Thursday, October 02, 2008

Repeat After Her...

Tonight’s Vice Presidential debate between Sen. Joe Biden and Gov. Sarah Palin was the most eagerly anticipated Vice Presidential debate in my memory. The anticipation centered on speculation over the performance of Gov. Palin.

Leading up to the debate, there seemed to be an effort to raise the bar in terms of the debate for Palin. After her disastrous interviews with Katie Couric on CBS and Charlie Gibson on ABC, this was portrayed as a make or break moment. In these interviews, she was woefully unprepared and looked foolish. As long as she didn’t wet herself or run away, her debate performance could be spun as a success.

The easy analysis would be to say that McCain thought he had a Republican Hillary Clinton and wound up with a female Dan Quayle. But there was no great “gotcha” moment (if I can borrow a misused phrase from the McCain campaign) that Biden scored against Palin the way that Lloyd Bentsen did against Quayle in 1988.

Palin seemed stuck on the same phrases and would veer off topic in order to return to some of the same points. Within the first few minutes, Gov. Palin provided all the catch phrases one would need to create your own Sarah Palin drinking game. If you took a sip of alcohol every time she uttered the phrase, “The Maverick John McCain,” or “Wall Street greed and corruption,” you would have been wasted before the forth question.

Biden definitely did a better job. While actual facts and figures may not impress the voters, they should. Biden knew more about the issues and did a better job presenting the case for the Obama-Biden ticket. Palin held her own on some points, but neither side likely won any converts.

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