Thursday, August 22, 2019 13:38

Quick thoughts on the VP Debate

Posted by ep on Thursday, October 2, 2008, 23:15
This news item was posted in Politics category and has 25 Comments so far.

*Updated 8/3 (forgot to add the link to the forum with additional images:

Going into the debate a lot of people thought Palin was going to fall on her face when put on the stage with Biden. I thought that she would do fine. Certainly not great, but nothing like the interviews she had with Couric. The fact that she could use cue cards and wasn’t asked for specifics the way Couric would ask certainly helped her performance.

I kept track of various things during the debate, obviously these are subjective

Brought up
Tried to link
to Bush
Talked about
‘Cute’/ human
Palin 8 10+ 0 9 7
Biden 0 1 7 2 3

(The “Cute” column includes the various winks, etc.)

Clearly the Palin’s camp strategy going into the debate was to play up her folksiness/ average person appeal and to steer clear of anything regarding specifics. This was incredibly frustrating to me but I see how it could limit damage and even appeal to people who want another C student in the White House. Biden did call her out on it once, which I thought was the strongest part of the speech for Biden.

A few of my favorite Palinisms:

  • “Good to see we both love Israel.”
  • “Want to send a shout out…”
  • Apparently John McCain wants her to focus on working with families with special need kids. Really, that should be one of the top focuses for the VP?!

Polls about who ‘won’ the debate returned the following (

    CNN/Opinion Research
    Biden - 51%Palin - 36%CBS

    Biden - 46%

    Palin - 21%

    In the CBS poll of the uncommitted voters, 18% now say they will vote for Obama/Biden, while 10% now say McCain/Palin.


    Biden - 61%

    Palin - 39%

    AOL (non-scientific)

    Biden - 48%

    Palin - 45%

    Biden - 73%

    Palin - 23%


    Biden - 78.6%

    Palin - 18.9%

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25 Responses to “Quick thoughts on the VP Debate”

  1. Hyperboles
    3 October, 2008, 6:01

    Even though I personally wanted to see Biden destroy her during this debate, I feel like he did an outstanding job in remaining clear and focused. His position was a tough one, because if he was too hard, she and the campaign would have sought refuge behind the sexism shield again.
    Again, challenging someone on their experience and knowledge is not sexist. But because she and the campaign have had to frame her VP candidacy around her personal likability (because she has no experience to speak of to talk about) any challenge to Sarah Palin is taken as a personal affront.
    Last night I wanted to know where “The Barracuda” went. She did not get to be Alaska’s governor with winks and poses and dropped syllables.

  2. LaterSkater
    3 October, 2008, 7:53

    I wish I could remember the exact question, but I thought it was funny when the moderator asked a question that required quoting a previous statement Palin had made that included the statement “real good”. I could tell the moderator really wanted to change it to “really good” to make it proper english (not that there aren’t plenty of bright and talented people that slaughter the written and spoken word every day).

  3. Antigrammatik
    3 October, 2008, 8:57

    I liked the Maverick rant at the end of the debate by Biden.

    When the question had nothing to do with energy, she kept talking about it. I wish the moderator had just said “shut up and answer the question”.

    All in all, I think that Biden did a better job of defending his positions and explaining their plans. It was a much better and more decisive debate than the presidential candidate debate. The last debate felt like a lot of fluff and no substance.

    I dig the wig.
    Wiggum ‘08

  4. 3 October, 2008, 14:45

    I would have to say that Biden won the debate, but due to the McCain/Palin strategy it was closer than expected. There were a lot of cliched moments and the folksiness definitely turned me off. I am certain where my vote will be going, this debate didn’t determine that, nor did it determine the minds of undecideds. This debate will go down in history as nothing more than a bookmark of McCain’s last unsuccessful bid at the presidency.

    Great blog, BTW I really enjoyed your commentary and style!

  5. 3 October, 2008, 16:06

    Ha! I almost forgot about her “shout out.” Too funny. Nice recap!

  6. 3 October, 2008, 16:12

    Would love to exchange blogrolls, my link for Part of The Queue is;

  7. 3 October, 2008, 16:18

    I thought the folksiness pushed the limits of tolerability. This was a VP debate, for god’s sake, not who will make the best homecoming queen. I originally come from a small town, and the idea that we’re all a bunch of folksy hicks like that bordered on offensive.

    People are talking up Palin’s performance because, well frankly, she didn’t fall flat on her face. I watched the debate a second time though, and if you really examine her responses, all she does is utter talking points and pre-rehearsed jabs. She doesn’t actually “debate” in the true sense by responding to her opponent (Biden). That makes me question her ability to think on her feet, and after Couric’s interview with her, I have serious doubts that she can.

  8. Ms. Jeley
    3 October, 2008, 20:03

    Considering that the expectations for Palin were so LOW, she did well. However, she still irritated the shit out of me. Biden was much more poised and actually the questions. She still came out at the ignorant VP candidate, in my humble opinion.

  9. Buster23
    3 October, 2008, 20:20

    Don’t hate the player; hate the game. Is it a bad thing to see a real person as a VP candidate? The party of “change you can believe in”, and “yes we can” is offering MORE of the SAME. Hah! Joe Biden has spent 35 years in the Senate, and Barack Obama selects him as a change agent? Give me a break? Even Joe doesn’t believe that. What I’m reading here would make Jim Jones proud. Drink up!

    We need more citizen politicians, not career politicians like Joe Biden. We need people who speak from their passion, not from a laundry list! “McCain voted XX times

  10. Buster23
    3 October, 2008, 20:30

    I guess you decided to stop me in midsentence on my previous post. We are already experiencing “Obama’s change you can believe in”, silence the opposition. “McCain voted… times against alternative energy” Who cares? Show me Obama’s record of accomplishment. How many times did he miss a vote in his career? How many times did he vote present? He is too safe; ala Joe Biden! His finger is always in the wind. Take a stand! On the important issues of the day, Obama says “me too”.

  11. 4 October, 2008, 0:40

    I have been planning on putting together a, “What has Obama Done?” post similar to the one I did for Gov. Palin.

    I hope you read and comment on that post once it up.

  12. 4 October, 2008, 0:48

    I agree, we need more citizens and not career politicians. But is it too much to ask for them to be intelligent citizens? You can be a down to earth, average American woman — without resorting to flirtations, shout-outs, and winks on camera. That is my main issue with Palin. I feel she sets women back with her bimbo-ish behavior. I may not have agreed with Hillary, but at least I could respect her.

    BTW, I also agree that McCain is a Maverick and takes a stand on issues he cares about. The problem is they aren’t necessarily stances people agree with.

  13. 4 October, 2008, 2:57

    love the breakdown! clearly it shows the whole ‘working class’ angle of the repubs’ veep strategy … obama versus palin it is then … because honestly, do the other two really figure in this picture?

  14. Jody
    4 October, 2008, 10:59

    I don’t have a TV, so I didn’t watch the debates. But the single most important issue to me is where the candidates stand on abortion.

  15. 4 October, 2008, 11:16

    madame - please retract ur sentence saying that you can respect hiLIARy clinton, i cant stand to read that…

  16. 6 October, 2008, 13:27

    The thing that confuses me about abortion being a primary Presidential issue is that the likelihood of the decision ever changing is incredibly unlikely.

    The Supreme Court would have to have a majority of Activist Judges to even agree to see the case.
    There is a legal precedent that once a case has been settled it shouldn’t be revisited. Chief Justice Roberts subscribes to this theory and believes Roe vs. Wade is a done deal and the Supreme Court shouldn’t review it. Therefore it would take a majority of judges that would be willing to basically rewrite the law just to try the case again.

    More details here:

  17. Jody
    6 October, 2008, 20:04

    Once I voted for Dianne Feinstein. I happen to really like her except for her views on abortion. I have regretted it since. If I vote for someone who supports abortion, I am part of the problem. I will never make that mistake again. The most important thing in my life is to stand up for what I believe in and to have integrity. For me that includes not ever supporting abortion.

  18. Jody
    7 October, 2008, 7:41

    By the way, I did read your article. Whether or not I can change abortion by my vote, it is still my responsibility to stand up for what is right. But as an example, IF I had voted for Bill Clinton, I would feel that I contributed to partial birth abortions.

  19. 7 October, 2008, 9:22

    I don’t want there to be any confusion, I am certainly not FOR abortion. Being born to a teenage mother I understand that a lot of other young women in that position might have chosen to terminate the pregnancy.

    I think the decision is between the expectant parents, their conscious and their God. If there is to be judgment on the decision I’m not wise enough to pass it, nor do I think the Government is.

  20. Antigrammatik
    7 October, 2008, 9:32

    (note: This isn’t directed towards any previous posts, it’s just something that I’ve heard lately used in reference to the candidates) I find it frustrating that people “want someone that they can have a beer with” as their president. Is Warren Buffet someone you could have a beer with? No, but I would want him managing my money. Why would your selection of a president be any different? To paraphrase a previous post, I want to feel like a mental midgit next to the president.

  21. 11 October, 2008, 6:27

    If your version of a “real” person is one that doesn’t have a working knowledge of history, current, or world events, then I do think it is a bad thing to see a “real” person as a vice presidential candidate. Having folksiness as her primary appeal shows how severely unqualified she is. It is not just a question experience, but of potential. I don’t see a bright future behind her confused and angry eyes, no matter how lovely they may be.

  22. teppish
    16 October, 2008, 12:38

    EP, in terms of challenging Roe V Wade, the president appoints the Supreme Court judges right? So, if the next president has to replace 1 or 2 judges, depending on his ideology (or eeeedeeeology (c) McCain), he can choose judges that can swing the vote. While Roberts said Roe V Wade is settled, he didn’t say whether he’d challenge abortion per se. I wonder if there are ways he can limit Roe v Wade to make abortion illegal, i.e defining that the fetus is viable at conception. I personally would rather not take that chance.

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