Saturday, 4 October 2008

Palin debate painful

I managed to restrain myself from staying up until 2 am to watch the Biden-Palin debate live.  I am a junkie, but I need my sleep, too.  My wife wanted to watch it too, so I waited until the next night to watch it in its entirety.  My reaction--painful.

I thought Gwen Ifil did a great job moderating the debate, but it irritated that she didn't pursue any of her questions.  When Palin stated clearly in the beginning that she would not answer the questions asked, she was never challenged.  She would be asked about Afganistan, and she would veer off into talking about her record as Mayor of Wasilla. In fact, she seemed capable of answering any question in terms of energy independence.

At first it bothered me that Biden never challenged any of her BS points.  When she went off about there being billions of gallons of oil in Alaska, Biden hardly laid a glove on her.  She talked about oil and gas in a question about climate change, for God's sake!

However, I now think that Biden was very smart.  Much of the punditry had written and talked about the danger he was in if he came off as sexist, patronizing, or arrogant.  He surely could have skinned her and made a pencil case from her shin bone if he wanted, but that might have backfired.  Instead, he treated her with respect, never attacked her personally, and so came off like a really nice, intelligent, and honorable man (which he is).  If he had gutted her (as I kind of hoped he would), the news would have been about the personal stuff, not the substance.  So, there was no benefit to that.  

So, what the Obama-Biden ticket has now done is to take her off the radar.  We will now see and hear little about her, which is very bad for McCain.  Palin is the only thing that has brought people to his rallies and phone banks.  Her negatives are rising, and the enthusiasm of the base is waning.  Great strategic move by the dems IMO.

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