Thursday, October 2, 2008

Live-Blogging the Veep Debate

Okay, so I'll admit, I have mixed feelings about Sarah Palin. I like her a lot, but I'm starting to agree with those conservatives out there who suspect she may not have been the wisest choice. I suppose tonight will be a big part of her chance to prove them wrong. With no further ado:

Biden is blaming the financial crisis on Bush's policies and a lack of oversight. Who sits on the oversight committee? Certainly no Democrats, right? Oh, wait, several? Including high-profile Democrats, who have themselves complained about the lack of oversight, despite being personally responsible for that oversight? Kettle, this is Pot. Kettle, this is Pot. You're black, over.

Palin hit back on that one, but not as strongly she could have.

I like Palin's call for individual financial responsibility. This is a message that ought to be front and center.

I love the way Palin says "Darn Right".

I can't get over the fact that Biden, or anyone, can credibly claim that "deregulation" of banking is at the source of the current problems.

Where Joe Biden comes from, soaking the rich is called "fairness". Glad I'm not from there.

Palin: "Unless you're pleased with the way the federal government has been handling anything recently, I can't imagine you'd be pleased with the way the government will run your health care." Nice.

Since when is education an engine for economic growth? I know this is something we all talk about as if it's fundamental physics, but in every nation I can think of, countries get rich before they build first-world quality education systems.

Biden is pulling out the Big Oil/"obscene profits" bogeyman. Sadly, this one works for people.

Could you hold off on the whole "corruption and greed" there, Gov'nor? There were plenty of honest businesses in trouble, and you're just pandering to the same class-warfare the Democratic ticket is selling.

Palin on Climate Change: a knockout. Excellent.

Palin pulled out Biden's own denouncement of Obama's vote against troop funding. Perfect. Everyone was expecting it, but she pulled it off very subtly.

Despite all the worries, I've been happy with Ifill's questions. Nobody else will be, of course.

See: Which is more dangerous, Pakistan or Iran? Good question. Biden makes a decent argument for Pakistan. And a difficult and dangerous one, I think, since I think Pakistan is the (even) more intractable problem.

Palin's really proud that she can say Ahmedinejad.

Way to name-drop Henry Kissinger, bless him.

"That is beyond bad judgement; that is dangerous." Nice. Followed by a great definition of diplomacy.

Joe Biden is talking about Joe Biden in third person. I love it.

Anyone playing the drinking game where you take a drink for each mention of George Bush just lost.

Palin just demonstrated a solid understanding of the difference between "the Surge" in Iraq in particular and counterinsurgency strategy in general. A better understanding than Biden's, apparently, as he keeps quoting the general who warned that the "surge" strategy won't work in Afghanistan when he doesn't realize this supports Palin's argument that the counterinsurgency lessons of Iraq can be applied there. She corrected him, saying that certainly didn't rule out the effectiveness of a counterinsurgency "clear, hold, build" strategy focused on security and infrastructure development. Biden didn't follow that, apparently, because he says that is exactly what this general said. For some reason I doubt that.

I like how Obama and Biden are willing to talk extremely hawkish on places like Darfur, where there is absolutely no chance of us actually doing anything.

I'm getting a bit tired of Palin's catchphrases. And if I'm getting tired, you know she's going to get skewered for them tomorrow.

Joe Biden: Barack Obama will declare war on the rich. Not in so few words, of course, but there's not many other ways to read it.

So, who won? I'm not really one to say. Palin definitely had more to prove, and I think she did pretty well. With few exceptions, she avoided the sense that she was spouting memorized talking points. She was knowledgeable about the Israel-Palestine situation, as well as about the basics of counterinsurgency strategy. Biden was Biden, but without any of the serious slip-ups that we were all either fearing or hoping for. I'm really curious to see the reactions, now.


Elephantschild said...

She didn't bomb, and honestly, that's about as good as I'm coming to expect from this election.

Rita Loca said...

I think she did well. I think she and McCain have got to get tougher and fight back a bit more.

Kristina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kristina said...

I have to say, Palin's call for personal responsibility was probably the most intelligent thing I've heard all night. I was skeptical of Palin too, and still am...but with all the blame-gaming going on, the suggestion that we need to be accountable for our own actions is refreshing. Unfortunately, it's never brought up because most people don't want to be told that their problems are partly their fault.

Someone needs to tell Joe Biden what my dad always told me: "Life's not fair".