Thursday, October 02, 2008
VP debate reaction
The debate between Sarah Palin and Joe Biden pretty much came off as as a draw.
Biden did a solid job of keeping his cool and challenging John McCain's weaknesses.
And don't get me wrong, I don't think Gov. Palin has any business being elected to national office at this point, but let's face it: In the view of a large portion of the American public, backed by the spin machine that is talk radio and Fox News, Palin won by not losing Thursday night.
She didn't self-destruct in a blaze of stuttering and ignorance of complicated concepts, so she's the winner.
She didn't look like a total incompetent, creationist, beauty queen, global-warming denier? She wins.
If she had thrown up on the podium, babbled about the liberal media conspiring to get her and stuttered to a standstill? She would have lost.
But because she was folksy and quoted Ronald Reagan and didn't lose, she won. Bam, give McCain-Palin the White House.
You had to chuckle at Fox News assembling a roomful of Republicans (with a beer sponsor's logo shining in the background) and asking them how Gov. Palin did. They swooned, they chirped their support, they praised the Alaskan who wants to "Drill, baby, drill."
Biden was remarkably restrained, and he pointed out how this is not really about Palin, but McCain and George W. Bush, the worst president in memory.
We're in a huge, transforming global financial crisis, caused by American greed and partly caused by the party in charge, and we're going to swoon for a small-town mayor-turned governor whose great accomplishment Thursday night was she was folksy and didn't make a total fool out of herself?
God help us, but it was a hugely important debate because it brought probably a record audience to the TV screens of America to hear political candidates debate some of the issues. That it might inspire a new generation of people to be active in the democratic process? Say it is so, Joe. We salute the under-control Biden and the GOP's rising star Palin.
Forget the spinmeisters who followed the program on TV, including Connecticut's own Joe Lieberman heard on one network praising Palin to the moon.
We're all relieved that Palin is a capable debater and politician, in case the Republicans shake off the stink of eight terrible years and somehow win this thing.
But as far as this catapaulting McCain over Barack "Kill Bin Laden" Obama, a guy with a cleaner slate, we'll have to see about that. As I said, God help us.