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Vice-President Biden vs. Cheerleader Palin

"The chant is 'Drill, Baby, Drill', Mr. Biden, and the people are hungry to tap into our energy sources."

It was a moment straight out of a lunchtime pep rally. It was also the moment it became obvious that Sarah Palin's role in tonight's debate was to cheerlead for John McCain -- coincidentally keeping the focus off of her own weak credentials.

In the debate tonight 'Sarah Palin the Cheerleader' had her cheers straight, but Vice-President Joe Biden was a shining example of what we need in the White House for the next eight years. Palin barely held her own in the first half of the debate, which centered primarily on domestic issues, but once the question turned towards nuclear armament and eventually to Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan Biden stepped into the role of Vice-President as Palin offered more cheers.

Guess which one said this on the question of the role of the Vice-President:

"Of course, we know what a Vice-President does, and that's not only preside over the Senate, and we'll take that position very seriously also. I'm thankful that the Constitution will allow a bit more authority given to the Vice-President also if that Vice-President so choses to exert it in working with the Senate."

"And, uhm, making sure that we are supportive of the President's policies and making sure too that our President understands what our strengths are. John McCain and I have had good conversations about where I would lead with his agenda and that is energy independence in America and reform of government, over all."

Good conversations are important in a campaign, and even more important when you're leading a nation. That's what worries me. There's an 'inability to clearly articulate' that is at the core of who Sarah Palin is as a potential national leader.

Some may find it endearing and warm, and the folks in Alaska may just love this little hockey mom "Gosh Darn Donchaknowit"... but I'm confident that Sarah Palin would not rise to the level of governor in my home state of California. and if she's not bright enough to lead my state she isn't bright enough to lead our nation.

I'm sure that I'll have lots of YouTube debate video clips highlighting Palin's shortcomings to post in the coming days and weeks. We'll have lots of "good conversations" ahead, and I'll try to gather all of the cheers Palin gave in the debate and make a list so we all can join in on the next lunchtime rally Palin leads for the Saggy Maverick.

"It's a good team, it's a good ticket."

Good grief.

My mission tonight was to judge Biden and Palin against a presidential yardstick. Biden measured up and Palin did not, but Palin didn't even try. She was there to prop up a sagging-in-the-polls Maverick. Rah!

I'll let Governor Palin have the last word.

"We have not got to allow the partisanship that has really been entrenched in Washington D.C., no matter who's been in charge -- when the Republicans were in charge I didn't see a whole lot of progress there either, when the Democrats either though -- this last go around for the last two years. Change is coming and John McCain is the leader of that reform."


CNN-TV released their instant poll of debate watchers (on-air, no link yet), here's the highlights:

Who Did the Best Job in the Debate?
Biden 51%
Palin 36%

Who Was More in Touch with the Problems of People Like You?
Biden 50%
Palin 44%

Who is More Likely to Bring Change?
Biden 53%
Palin 42%

The McCain campaign organization is going to cheerlead for Sarah Palin and tell her she did a great job, hoping to boost her self-confidence. The CNN results above suggest otherwise, and I'll post more in the next 3-4 days as the result of tonight's debate are measured in additional polls.

Update II:

CBS Poll of undecided voters:
Biden 46%
Palin 21%

Is Gov. Palin Qualified to Serve as President? (CNN)
Before the debate: Yes 42% No 54%
After the debate: Yes 46% No 53%

Is Sen. Biden Qualified to Serve as President? (CNN)
Before the Debate: Yes 78% No 19%
After the Debate: 87% No 12%

George Harris, Kansas City Star:

I was surprised that Palin's charm did not work better than the poll results showed. But she likely was weighed down by Saturday Night Live parodies and interviews earlier in the week with CBS's Couric. By the time of the debate, people knew that she is not ready for the presidency and saw through her efforts to appear that she was with canned responses.

LIke me, Brad Delong lost count:

What percentage of questions did Palin answer? 20%?

And a final Huzzah! for this:

Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!

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Rating: 3/5 (20 votes cast)

Comments (3)

bacaangel[TypeKey Profile Page]:

Even though McCain Camp sucessfully neutered Gwen Ifil by a predebate attack on her credibility, we should not be fooled by Palin's Acting/ sparring abilities (although she had her Notes with her,but isn't that Cheating?) to sucessfully weave and bob and her canny ability not to answer questions she does not like in contradiction to her also not being able to intelligently answer complex questions on the spot! It seems as if she feels the American people have no need to be given intelligent, thoughtful answers to the pressing questions of today, and that we would rather be winked at and called hockey moms and Joe Sixpacks while our economy is in ruins! We need our candidates to present truth, not lies and talking points of lies which have nothing to do with reality. We have been lied too enough in this country. We need leaders who are of high moral character and who think their word is thier bond.

Starting to question McCain's mental fitness

McCain's interviews have become increasingly angry, hostile and unhinged. He seems to be on the verge of some kind of mental collapse. A big part of McCain's erratic behavior is due to Obama having gotten deep, deep, deep inside his head. If McCain's brain was x-rayed, it would reveal Obama sitting comfortably upon McCain's cerebral peduncles. But, it is more than that. I believe McCain's increasing instability is being caused by the stress of the campaign and his 72 year old body not being able to get the rest that it requires to function properly. That isn't ageism--that is a simple fact of life. I wondered how McCain, being in advanced years, would respond under the grueling pace of a general election. I think we are all beginning to find out and it really isn't a pretty site. He is on the verge of some kind of mental collapse.



If the inability to tell the truth is a qualification to be VP, then Biden by a landslide.

Let's see, how about two glaring examples......Obama DIDN'T say he'd meet the Iranian leadership dwarf without preconditions (forget what your own ears heard after it's been played over and over the last 4 or 5 months).....how about stretching the truth about article 1 of the constitution and how it defines the role of the VP (either he's ignorant of it's content OR he purposely lied, Neil Kinnock votes for the second option.

Didn't he think people would look up his "claims"? I guess when you've got a higher IQ than your audience you believe you can BS and not get caught.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

Fact checking from WaPo. Both sides got some things wrong.

Vice Presidential Debate: St Louis

11:15 p.m.
One of the sharpest exchanges in tonight's debate took place over Biden's insistence that he thought it was a "mistake" to go to war in Iraq and that he only supported legislation authorizing war "to keep the U.N. in line."

Palin scoffed at that as a typical "Washington" explanation. "Here you voted for the war and now you oppose the war," she said.

Indeed, it was widely understood at the time, October 2002, that war was a likely outcome of a "yes" vote, as President Bush was already massing a major invasion force in the Persian Gulf.

However, in his speech on the Senate floor in October 2003 explaining his vote, Biden did explain his view that the Senate resolution would help spur the United Nations to stiffen its efforts to compel Saddam Hussein to give up weapons of mass destruction.

"I do not believe this is a rush to war," Biden said at the time. "I believe it is a march to peace and security."
--Michael Abramowitz

10:17 p.m.
Biden claimed that Obama warned against the administration's decision to push for Hamas participating in Palestinian legislative elections in early 2005. Obama had only been a senator for a few days when the election took place, but if he made such statements they did not appear in news reports or transcripts that are contained in the Nexis or Factiva news databases.

Obama was one of 70 members in the Senate who signed a letter a month before the Palestinian election expressing concern that Hamas was participating without disarming. The letter did not say a victory in the election would give Hamas credibility, but urged Bush to insist that Hamas adhere to "a basic set of principles before they can run for political office." Biden did not sign the letter.
--Glenn Kessler

10:06 p.m.
Sarah Palin just asserted that Sen. Joseph Biden backed John McCain's military policies until this presidential race. That is flatly false. Biden was an outspoken opponent of President Bush's troop increases in Iraq as soon as Bush announced them after the 2006 elections. As Foreign Relations Committee Chairman, he led the most heated hearings before the troops were actually deployed.
--Jonathan Weisman

10:00 p.m.
Biden said that McCain said he would not "sit down with the government of Spain." This is an overstatement. Biden is referring a recent interview McCain gave to a radio station, in which McCain did not appear to recognize the name of the Spanish prime minister.

"I'm willing to meet with any leader who is dedicated to the same principles and philosophy that we are for human rights, democracy and freedom and I will stand up to those who are not," McCain said, in comments that riled the Spanish government.

But in In an early-April interview with a reporter from Spanish newspaper El Pais, McCain said, "This is the moment to leave behind discrepancies with Spain" and said he would like the prime minister to visit the United States.
--Glenn Kessler

9:55 p.m.
Sarah Palin oversimplified Obama's vote to stop funding U.S. troops in Iraq. She was referring to a Senate vote on May 24, 2007, on appropriations bill funding operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Obama was one of 14 senators who voted against the bill on the grounds that it did not set a timeline for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. Obama made clear that he was in favor of funding the troops, but could not agree to an indefinite extension of the war.

The previous month, most Senate Republicans voted against a Democratic bill (supported by Obama) that linked funding of the troops to the establishment of a timeline for withdrawal. McCain missed that vote.
--Michael Dobbs

9:49 p.m.
Palin repeated a standard line offered by the McCain campaign--that Obama has not admitted the "surge" of additional troops in Iraq worked.

But in a September interview with Bill O'Reilly of Fox News, Obama said "the surge has succeeded in ways that nobody anticipated. . . I've already said it's succeeded beyond our wildest dreams."

Obama has not, however, retracted his opposition to the surge, and he has said political reconciliation still needs to take place in Iraq.
--Michael Abramowitz

9:47 p.m.
Gov. Palin suggested that the nearly $700 billion the U.S. spends a year on imported oil could be replaced by domestic sources. CNNMoney.com took estimates from various government agencies to conclude that crude oil production could be increased at most between 1 and 3 million barrels per day, on top of the 5 million barrels a day already produced domestically. The United States currently consumes about 20 million barrels a day, so an expansion of domestic drilling would make barely a dent in that amount unless consumption also is reduced.
--Glenn Kessler

9:46 p.m.
Gov. Sarah Palin was erroneous when she claimed U.S. troop levels in Iraq are now at "pre-surge" levels. When President Bush announced last month that he would withdraw an additional 8,000 U.S. troops over the coming months, he committed to leaving at least 138,000 troops in the country at the end of his presidency, 3,000 more than there were before the troop increases known now as "the surge."
--Jonathan Weisman

9:33 p.m.
Joe Biden mischaracterized McCain's proposal for giving Americans a tax credit to pay for their own health insurance programs in return for taxing the health benefits they receive from employers. He suggested that the average American family would lose around $7,000 on the deal, receiving a $5,000 tax credit in return for having to pay $12,000 for their own health care program.

In fact, the non-partisan Tax Policy Center has calculated that most American families would come out slightly ahead for the next decade at least. Higher-income Americans with expensive health care plans would be somewhat worse off after 2018.
--Michael Dobbs

9:29 p.m.
Sen. Joseph Biden accused John McCain of offering big oil companies $4 billion in tax breaks. That is misleading. The figure comes from the share that the oil companies would get from McCain's corporate income tax cut proposal. He has not proposed a tax break solely for oil companies.
--Jonathan Weisman

9:25 p.m.
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin signaled early she would go after Barack Obama all night on the charge that he had voted 94 times to either raise taxes or fight against tax cuts.
Fact check.org, a non-partisan watchdog, has analyzed the charge.

Of the 94, 23 of those votes were indeed votes against proposed tax cuts. Eleven of them were increases on families earning over $1 million to help fund programs such as Head Start and school nutrition. And 53 were on non-binding budget resolutions that foresaw allowing tax cuts to expire as scheduled. Such out-year projections are meaningless, since non-binding budgets are passed each year.
Fact.check.org ruled the claim misleading.

On another point, Palin said a tax hike that hits earners over $250,000 would hit "millions of small businesses." That is untrue. The vast majority of small businesses barely break even and do not pay the top tax brackets. To get that figure, Republicans count affluent taxpayers who claim some income from some small business income as "small businessmen."
--Jonathan Weisman

9:20 p.m.
Sarah Palin repeated John McCain's claim that Barack Obama voted to increase taxes for every American earning more than $42,000 a year. This is a considerable stretch. Obama voted for a non-binding budget resolution that laid down general budgetary guidelines based on the assumption that the Bush tax cuts will expire, as scheduled, in 2011. The budget resolution did not represent a vote to raise taxes. Obama has said that he is in favor of continuing the Bush tax cuts for all but the wealthiest Americans.
--Michael Dobbs


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