Friday, October 3, 2008

VP Debate: Open Thread

Here's an open thread for comments about last night's Vice Presidential Debate.  


  1. I came up with a great ad the Democrats can run to help pander to all of these swing-state, couch-potato, small-minded “independent” voters who are apparently going to decide the election.

    It’ll say: “Gays – at least they don’t have abortions”

  2. Quote from a NYT article today.

    But she had become such an outsized figure since her explosive introduction to the country by Mr. McCain that the story of this debate was always going to be about Ms. Palin, and not Mr. Obama. It seems fair to say that Americans who tuned in to this debate watched to get their impression of Ms. Palin, and not to hear what she had to say about Mr. Obama.

    Pericles, you mentioned Palin might have made more of a punch by focusing the theme on her own executive experience instead of attaching Obama. It would have been a bigger gamble, but it might have changed the story. All I've heard today is, "she did fine ... better then on Couric." A bland performance is not what the McCain campaign needed, they needed a new flashy story to take the focus off of the economy. Palin certainly did not achieve that. I think last night was the end of her momentum.

  3. I, too, think she largely failed. I also think she was prepared incorrectly by the campaign. Every time she spoke about John McCain and his historical record she inherently lacked credibility. Everyone knows she knows nothing about John McCain's record other than what she was told in the last three weeks. It's not necessarily a bad thing; it just is. But it played straight into Biden's wheelhouse. I never would have prepared a witness to speak out of place like that. Instead, I would have limited her statements about national and international issues to prospective acts or common sense opinion, and would have limited her factual speaches to herself and Alaska, of which Biden knows less than she. The first rule of persuasion is to talk about what you know. When she did, she was less embarrassing. When she did not, she was like a deer in headlights.

  4. Unfortunately, if Palin follows the first rule of persuasion, we wouldn't need much time for the debate.

    I am at something of a disadvantage, not having heard (most of) the debate. But the few commentaries I have seen seem to say that once she got past the prepared talking points she was incoherent --one example apparently being some novel construction of what the Constitution says about the vice-presidency.

    The few visuals I have seen prompted this response in me: "Oh, she reminds me of Sally, down the street. I like Sally; she's nice, and friendly, and perky, and knows how to talk to people. Makes a great near-rum cake, too."

    Then I think, "Do I want Sally to be vice-president of the country?"

    Then I console myself that we will be electing McCain, not Palin. McCain is a hero; he's knowledgeable about this stuff; he's steady ... well, he's a maverick, and he'll really fix Washington and Wall Street (he has experience dealing with financial types), because he's such a ... leader.

    Uh, he's a warrior.

    He has a nice, American name. Especially his middle name.


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