VP Debate Live-Blog
6:58pm: It’s evident that Biden knows a bit more regarding Afghanistan and Nukes. Palin is playing the buzzwords though. Which is more effective?
7:01pm: Biden stumbles a little bit refuting Palin’s claim that the US general in Afghanistan claimed the surge tactics wouldn’t work there.
7:03pm: Palin – I’m just a simple mutated chicken
…ha ha ha. That’ll probably ring her some points, nevertheless. And will she talk about Darfur? Yup, she agrees with Biden. Classic McCain tactic.
Brandon Lueken – She cites her lack of talent as a Washington outsider? She’s got a loooooooooong hour ahead of her.
7:06pm: Palin is predicting the future and what the pundits are going to say. The pundits haven’t been exactly on your side.
Walker Lindley – Palin saying Biden is the flip-flopper? Here’s a list of McCain’s over 75 flip flops: http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/flipflops
7:08pm: Man, I’m really trying not to be biased here, but Palin isn’t making it easy.
7:09pm: Palin – We’re mavericks damn it. Why can’t you just understand that!
7:12pm: Palin does well with her stupid ass ”extra credit” comment.
On Biden’s comment:
Brandon Lueken – You’re asking Home Depot employees about Foreign Affairs? What kind of schools do they have in Delaware?
7:13pm: Palin is doing a bit better. Sounding down to earth.
7:14pm: Biden is apparently one of three senators that all the other senators go to. Rumor on the street.
Brandon Lueken – Less flexibility in No Child Left Behind? That *terrible* bill? My god, someone stop that woman!
We saw the realities of NCLB at a Tacoma School Board Meeting
7:17pm: Thank you Biden for pointing out the realities of Cheney’s stealing of power.
Walker Lindley – Oh, oh, great question from Ifil about the Constitution. And oh my god. Palin agrees that the VP is part of two branches of our government. She says the Constitution gives flexibility there. IT DOES NOT. The Constitution says the VP is part of the Executive branch, end of story. No real Constitutional scholar worth anything would ever say otherwise.
7:18pm: Palin – I’m a mom. I’m qualified.
I doubt that Palin had to worry about many college tuition bills during her governorship. Sounding well with her claims of reform, even though it’s bs.
Biden disects Palin’s strong words decently. Almost gets caught up with the gender stuff though.
7:21pm: Palin – MAVERICK!!!!! WE’RE FUCKING MAVERICKS! WHY DOES NO ONE LISTEN TO ME! I AM MAVERICK MOM!
7:23pm: Thank you, Biden, for attacking the maverick claim. Way to go!
7:25pm: Biden probably just went over everyone’s head.
7:26pm: Good questions by Ifil.
7:29pm: Palin is speaking in banalities claiming she’s right and Biden is wrong. I really don’t think either Palin or Biden are the average middle class family.
7:30pm: Gotta admit, Palin had a strong closing statement.
Walker Lindley – Ya, Palin had a good closing statement, although a lot of it was inaccurate. Her last line about McCain having been the only one to fight for your freedom was delivered well and had a good double-meaning. I bet we’ll hear that line more and it’ll be attributed to Palin. That way they get to keep using a line that sounds and feels good, plus it would make Palin look better.
7:32pm: Biden’s closer was strong but a little rocky. Palin was likely a bit better.
Welp, that’s the end of the one and only VP debate. Who performed best?
Electric Elliot’s Analysis:
Sen. Biden presented very detailed and obviously informed answers to Ifil’s very good questions (I’d say Ifil was one of the better moderators I’ve seen in something like this.) He directly attacked McCain’s policies and attempted to draw Bush and Cheney into the mix, tying them to John McCain. Biden dismissed and went for the neck on most of Palin’s Obama attacks clarifying the policy realities in usually easy to follow rhetoric. Biden didn’t really slip as most expect him to and only avoided the actual questions a couple times.
Strengths: Obvious experience and knowledge. Direct attribution to policies. Addressed Palin’s attacks.
Weaknesses: Might have overdone explanations. Lazy attempts to pander.
Gov. Palin didn’t blow it like everyone expected she would. In fact, in the early stages and end of the debate Palin was looking rather strong, offering a “down to earth” persona and standing with most of her statements. It was clear, though, that her knowledge paled in comparison to Biden, as evidenced by her constant avoidance of the questions and fall back to her energy policy and maverick claims. She definitely was pandering to the “middle-class” with her townee rhetoric “don’tchaknow, golly gee” which will score her some points.
Strengths: Didn’t fuck up like everyone was expecting. Able to connect to average American. Down-to-Earth. Scores points with the outsider claim.
Weaknesses: Didn’t answer many questions. Constant pandering. Didn’t look as well versed in policy or Washington/World knowledge as Biden. Overused the “maverick” claim.
The Core: The fact that Palin didn’t totally blow it tonight definitely helped her out a lot. Biden is an experienced politician and an experienced debater. Palin was able to run with him, but her lack of relevant knowledge and inability to answer questions without pandering and jumping back to the same “maverick”, “we’re the real change” rhetoric definitely hurt her.
Biden looked strong. Really strong. No blunders, no “clean black man” mess ups. He spoke to nearly every question with detailed explanations and a strong sense of professionalism. Palin definitely played the townee, “average American card” to the point that is seemed forced and overdone. It’ll certainly still bring in some votes but a down to Earth but hollow performance was not able to compete with Biden’s overthetop experience.
VP DEBATE WINNER:
SEN. JOE BIDEN
What do you think? Did Biden show experience prowess? Did Palin connect to voters?
Thanks to everyone who followed and participated in The Melon’s first live-blog. Please drop any additional information and reactions in our comments section.
Walker Lindley – I’m not sure I agree with all the analysis here: http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/10/2/23101/4268/952/618411 . But I’m once again surprised by the public’s reaction to a debate that seemed, to me, be pretty even.
Also, I’ve been listening to NPR’s call-in after the debate. Just now someone called in saying that Palin isn’t prepared at all to be President and that it’s scary to think she could be President. The host of the show asked the audience (they’re broadcasting from a theater in St. Louis where they were all listening to the debate) if anyone disagreed. There was a good 10 seconds of silence followed by laughter. Wow, just….wow.
Emily Knudsen – I gotta disagree with you on the moderator comment. I thought she was one of the weakest moderators. She asked some pretty decent questions but she didn’t hold them to answering them. She just let them answer however they wanted (as Palin claimed she would do anyhow), but I think their true colors would have stood out more if Ifill forced them to be specific. On another note, the format of this debate was starkly
different than the presidential debate in which the moderator encouraged them to address one another. Of course, a true debate never really occurred but I wonder what would have happened if the two VP candidates were able to directly question the other. It would have made for a much more entertaining debate.
Chris “The Wedge” Van Vechten – We played Palin Bingo at the Cellar (UPS.) I think she won the debate because she didn’t fuck-up like everyone expected her to. She didn’t answer a single question – but Biden looked old.