Thinking Veep

I’ve been basically silent on the American election, letting my dad take the reins in most cases. I’ve found the process to be long and arduous, and basically devoid of any real content. The debates have gotten me fueled, though, and I’m going to chime alongside my dad’s post on Palin.

Frankly, I didn’t think that Palin that bad gramatically either, while listening to her. The brunt of her point was generally speaking carried out well enough, through inflections if nothing else, which doesn’t always translate well into text. There were a few moments where she sounded a bit incoherent, but I thought something like her bloop at the end, where she said McCain was the man America wanted to “leave”, was a far bigger error than little phrase mishaps. But I did think that it was pretty clear that she, like McCain, is really scrambling to find any sort of counters for the major themes the Obama campaign is bringing out. This was a far more important piece of information to derive from the debates than “Palin is slightly incoherent”.

I think from here on in, the Dems soar to victory. Why? Because the campaign is back on track. For a long while now, we’ve been distracted by racism, then sexism, then agism, then experienceism, then sexism again in Palin… and ultimately the polls have only been swayed by the overlying tones, not the points made by the candidates. But in the last couple weeks, Obama has managed to begin bringing attention back to issues like health care and the economy, and reflecting on how poorly Bush has done in those areas.

Every time Biden attacked McCain for being like Bush, there was no response. Period. And Palin didn’t even bother responding in most cases. She didn’t have any “cue cards” on those points, because McCain’s staff knows there’s nothing to be said. When Biden argues that McCain is no maverick, because he votes 97% of the time alongside Bush, the best Palin can do is what she has done thus far… stumble about with the statement “but, you know, he’s KNOWN as the Maverick!” On the logical front, it was clear that Biden was superior, not just because he’s better than Palin — which he is — but because Obama’s campaign’s logic is superior.

On the image front, which is largely the topic of interest when considering Palin, Biden did something even more incredible. He brought himself up to her level in appeal. It’s been mentioned by most people, but it hasn’t been much of a hot point because, frankly, men find the winking grinning Palin more enticing than the logical old Biden. But I was moved pretty deeply when Biden did what must have been a first and nearly cried on stage. By bringing up his own son’s near death, he made it a lot easier to respect him as a human being, not just a domineering old man. At the same time, he avoided bashing Palin too overtly — the Bridge to Nowhere reference was probably the biggest shot — so he never came across as flaunting his superior knowledge over a woman.

With all this in mind, I think it’s pretty easy to say that the viewers were right in saying Biden had won the debate. Palin did exceed expectations, in my opinion. Although I wondered ahead of time if she would, since I figured some of her mistakes in previous clips were due to her head being so full of talking points for the debate. But even if she did beat out her admittedly low standard, she still wasn’t a match for Biden, and unless Obama trips up against McCain there’s no reason to believe that this isn’t an indicator of huge Democractic momentum.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. James Pate
    Oct 06, 2008 @ 15:40:04

    Wait a second, is the author here Stephen, or Stephen’s son or daughter? I’m confused here!


  2. nebcanuck
    Oct 06, 2008 @ 15:43:09

    My name is Ben. I’m Stephen’s son. I don’t post all that often on here, but I’m theoretically a co-author!

    Nice to meet you, James!


  3. James Pate
    Oct 07, 2008 @ 18:25:02

    You too, Ben! Glad to read your comments.


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