistan already has nuclear weapons. Pakistan already has deployed nuclear weapons. Pakistan's weapons can already hit Israel and the Mediterranean. Iran getting a nuclear weapon would be very, very destabilizing. They are more than - they are not close to getting a nuclear weapon that's able to be deployed. So they're both very dangerous. They both would be game changers.

But look, here's what the fundamental problem I have with John's policy about terror instability. John continues to tell us that the central war in the front on terror is in Iraq. I promise you, if an attack comes in the homeland, it's going to come as our security services have said, it is going to come from al Qaeda planning in the hills of Afghanistan and Pakistan. That's where they live. That's where they are. That's where it will come from. And right now that resides in Pakistan, a stable government needs to be established. We need to support that democracy by helping them not only with their military but with their governance and their economic well-being.

There have been 7,000 madrasses built along that border. We should be helping them build schools to compete for those hearts and minds of the people in the region so that we're actually able to take on terrorism and by the way, that's where bin Laden lives and we will go at him if we have actually intelligence.

IFILL: Governor, nuclear Pakistan, unstable Pakistan, nuclear Iran? Which is the greater threat?

PALIN: Both are extremely dangerous, of course. And as for who coined that central war on terror being in Iraq, it was the Gen. Petraeus and al Qaeda, both leaders there and it's probably the only thing that they're ever going to agree on, but that it was a central war on terror is in Iraq. You don't have to believe me or John McCain on that. I would believe Petraeus and the leader of al Qaeda.

An armed, nuclear armed especially Iran is so extremely dangerous to consider. They cannot be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons period. Israel is in jeopardy of course when we're dealing with Ahmadinejad as a leader of Iran. Iran claiming that Israel as he termed it, a stinking corpse, a country that should be wiped off the face of the earth. Now a leader like Ahmadinejad who is not sane or stable when he says things like that is not one whom we can allow to acquire nuclear energy, nuclear weapons. Ahmadinejad, Kim Jong Il, the Castro brothers, others who are dangerous dictators are one that Barack Obama has said he would be willing to meet with without preconditions being met first.

And an issue like that taken up by a presidential candidate goes beyond naivete and goes beyond poor judgment. A statement that he made like that is downright dangerous because leaders like Ahmadinejad who would seek to acquire nuclear weapons and wipe off the face of the earth an ally like we have in Israel should not be met with without preconditions and diplomatic efforts being undertaken first.


Neither is particularly concise. But Palin—absolutely unfiltered—is nearly incoherent.

For the rest, you confidently assert that "Barring unforeseen events, I expect November 4 will buck the polls and will be a huge surprise." I daresay that you, at least, will be hugely surprised.