Thursday, October 02, 2008

The Great Debate

What an interesting debate.

The best line of the evening didn't come from either of the candidates... it came from Darstar when Ifill asked about Pakistan:
Oh no... she can't see Pakistan from her house, will she know where it is?
Darstar and I thought Palin came off alternately as both saccharine cheerleader and trite school marm. Her transparently folksy "dern it" and "doggonit" were just wayyyy over the top.

She did ok reading off of her little cards, though, I must say. She seemed most comfortable when talking about oil, but alas... it's very difficult to weave oil into every issue. I was a little surprised that she baited Gwen Ifill with the VP powers comment... she clearly did it on purpose but I don't understand why, especially after Biden took her comment and proceeded to beat her over the head with it. My guess is that Cheney and his real-life power grab doesn't sit well with the majority of Americans. She seems to be leaning very neo-con in that regard. Scary.

Biden was off to a painfully slow start... for the first fifteen minutes I thought he was a goner. When he finally came alive his relaxed performance just reinforced for me that you cannot fake knowledge and experience. He was able to tie complex concepts together and weave his message inbetween. He also didn't pull too many dodges... unlike Palin, who had a tendency to do a redirect instead of answering questions she wasn't prepared for. Biden, on the other hand, scored really great points without inducing what I like to call "the cringe factor", that icky annoyed feeling I get when I feel like I'm being pandered to. I thought the catch in his voice when talking about his son going to Iraq might have been contrived but Darstar thought it was authentic. Since it was in the context of his son possibly dying, I'll concede the point to Dar. I also ended up really liking the way he didn't directly battle Palin and instead hammered on McCain and Bush. I thought it was going to be a lame strategy but it came off ok, I thought.

IMO Biden won it handily but even in my bias I will concede that Palin didn't exactly stab herself in the eye. The format was perfect for her and I'm sure the right is joyfully relieved that she didn't sound like a total idiot (note to Palin: the general in Afghanistan you were so anxious talk about is McKiernan, not McClellan... oops!!).

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