Blogging the VP debate live!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

I've been quite excited to watch this debate, so I thought I would write down my thoughts about it as I'm watching it.

9:06 After the first question, I'm quite surprised by how well Joe Biden is speaking.  I tend to expect him to kind of say crazy things and engage in hyperbole.  So far though, he seems rather disciplined and outlining the Obama plan was good.

Regarding Palin, gauging economy by talking to folks during soccer games?  Also, it seems that Palin's answers so far have really just been platitudes and speaking points.  However, she hasn't said anything completely stupid yet but I have hope that she will in the next few hours.

9:15:  Joe Biden is sort of a debating pitbull isn't he.  I haven't seen anyone so explicitly call shenanigans on someone during a political debate as when Biden busted Palin on her failing to talk about deregulation and on her claim that Obama voted to raise taxes 94 times.

9:18  I'm not sure if Palin understands what wealth redistribution is.  How is a tax cut wealth redistribution?

9:20 Joe Biden's appeal to figures is a good strategy, he making it quite clear that he knows more than Palin.  Also, I'm glad he's talking about the failings of the McCain health plan.  The one thing that I really don't like about the McCain platform is his healthcare policy.

9:25 Palin shouldn't have pointed out that she's "been only doing this for 5 weeks".  

9:27 Palin sounds panicky, she really stumbled on the question regarding whether she would support McCain's vote for the bankruptcy bill.

9:28 Now Biden is saying something that sounds sort of silly to me.  He's suggesting that folks should be able to adjust the principle for their mortgages.  That's not going to work.  How can you owe less than you borrowed?  I also have no idea why Palin is ranting about energy?  I'm not sure what this has to do with the bankruptcy bill.  I think she needs to take a moment and breath and to calm down.

9:20 Climate change!  Something I actually know something about!  Palin's denying anthropomorphic climate change.  It looks like she's pulling a Bush.  Also, I'm not sure how the all above approach (including domestic drilling) will prevent other countries from emitting GHGs.  I actually feel a little bad for her, I want her to get at least one question.  

Joe Biden is doing a good job answering this question too.  He's clearly winning at this point, he's being far more specific than Palin is.  I don't think he should have said "drill we must" though.  Drilling is a distraction from the real energy issues.

9:34 Re: Palin: Natural gas isn't clean, burning any hydrocarbons result in the emission of GHG and there really isn't any such thing as clean coal.  Re: Biden: Coal gasification is a better alternative to regular coal burning.  Coal mining really does make a mess of things.  I'm glad that Biden is voicing his support of same-sex marriage.  This whole hatin' on gay folks is getting old.

9:37 Palin is missing the point about the visitations, it's already the case that gay couples can't visit each other in hospitals other than during visiting hours.  It's because there isn't legal recognition of same-sex marriages and as such a same-sex partner isn't regarded as family.  Biden shouldn't have backtracked on his apparent initial support of same-sex marriage.

9:40 Regarding the funding the troops thing, Palin is mincing words the same way that McCain did during the first presidential debate.  I hope Biden calls shenanigans like Obama did.

9:41 It seems that Biden isn't going to call shenanigans.  Nevermind, he's calling shenanigans.

9:43 Palin suggesting that time-tables is equivalent to surrender is old bustedness.  However, she did score a point with noting that Biden would have ran with McCain.  

9:48 "Nucular", "hate us for our rights", when did Bush join this debate?

9:50  Ooh, this should be a good question, what did this administration do well regarding Israel.  I wonder if Palin will be able to say much about it.  

9:52 Israel has been good at achieving peace?  Also she apparently couldn't tell us what this administration did well.  This question is also playing to Biden's strengths.  He really does seem to know a lot regarding foreign policy.  I hope the comfort on this issue results in him saying something crazy for the sake of my entertainment.

9:54 I think Palin actually scored a point in suggesting that Obama/Biden has been rather backwards looking in this campaign.  Biden did have a good response though but I think Palin might have scored this point.

9:56 Palin's answer about nuclear weapons doesn't make sense, I don't even know what to say about this.  She seems to panic and then just rant when she gets hit with a question she isn't ready for.  She needs to take a moment and think before she starts talking when she gets a question that surprises her.

9:59 Biden almost said something crazy but he caught himself.  Palin did respond well regarding what "McClelland" said (though his name is actually McKiernan).  Biden also had a weak response.  So it seems that Palin scored another point, albeit a point where she referred to a civil war general.

10:08 What would you do if you were president?  Fluff question!

10:09 I think Wasilla, AK needs some reality from Washington, D.C.

10:11 "There you go again" c'mon get your own soundbites, I know you like Reagan but don't steal his gotchas.  Also talking about Biden's dead wife?  She does seem to know something about education but I wish she didn't talk in platitudes.

10:15 It seems that Biden expects to have a strong vice-presidency.  Though, it seems pretty safe that he won't pull any Dick Cheney's.  At least he shouldn't shoot anyone in the face.

10:18 Regarding Palin's weakness, I don't think it's lack of experience, I think it's lack of knowledge about what's going on.  Regarding Biden's weakness, it isn't lack of discipline, it's an overabundance of creepy smiles.  

10:21 Actually, Palin has an excess of creepy plastic smileyness as well.

10: 24 Final question!  But it was a fluff question.  Stupid fluff questions.

10:29 Final statements.  
Palin: busting the chops of the mainstream media and saying that they're proud to be American and want to fight for the middle-class?  C'mon give me substance not platitudes.  Wait?  We'll tell our kids about a time we were free?  What the fuck?!?

Biden: Platitudes....  Talking about old neighborhood....  Mom's and dad's telling you to believe in yourself....  Dad's old expression....  God bless everyone....  Yawn....

Final Thoughts:
I'm pretty sure Biden kicked ass.  Also the last debate is at Hofstra?  I'll be presenting at a conference at Hofstra in March!  Palin seemed sort of panicky throughout the debate until the end.  Biden maintained discipline didn't say anything crazy, though it seemed that at times he wanted to.  Now, I'm going to sign off and see what the professional pundits say.


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