More than 12 hours later, and after reading the transcript, reading other opinions, and viewing my Twitter notes, I can safely try to offer some opinions on last night’s face-off. It was certainly much, much more entertaining than last Friday’s presidential debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin.
- Joe, please look at the woman. It didn’t do hiim a ton of favors to barely look at his opponent. It’s the same crap McCain did last week.
- Biden had an effective parry for every assertion Palin made. He’s gaffe-prone, but he knows his shit.
- Meanwhile, Caribou Barbie is clearly reading off note cards and not giving us a whole lot in specifics.
- Not that’s she’s supposed to. Most of the Republican campaign as of late has been specific-lite, given the economic fallout made McCain’s economic rollout the week before moot.
- Biden is heavy on the Senate speak and wonkery, but this was a necessary tactic. Rather than taking it right to Palin, he focused on McCain’s policies and explained them in a way someone who understands the workings of a legislative body has to.
- Despite all the interviews of the past week, Palin is a much better debater than anyone probably gave her credit for.
- That said, it would be nice if she’d answer the damn question.
- Rather than answer said question, she’s “going to speak to the American people.” If Gwen Ifill hadn’t been hit with the sly attack from the Republican ops about her book just two days before, she probably would have hit her with a Jim Lehrer insistence. She has to be steaming.
- “Nukular.” Nuh uh. Eight years of that shit was enough, Governor. Learn basic fucking English.
- Palin tells Biden it’s “DRILL, BABY, DRILL!” Every time I hear McCain, Palin, or a Republican crowd chant that stupid slogan (as if off-shore oil drilling will magically fix everything), I imagine it has to get their men at full mast and their female followers gushing.
- “Say it ain’t so, Joe, there you go again.” The sound you heard immediately after that was all the Reaganites coming at the same time.
- McCain should hire Mark McGwire as a campaign spokesperson. Palin essentially told us that “we’re not here to talk about the past.” Apparently trying to fix the bad policies of the last administration isn’t worth talking about.
- Regarding the gays: Palin would like you to know she is aggressively, full-on, no-holds-barred TOLERANT. Still doesn’t like y’all getting hitched.
- Biden says he and Obama don’t support gay marriage, of course. God, I long for the day when a Democratic candidate comes out and says, “Yes, I support the right of gays and lesbians to marry in this country. Marriage is both a civil and religious institution, but since it is a civil institution, it is wrong to discriminate and not give those marriage rights to committed homosexual couples.”
- Can we get a politician who doesn’t feel the need to proclaim how much he or she loves Israel and say they’re the country’s best friend, please? I’m sure there are plenty of observant Jews concerned about the Israeli/Palestinian situation who are tired of having their collective knob swallowed.
- Also, Governor, American exceptionalism is tiresome, and it’s probably what gets us more animus even among our own allies as well as enemies (I’m willing to bet terrorists attack us and decry us for bouts of economic and military imperalism throughout the centuries.)
- Biden spanks the concept of McCain as maverick. Thank you.
- Based on Palin’s response to Ifill’s question about the VP and executive power, if elected, I assume she will be just redecorating Dick Cheney’s “undisclosed location” in a nicer shade of gray. Clearly, she has not a damn clue about what the Founding Fathers intended regarding separation of powers. She cited “flexibility in the office of Vice President,” meaning she’d be a Cheney you’d probably like to fuck.
- Biden’s response about the overreaching of Cheney’s office and the unitary executive: RIGHT ON POINT.
- Remind me what wars John McCain won again?
- Biden dropped a Shakespeare reference tonight. Warms my cold, black heart.
- Described McCain’s econ policy as “the ultimate bridge to nowhere.” SNAP.
- So nationalized health care is socialism but bailing out Wall Street and buying up bad mortgages isn’t? Oy.
- Folksy, non-sequitur shoutout to third graders in Alaska, Sarah? I deserve extra credit too for sitting through this. (Would Obama get away with giving a shoutout and self-bump to his homies on the South Side? Probably not.)
- Joe: never speak in the third person EVER AGAIN. You aren’t T.O., Karl Malone, or Ocho Cinco.
- But you got me with telling us about the car accident that killed your wife and daughter, sir, I gotta admit. (This was also smart: do not cede the family ground to Palin; Biden, in his commitment to fatherhood, commuted by train from Wilmington to D.C. every day so he could be with his sons.)
- “It’s so nice to speak directly to the American people, without the filter of the mainstream media.” Oh, Republicans, please stop trying to work the refs and blame the messenger. It’s transparent, and just because you say the news media is liberal doesn’t make it true in terms of coverage and balance. If that were true these days, George W. Bush would have been run out on a rail years ago, no one would have fostered the bullshit story that Al Gore said he “invented” the internet and was “the inspiration” for the book and movie Love Story. D.C. media like easy, cheap narratives and they like their access to power, and more often than not, that has been Republican power. The bigger names in broadcast and print political media are socially liberal (or at least centrist), but are economically conservative: they want their tax cuts. Also, they are owned by multi-national conglomerates whose CEOs vote Republican (see Sumner Redstone on the matter.) So, please stop with this “filter” bullshit. It might be a nice tactic to tap into the mis-directed anger of your supporters, but you look dumb to anyone with half a brain.
No one hit too hard, but there were more fireworks of interest here. Palin didn’t embarass herself further, but she didn’t fix the impression that she’s still not cut out for this by sticking to generalities and down-home speech. Biden didn’t put his foot in his mouth and backed off on any attacks that could have been spun as him beating up on Palin, when she gave him ample opportunity to.
It’s a win for the Democratic ticket, because the Republican ticket needed a Biden fuck-up and a sterling, outta-the-park performance by Palin to make a dent in the current poll deficit.