By JR on Friday, October 03, 2008
Maybe John McCain should fire the advisers who won't let Sarah Palin do more interviews. The Alaska Governor has faced two major campaign challenges -- her acceptance speech and last night's debate -- and each time she's shown herself worthy of the national stage. Let Mrs. Palin be herself, and then when she makes a mistake, as every candidate does, it won't be treated like some epic judgment on her fitness to be Vice President.
Mrs. Palin couldn't match Mr. Biden's fluency on Bosnia or Darfur last night, but not too long ago neither could Barack Obama. The Republican nominee more than held her own on foreign policy in general, and in our view won on points at least on Iraq and Afghanistan. She didn't let Mr. Biden get away with interpreting the comments of a U.S. general in Afghanistan as a rejection of Mr. McCain's strategy. And on Iraq she exposed both Mr. Biden's change of heart on the war, and his change of heart on Mr. Obama's views on the war. At times Mr. Biden even looked a little frustrated -- as if he couldn't quite believe he had to share the stage with someone who hasn't hung out with Dick Lugar or . . . Mike Mansfield back when the Senate was still a civil place. Or someone who says "doggonit."
She killed. She had him at "Nice to meet you. Hey, can I call you Joe?" She was the star. He was the second male lead, the good-natured best friend of the leading man. She was not petrified but peppy.
The whole debate was about Sarah Palin. She is not a person of thought but of action. Interviews are about thinking, about reflecting, marshaling data and integrating it into an answer. Debates are more active, more propelled-they are thrust and parry. They are for campaigners. She is a campaigner. Her syntax did not hold, but her magnetism did. At one point she literally winked at the nation.
As far as Mrs. Palin was concerned, Gwen Ifill was not there, and Joe Biden was not there. Sarah and the camera were there. This was classic "talk over the heads of the media straight to the people," and it is a long time since I've seen it done so well, though so transparently. There were moments when she seemed to be doing an infomercial pitch for charm in politics. But it was an effective infomercial.
Joe Biden seems to have walked in thinking that she was an idiot and that he only had to patiently wait for this fact to reveal itself. This was a miscalculation. He showed great forbearance. Too much forbearance. She said of his intentions on Iraq, "Your plan is a white flag of surrender." This deserved an indignant response, or at least a small bop on the head, from Mr. Biden, who has been for five years righter on Iraq than the Republican administration. He was instead mild.
The heart of her message was a complete populist pitch. "Joe Six-Pack" and "soccer moms" should unite to fight the tormentors who forced mortgages on us. She spoke of "Main Streeters like me." A question is at what point shiny, happy populism becomes cheerful manipulation.
Sarah Palin saved John McCain again Thursday night. She is the political equivalent of cardiac paddles: Clear! Zap! We've got a beat! She will re-electrify the base. More than that, an hour and a half of talking to America will take her to a new level of stardom. Watch her crowds this weekend. She's about to get jumpers, the old political name for people who are so excited to see you they start to jump.
Governor Palin destroyed Senator Biden tonight and had fun doing it. She was a smiling barracuda teasing a guppy. The joy on her face was infectious - it was lost on Biden until she even made him smile broadly with her "There you go again" Reaganisms. There were no teleprompters. There were no MSM editing the footage to make her look bad. It was just plain Sarah - the most authentic person working as a politician I have ever seen in my lifetime.
Now if you thought Senator Biden was the winner you should have listened to Karl Rove on the roundup. He said Biden made ten undisputable misstatements and another eleven he could argue about. Biden may have sounded experienced - unfortunately he was spewing fiction. However, I never heard a word about the most damaging thing he had to say. No one apparently caught it or if they did I didn't catch it.
He said the bankruptcy courts should be able to readjust not just the interest rate on your home (in default) they should be able to adjust the principal. For example your $500,000 mortgage now is supported by a $250,000 house. He and Obama want taxpayers or the lender to foot the bill for the $250,000 loss. They support having taxpayers footing the $250,000 bill (or the lender) so the homeowner could keep their home.
That is communism. Taking property by government fiat. It is most surprising that Democrats have become so comfortable with Karl Marx that a vice-presidential candidate would espouse confiscation of private property on national TV in a presidential debate. However, if Barrack Obama and the Democrats take over the administration and the Congress I guess we need to get a copy of Das Capital to discover the many ways the American culture will be undermined and our sovereignty stolen
Comment from Dick McDonald, not online elsewhere
Senator Joe Biden lied at least 14 times during the vice presidential debate according to those counting at John McCain's presidential headquarters. Tucker Bounds, a spokesman from GOP presidential candidate John McCain's campaign said in a statement, ""Joe Biden graduated from his trademark verbal gaffe to outright lie in tonight's debate." McCain's blogger-in-chief Michael Goldfarb chronicled the 14 lies HERE.
On the foreign policy front, Biden challenged Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin when she said Barack Obama's pledge to meet with any foreign leaders, including Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, without precondition "goes beyond naivete and goes beyond poor judgment." Biden lectured Palin, "That's just simply not true about Barack Obama. He did not say he'd sit down with Ahmadinejad." During the YouTube Democratic primary debate last July Obama was asked if he would meet the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, and North Korea without "precondition" during his first year in office. "I would," he replied.
Biden appeared to attack Obama for making that very statement in August 2007. While Biden was challenging Obama for the Democratic nomination for president Biden said he would not support such a pledge. "Would I make a blanket commitment to meet unconditionally with the leaders of each of those countries within the first year I was elected president?" he said in an appearance at the National Press Club. "Absolutely positively no."
Five of the lies Biden told were related to tax and energy votes. During the debate Biden adamantly claimed McCain voted the same way as Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama did on a vote to raise taxes on those making $42,000 a year. The legislative record shows McCain was not present in the Senate for either of those votes and is recorded as "not voting."
Sarah won this by a mile. This was her first unscripted moment on national stage and she proved herself. This makes me wonder how many good answers Gibson and Couric left on the cutting table. It would be interesting to see how the MSM spins their insistance that Palin is dumb.
Was Biden better with points? Maybe. But who in the audience noticed that? Biden mostly made wonkish points that will give boners to Washington insiders. Sarah talked in a language ordinary Americans understand.
Even fluffy Plouffe agreed (sort of) that Sarah did good. McCain's chances just went way up. McCain has taken a big hit by suspending his campaign to work on the economic crisis. This debate makes up for that.
Kos: "Sarah Palin won!" He tried to be sarcastic, he tried to spin it, but he had to admit it.
And this was the most telling part of his post: "So who won? Who cares. Nothing happened to change the dynamics of this race. Palin proved that she's still unable to answer the questions posed to her, but she also didn't fall flat on her face. And in the ridiculously depressed expectations for the governor of Alaska, she didn't crash and burn. But she didn't need to maintain the status quo. That's toxic territory for her. She needed to prove that she could get beyond pre-packaged talking points to demonstrating some capacity for analytical thought. In that regard, she failed."
Those grapes are sour.
Republican Sarah Palin flicks off Democrat Joe Biden's talking points. The moose hunter bags another one.
Biden has veered off the facts into Daily Kos land. Biden saying Republican John McCain was wrong on the war. Two words: The Surge. Palin has sliced this guy bad. She shows he knows nothing about energy, the economy and the war. Every answer he has is Bush, Bush, Bush. He's scripted. She's not. Biden's lying. She's not.
I don't know if she can still save McCain, but she got game. Line of the night: Doggone it, Joe. : The shot of the night, after the debate, she took a sleeping Trig and perched him on her shoulder. Not fair but them's the breaks.
Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your roundup of Obama news and commentary at OBAMA WATCH (2). Email me (John Ray) here