Archive for Thursday, October 2, 2008

Biden, Palin square off in vice presidential debate

Gwen Ifill introduces the candidates.

October 2, 2008


VP debate draws many viewers

With a tightly contested presidential race across the nation, millions of Americans were expected to watch or listen to Thursday night's vice presidential debate. Back here in Lawrence, several groups closely followed the debate - including approximately 200 KU students. Enlarge video

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Who won the vice presidential debate?

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Sen. Biden

¢ On the Iraq war: "Barack Obama offered a clear plan. Shift responsibility to Iraqis over the next 16 months. Draw down our combat troops. Ironically the same plan that (Nouri al-) Maliki, the prime minister of Iraq, and George Bush are now negotiating. The only odd man out here, only one left out is John McCain."

¢ On who is at fault for the subprime lending meltdown: "Two years ago Barack Obama warned about the subprime mortgage crisis. John McCain said shortly after that in December he was surprised there was a subprime mortgage problem."

¢ On the causes of climate change: "If you don't understand what the cause is, it's virtually impossible to come up with a solution. We know what the cause is. The cause is man-made. That's the cause. That's why the polar ice cap is melting."

Gov. Palin

¢ On the Iraq war: "Your plan is a white flag of surrender in Iraq, and that is not what our troops need to hear today, that's for sure. And it's not what our nation needs to be able to count on. You guys opposed the surge. The surge worked. Barack Obama still can't admit the surge works."

¢ On who is at fault for the subprime lending meltdown: "Darn right it was the predator lenders, who tried to talk Americans into thinking that it was smart to buy a $300,000 house if we could only afford a $100,000 house."

¢ On the causes of climate change: "I'm not one to attribute every man - activity of man to the changes in the climate. There is something to be said also for man's activities, but also for the cyclical temperature changes on our planet. But there are real changes going on in our climate."

— Under intense scrutiny, Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin stood her ground Thursday night against a vastly more experienced Joe Biden, debating the economy, energy and global warming, then challenging him on Iraq, "especially with your son in the National Guard."

The Alaska governor also noted that Biden had once said Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama wasn't ready to be commander in chief, "and I know again that you opposed the move that he made to try to cut off funding for the troops and I respect you for that."

Biden responded that John McCain, too, had voted against funding, and said the Republican presidential candidate had been "dead wrong on the fundamental issues relating to the conduct of the war."

The clash over Iraq was the most personal, and pointed, of the only vice presidential debate of the campaign, one in which Palin repeatedly cast herself as a non-Washington politician and part of a "team of mavericks" ready to bring change to a country demanding it.

"Maverick he is not on the important, critical issues," Biden shot back, referring to McCain. And he said Obama was the true candidate of change.

Palin, governor of her state for less than two years, faced enormous challenges as she walked onto the debate stage at Washington University. After five weeks as McCain's ticket-mate, her poll ratings have begun dropping as even some conservatives question her readiness for high public office.

Her solo campaign events are few, and she has drawn ridicule for some of her answers in the few interviews she has granted - including her claim that Alaska's proximity to Russia gives her an insight into foreign policy.

From the opening moments of the debate, Democrat Biden sought to make McCain out as a straight-ahead successor to an unpopular President Bush. "He voted four out of five times for George Bush's budget, which put us a half-trillion dollars in debt and over $4 trillion in debt since he got here," Biden said of McCain.

In return, Palin accused Biden of reciting the past rather than looking to the future. "Americans are cravin' that straight talk" that McCain offers, she said midway in the 90-minute debate.

With one month until the election, polls show Obama with a small but perceptible lead, and Republican officials said earlier in the day that McCain had decided to pull out of Michigan, conceding the state to the Democrats. At the same time, his own aides said the campaign may soon begin to advertise in Indiana - a state that has voted Republican in every presidential election since 1968.

After intense preparation - including two days at McCain's home in Sedona, Ariz., Palin made only one obvious stumble, when she twice referred to the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan as "Gen. McClellan." His name is David McKiernan.

As is her custom on the campaign trail, she spoke in familiar terms, saying "betcha" rather than "bet you" and "gonna" rather than "going to."

She also spoke to the home folks. "Here's a shout-out" to third graders at Gladys Wood Elementary School in Alaska. She said they would all receive extra credit for watching the debate.

"Can I call you Joe?" she asked Biden as they shook hands before taking their places behind identical lecterns.

He readily agreed she could - and she used it to effect more than an hour later. "Say it ain't so, Joe," she said as she smilingly criticized him at one point for focusing his comments on the Bush administration rather than McCain.

Biden's burden was not nearly as fundamental as hers. Although he has long had a reputation for long-windedness, he is a veteran of more than 35 years in the Senate, with a strong knowledge of foreign policy as well as domestic issues.

For much of the evening, the debate unfolded in traditional vice presidential fashion - the running mates praising their own presidential candidate and denigrating the other.

Palin said Obama had voted to raise taxes 94 times - an allegation that Biden disputed and then countered. By the same reckoning, he said, McCain voted "477 times to raise taxes."

They clashed over energy policy, as well, when Palin said Obama's vote for a Bush administration-backed bill granted breaks to the oil industry. By contrast, she said that as governor, she had stood up to the same industry, and noted that McCain had voted against the bill Obama supported.

Biden said that in the past decade, McCain had voted "20 times against funding alternative energy sources and thinks, I guess, the only answer is drill, drill, drill."

"The chant is, 'drill, baby drill," Palin countered quickly, unwilling to yield to Biden on that issue - or any other.

On the environment, Palin declined to attribute the cause of climate change to man-made activities alone. "There is something to be said also for man's activities, but also for the cyclical temperature changes on our planet," she said, adding that she didn't want to argue about the causes.

Biden said the cause was clearly man-made, and added, "If you don't understand what the cause is, it's virtually impossible to come up with a solution."

Debate fact-check

Some examples of facts cast adrift in the debate:

PALIN: Said of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama: "94 times he voted to increase taxes or not support a tax reduction."

THE FACTS: The dubious count includes repetitive votes as well as votes to cut taxes for the middle class while raising them on the rich. An analysis by found that 23 of the votes were for measures that would have produced no tax increase at all, seven were in favor of measures that would have lowered taxes for many, 11 would have increased taxes on only those making more than $1 million a year.


BIDEN: Complained about "economic policies of the last eight years" that led to "excessive deregulation."

THE FACTS: Biden voted for 1999 deregulation that liberal groups are blaming for part of the financial crisis today. The law allowed Wall Street investment banks to create the kind of mortgage-related securities at the core of the problem now. The law was widely backed by Republicans as well as by Democratic President Clinton, who argues it has stopped the crisis today from being worse.


PALIN: Criticized Obama's "plan to mandate health care coverage and have universal government run programs" for health care, and added: "I don't think it's going to be real pleasing for Americans to consider health care being taken over by the Feds."

THE FACTS: Wrong on several counts. Obama's plan does not provide for universal coverage, only mandates insurance for children and doesn't turn the system over to the government. Most people would still get private insurance through their work. Obama proposes that the government subsidize the cost of health coverage for millions who have trouble affording it and he'd set up an exchange to negotiate prices and benefits with private insurers - with one option being a government-run plan.


BIDEN: Warned that Republican presidential candidate John McCain's $5,000 tax credit to help families buy health coverage "will go straight to the insurance company."

THE FACTS: Of course it would, because it's meant to pay for insurance. That's like saying money for a car loan will go straight to the car dealer.


PALIN: "Two years ago, remember, it was John McCain who pushed so hard with the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reform measures. He sounded that warning bell."

THE FACTS: Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska led an effort in 2005 to tighten regulation on the mortgage underwriters - McCain joined as a co-sponsor a year later. The legislation was never taken up by the full Senate, then under Republican control.


BIDEN: Said McCain supports tax breaks for oil companies and "wants to give them another $4 billion tax cut."

THE FACTS: Biden is repeating a favorite saw of the Obama campaign, and it's misleading. McCain supports a cut in income taxes for all corporations and doesn't single out any one industry for that benefit.


Cait McKnelly 8 years ago

It's a bit late to post this now but would have been a fun game.

blindrabbit 8 years ago

No real substance from Palin, her style kind of reminds me of what I would expect from a high school pep club gathering. One comment a "Gidget goes to Washington"!! Her folksy "Joe 6-pack, soccer/hockey mom, you guys, gotchas, head bobbing" initially are kind of refreshing, but wear out rather quickly when you want to hear some serious give and take. Way too evasive on issues where she has a "stand" that runs countercurrent to mainstream. If I were a woman, I would be real concerned!!Her exaggerations about her role in Alaska Energy Policy, Cleaning Alaska Government, and "building" the Natural Gas Pipeline are apparent if you really look into these issues.

yankeelady 8 years ago

She was way too cute for me. And when she wasn't cute, I kept thinking "Stepford Candidate". She seemed to be clinging to the talking points and catch phrases. Biden seemed relaxed, thoughtful, and genuine.

kansas778 8 years ago

Palin had several chances to nail Biden on the issues, but instead she kept trying to change the subject. WTF? I see three possibilities:1. She could have, but didn't because doing so would mean disagreeing with McCain2. She could have, but didn't because her strategy was to stay away from certain topics.3. She didn't have good answers and so tried to switch to pre-planned answers.

ASBESTOS 8 years ago

"Obama needs to go back to Chicago and hand out ACORN flyers."That is after all what "Community Organizers" are good at.

Moonbat 8 years ago

First of all, I didn't watch much of the debate at all. But from the parts I saw I sure didn't think Palin looked comfortable, and her answers seemed rehearsed. Biden was likely rehearsed as well, but at least he had some inflection in his voice. She kind of sounded robotic. Just like the presidential debate, I find it amusing the HUGE difference between analysts reactions on Fox and CNN. I took the advice of some fellow LJW posters and watched some of the post debate coverage on PBS, and it was much better!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years ago

I disagree. Abortion was a key wedge issue for BushCo/Rove in all of the elections of the last several years, and it would have been a good test to see if McCain/Palin really do intend to make a clean break from those divisive tactics.

3crookedhearts 8 years ago

Objectively, Biden clearly won the debate on points, and Palin did make a fool of herself calling our man in Afghanistan General McClellan (this WAS a real general, by the way, but back in Civil War days) and using Bush's nuCUlar pronunciation. Biden made a few mistakes as well. She did better than most people thought she would, but I don't think anyone's mind has changed too much.

BigPrune 8 years ago

Before the press tells us otherwise tomorrow, I say Palin won this debate. Too bad she's not the candidate running for president. I have a feeling she would've had different thoughts about the Wallstreet bailout.

jmadison 8 years ago

From the Congressional Budget Office through April 2008:Expenditure for Afghanistan war 100 BillionExpenditure for Iraq war 442 BillionSen. Biden's statements about war spending appears in error.Will the mainstream media report on this.

Steve Jacob 8 years ago

Did not see the whole debate, but no damage done by either, so Obama and McCain should be happy enough. But it does just kill me when Biden talked about not having elections in the Middle East, like Humas won. It just say the US supports free elections, as long as our side wins.

gccs14r 8 years ago

"Has anyone else noticed Palin's 'you're such a cutie-pie' tone?"Like fingernails on a blackboard.

hs_reader 8 years ago

Did anyone else notice that "um" and a pause from Sarah Palin? Although I can't remember what question it was in answer to. I thought that one of the first rules of public speaking was to never say um? I was disappointed that Biden avoided questions about his policy and formerly disagreeing with Obama. I was also disappointed that there wasn't a question directly addressing Roe vs. Wade or some other women's rights issue. Then everyone could have seen where Palin really stood.

kansas778 8 years ago

Biden had a clearly better understanding of the issues, Palin was reciting talking points. Biden is wrong on the issues, but you can tell he's got experience that she just doesn't have. I get the feeling that people think she did pretty well because their expectations were low.

RedwoodCoast 8 years ago

I thought I recall Biden calling Palin on it when she was tried to change the subject. I think they were talking about deregulation and Biden chimed in noting that Palin hadn't addressed the question as asked. I, too, caught that Obiden moment, and I think Biden did, too.Gnome, she definitely did those things, but I didn't hear any clear answers on a number of questions. It seemed clear to me, anyway, that Biden is by far the more experienced of the two. She tried to point out disagreements between Obama and Biden, but she did admit that she and McCain disagree on ANWR. I think in the context of Palin's previous interviews as the Republican VP pick, she did well. A short cloudburst in the middle of a drought is always invigorating and refreshing.But these two are not the two candidates for whom we are voting. My vote still goes with Obama. I was very, very glad to hear--on several occasions--that Obama intentionally got someone as wingman who would not be afraid to challenge his opinions. I actually wrote to George W. Bush once imploring him to appoint a 'Cabinet Jester,' whose only job would be to state other alternatives to decisions and arguments. There actually is a phenomenon in social psychology called 'groupthink.' This is what, in my opinion, led to many mistakes that the Bush administration made by not having a diverse set of minds in his cabinet when we went into Iraq. Needless to say, I didn't receive a favorable response from the White House.But that's just my take...A link to a fairly decent explanation of groupthink:, it's Wikipedia...

The_Bends 8 years ago

Liberal media, conservative media, who cares? With a little critical thought, anyone can see through the bulls**t. I don't think we should worry as much about the media bias as about the growing number of ideologically-polarized individuals on either side of the debate. If you're so worried about the liberal media bias, turn it to Fox News

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years ago

Palin clearly does better in a situation like this where she can rely on memorized talking points that are pretty short on any sort of policy details and don't require her to demonstrate any deep knowledge of the issues. Very Reaganesque in that regard-- no wonder she referenced him at least three times.She's a pretty good talking head, which will be good enough for the true believers who only want things spoon fed to them in simplistic terms, anyway. But since Biden didn't make any major gaffes, she needed to do better than just not coming off as a blathering idiot as she did in the Couric interview. She needed at least a B+ performance for the McCain/Palin ticket to gain some traction, but she only managed a C+.

denak 8 years ago

I watched a little over an hour of the debate and I have to say that Palin irritated me. She was just too casual. I just can't see her going toe to toe with a foreign leader. Sarah Palin comes off as a really cool person to hang out with.Someone who would be a very enthusiatic teacher to have but she just didn't strike me as serious. She annoyed me when she said that she wouldn't answer a particular question but instead would talk directly to the American people. Well, call me crazy, but I wanted her to answer the question. I just wasn't impressed with her. I would have been more impressed if she had been a little more serious and just a little wooden. Biden didn't win any charm awards but at least he seemed serious.Dena

RedwoodCoast 8 years ago

Tom, Tom, Tom.. I couldn't disagree more.To claim that Obama made it to where he is simply through the stewardship of the media is plain wrong. Obama defeated your feisty Hillary Clinton fairly and squarely... unless you blame the media. He is an able and capable politician, and to deny him that is just inane as far as I can see.

Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 8 years ago

Agree, Ifill did an excellent job. Couric left herself open to charges of bias and I've never felt that she was very good at doing interviews. Ifill tonight showed just how poorly Couric's interview was conducted.

RedwoodCoast 8 years ago

Has anyone else noticed Palin's 'you're such a cutie-pie' tone?Maybe it's just me.

bearded_gnome 8 years ago

The babe hit it outa the park! Jawbone Joe was wooden, and trying too hard to avoid putting his foot in his mouth! she was genuine, happy, bright, clear, motivating, and lovely! she should've turned to Jawbone Joe and challenged him right there to a second vp debate! Yeah!!!!!

Mixolydian 8 years ago

I caught the Senator O'Biden slip up too, that was funny. On the first question I could detect a tic and nervousness in her speech, but that cleared up completely as the debate went on. If she had succumbed to those nerves, nerves that all of us would face in a similar situation, the election would likely be over.The one time Biden called her out on not answering the question about McCain and deregulation she absolutely did duck the question but she also missed a golden opportunity. She could have nailed the dems to the wall on that issue by talking about McCain's co-sponsorship of the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005 wherein he tried to put the wood to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, along with limiting CEO golden parachutes.If you were scoring it as a high school debate, Biden won, but scoring it on political terms and votes, Palin won. I think the polls in the next 48 hours will bear that out. I liked Palin calling Biden on his primary debate comments. When he tried to waffle out of them, she observed that the pundits tomorrow would settle that argument by pulling up the tapes. Of course, the problem with that is the MSM pundits won't get within 10 miles of those tapes, but it was good drama all the same.Gwen Ifill was a very fine moderator. We'll never know to what degree the conflict of interest she has and it's coming to light played in her selection of questions, but she did as good of a job as Lehrer did, and he was very good. I disagree that she should have asked about Roe v. Wade. It's the settled law of the land and has been for 30+ years. Their views are well known and the issue is not anywhere near the top 20 issues that we face as a country.

jayhawklawrence 8 years ago

The white flag of surrender comment bothers me because it clearly points out the problem with the current policy in IRAQ is that no one can actually define what VICTORY means.These folks will never be like your next door neighbor. We cannot define their culture for them. They have to do that for themselves. They may never be in love with our values or ideals. They may never like us. So what are we trying to accomplish? We need to demonstrate a real respect for other countries and cultures regardless of whether we agree with them.Our enemy lives in Afghanistan and on the Pakistan border. There are other methods we need to use to fight against Islamic extremism rather than reaching for our guns.We have created a situation where I can see a South Korea style occupation by US forces to prevent an Iranian invasion. The US cannot afford this. If I was working for the downfall of the US economy and US dominance in the world, I would definitely support an unlimited occupation in Iraq by US forces in order to drain our capital and increase our debt to China and eventually Russia.

RogueThrill 8 years ago

No one really cares what the vatican says, including most catholics. The pope is just some curiosity to be stared at, not listened to.

stuckinthemiddle 8 years ago

speaking of Peggy Noonan on Sarah Palin: transcript:Chuck Todd: Mike Murphy, lots of free advice, we'll see if Steve Schmidt and the boys were watching. We'll find out on your blackberry. Tonight voters will get their chance to hear from Sarah Palin and she will get the chance to show voters she's the right woman for the job Up next, one man who's already convinced and he'll us why Gov. Jon Huntsman.(cut away)Peggy Noonan: Yeah.Mike Murphy: You know, because I come out of the blue swing state governor world: Engler, Whitman, Tommy Thompson, Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush. I mean, these guys -- this is how you win a Texas race, just run it up. And it's not gonna work. And --PN: It's over.MM: Still McCain can give a version of the Lieberman speech to do himself some good.CT: I also think the Palin pick is insulting to Kay Bailey Hutchinson, too.PN: Saw Kay this morning.CT: Yeah, she's never looked comfortable about this --MM: They're all bummed out.CT: Yeah, I mean is she really the most qualified woman they could have turned to?PN: The most qualified? No! I think they went for this -- excuse me-- political bullsh_t about narratives --CT: Yeah they went to a narrative.MM: I totally agree.PN: Every time the Republicans do that, because that's not where they live and it's not what they're good at, they blow it.MM: You know what' sreally the worst thing about it? The greatness of McCain is no cynicism, and this is cynical.CT: This is cynical, and as you called it, gimmicky.MM: Yeah.

Munsoned 8 years ago

Tom-- You could say the same thing about Bush's stupid facial expressions. All I am saying is that if you want to play in the big leagues, refine your mannerisms so that you don't look foolish. She is NOT the only one-- by any means. It's human nature. But, winks are so deliberate. I can't imagine her being taken seriously with other world leaders if she ever winked at them. It's just reckless.

Mixolydian 8 years ago

Abortion is used to rally the far end of both parties.Republicans: The dems want to vacuum baby's brains out.Democrats: Republicans want women to stick coathangers up their hoohah in back alleys.It's not a real issue. Roe isn't getting overturned. McCain/Palin are Pro-life, Obama/Biden are Pro-Choice, but that's only meaningful within the context of allowable restrictions under Roe on Abortion. It wouldn't have been a very interesting question by Ifill in light of everything else the country is facing and the candidates very well known views.

MeAndFannieLou 8 years ago

Serena Joy's flag pin was much bigger than Joe O'Biden's.~sick and tired of being sick and tired (sure darn tootin'! wink wink)

jaywalker 8 years ago

Caught the 'O'Biden', funny but understandable.Thank you, Big Prune, for your last post, couldn't agree more. Biden's comment on how most small biz' don't make 250k made me yell at the screen, that was a crock and very misleading. Say what you want about corporations in this country, but it's small biz that makes our economy go 'round. When the housing industry was healthy we easily surpassed that figure for 7 straight years, and mine is a very small company. With health insurance, workman's comp, and specified customer insurance reqs. I get hammered quarterly. BO's tax plan is going to drive a LOT of companies under, I really don't see how he could actually implement it on its face. I liked Biden's performance overall, but he was WAY off on that issue.

Satirical 8 years ago

Logicsound04:"The only way Palin performed well last night is if you water-down your standards."First, the bar was set pretty low by the libs, which she easily soared over.Second, she did well in her own right. Even when she used her folksy method of answering the questions the way she chose to, she seemed thoughtful and deliberative. She disagrees with McCain on Anwar and even criticized the Bush administration for some of their blunders. She can think for herself and won't toe the party line like Obama who almost always votes with his party (when he isn't voting "present"). Her executive experience (she is the only one who has ever been in a position where the "buck stops") showed on several issues such as Energy Independence and Tax refrom."Hell, some sheep like Satirical are STILL trying to paint Obama as a dangerously experienced choice for our country while continuing to throw support behind this ignorant novice governor" - LS04Obiously I could repeat this and substitute my name for yours, "Obama" for "Palin", and "governor" to "first term senator". But that isn't a counter argument any more than most of what you write isn't an argument.I have never said Obama isn't smart, but he has looked pretty foolish in interviews just like Palin has. Did anyone see the Saddleback interview/discussion? Obama's response to when a fetus should get rights "That's above my paygrade" is the same type of dodge for which you and other libs criticize Palin.Also, you always want to compare Palin the candidate VP to Obama the candidate for POTUS. It is apples and oranges, people vote for the top of the ticket, not the bottom. If we compare Obama to McCain the choice is clear. Obama was dead wrong about the surge and McCain was right. Obama is inexperienced will be a 3rd term for Bush, learning on the job and putting politics above this nation's interests.

beatrice 8 years ago

Palin stuck to her talking points, made sure to stay in the shallow end on virtually every issue -- because, you know, she and McCain are mavericks, darn it. Who cares that that doesn't really mean anything. However, congrats to the Republicans that she didn't fall flat on her face. I guess she will be on Face the Nation and Meet the Press on Sunday, yes? Any thinking person could tell she was working it so hard to remember what she had been told to say at every given moment and that very little was coming from her. I'm sure that at the university where she received her degree in communications her professors are proud. She did a very good Republican talking head job this evening.Biden, on the other hand, did exceptionally well and was believable and the experience was obvious, not just spitting out the things he had been told to say over the last few weeks. He also trumped her on the "I'm a mommy" bit. Good for him. I'm just disappointed that when she repeated the Republican mantra that government needs to get out of the way of business that Biden didn't use it as an opportunity to redirect to the banking failures for which the government is now needing to use our money to bail them out for that very reason. I expect the polls to show a further surge toward double figures in support of Obama following this debate. Time to put Bush's "mavericks" out to pasture.

Hilary Morton 8 years ago

lab,Don't forget:"greed and corruption of Wall Street""I'm the governor of Alaska"We should have a party where we take a shot every time she mentions "maverick", "Alaska" or the "greed and corruption of Wall Street". No one would be able to walk out of the place.Fun debate. I enjoyed it even more than the presidential last week.

bangaranggerg 8 years ago

the debate totally missed the question I submitted about dinosaurs.

staff04 8 years ago

Sarah Palin performance exceeded my expectations. On substance, I think she failed, but I don't believe the electorate gets that part of the equation.I did think it was funny that on two or three major points where she tried to attack Obama for a Senate vote, it turns out that McCain voted the same way...almost like they couldn't quite finish the debate prep.I'm curious to hear from those who were screaming/whining/crying "bias" yesterday feel that Ifill's moderation of the debate was partisan...seeing as she asked the same questions to both candidates. BigPrune and Tom, this question is to you.

Mixolydian 8 years ago

Another missed opportunity for Palin was when Biden was bizarrely describing Cheney as the most dangerous VP in US history. Her response should have been, "Well, I certainly wouldn't go hunting with him. We can agree on that"

sfjayhawk 8 years ago

Bowhunter - Obama is from Hawaii, and more recently, Hyde Park Chicago ( By way of Columbia, Harvard and University of Chicago).

Luxor 8 years ago

She's straight out of the trailer park.

Jaylee 8 years ago

Tom ShewmonTom Shewmon (Tom Shewmon) says:Ifill: Very good jobBiden: Good jobPalin: Great job!!!Palin's a cool customer:::one of us; not full of herself like Obama and Biden and the liberal media.-----------------------------------------------------------to repost my sentiments that were deleted for name calling that wasnt passive enough to fit the demeanor of this site's passive-aggressive trash talking policy.....i will never understand your or, as the last eight years show, the american population's inherent desire to have someone just like them in the white house. they are called politicians for a reason. they are to be diplomatic, well-versed both literally and figuratively, and most of all, they are supposed to have experience, qualifications, and a general heir that we do not possess. they are supposed to be people who exceed their and other's expectations. as one comment points out, they are to be leaders, not just coin the term as part of their name. if someone plans to lead this country, they need to make us think and this woman, aside from controversy about how little she herself thinks, does not make people think. at wanna know, in my opinion, the scariest thing ive heard in years? "DRILL, BABY! DRILL!"im gonna make a t-shirt with the same logo of the palin opposition group in alaska with the three legged dog who got caught in the wolf trap and add "WE DON'T GIVE A SH#T!!" to the "DRILL BABY DRILL!!"

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 8 years ago

labmonkey: "... Maverick, Maverick, Maverick."Oh, not just mavericks... nuke-u-ler mavericks!

jafs 8 years ago

I thought Palin did better than I would have expected.But Biden had so much more content and solidity, it was really not much of a contest.She was competing "out of her weight class".Also, I agree the "folksy" thing seemed gimmicky, and the winks were a complete and huge mistake.

HW 8 years ago

I find it odd that everyone is still calling it a debate. It was more like a question.answer session. Debates include rebuttals. For the most part, I did not see much for rebuttals. Also, I understand what your saying about Palin's folksy talk the whole time, but did anybody else notice how condescending Biden's smirk looked when he didn't like something Palin said. I thought that said a lot about Biden.

gccs14r 8 years ago

"Palin's a cool customer:::one of us"That's what's wrong with her. She's just a somebody. I don't want someone in the Oval Office I think I can drink a beer with, I want someone in there who leads with knowledge and statecraft. Look where eight years of W got us. We don't need any more of that. If a leader doesn't make you think, is he really leading?

BigPrune 8 years ago

If you are a small business owner and that business makes more than $250,000 a year, expect the business to get a tax increase if Obama wins. I found it funny that the press hasn't picked up on Biden's misleading statement - he said the majority of business owners make less than $250,000 a year and won't get taxed. Of course he was talking about the "owners" of the business NOT the business itself which Palin pointed out would make businesses lay off workers. Incidentally, small businesses employ more people than any other sector and is the backbone of this country.

Munsoned 8 years ago

As RedwoodCoast pointed out, the cutie pie thing was a turn off for me. The winks were truly insulting and whoever told her to do it should be fired. THAT alone was ridiculous and ignorant. Maybe Joe Six Pack would find that endearing and MILF-ish, but that is no way to sell her as a potential leader-- of anything except a Wal Mart greeter.

The_Bends 8 years ago

When the radicals get mad, they pull the abortion card. Why not divide the electorate according to issues that will be completely unaffected by this presidential election.Horray! Lets polarize the country on tangential issues that affect relatively few people. Lets not talk about health care reform, the economy, the war, deteriorating public infrastructure, failing public schools, or anything that has a direct and daily influence on the lives of most Americans.No, lets not be rational and vote according to issues likely to be directly affected by this election. Instead, lets vote according to contentious issues neither the president nor the legislature will do anything about. That sounds reasonable enough . . . for the radical ideologues who constantly try to tear the country apart to support their narrow political agendas.

blindrabbit 8 years ago

Hey, I'm so high after watching Palin last night; she does not have anything on me! I can see Topeka, Overbrook and Oskaloosa from my house! Oh joy!!

labmonkey 8 years ago

Well darn it yankeelady, the cuteness is just an act. She's tough because she's a hockey mom from Wasilla.I have like McCain for years and would have voted for him in the 2000 primary had Kansas had one...and will still vote for him. But last night all I could say is "what the f*** was he thinking?" She couldn't answer a question straight, and basically looked like the inferior debator. Even though Binden is full of crap (the fake tear was a nice touch), many times a debate is won on perception. I really cannot stand to listen to her talk. One thing's for sure, she will not be another Chaney. McCain's lack of judgement in choosing her is like finding out someone you venerate spent several thousand on a stripper for sex. (Whereas Obama's lack of judgement is expected).

MeAndFannieLou 8 years ago

Google "Sarah Palin Debate Flow Chart" for a giggle. Doggonit.

labmonkey 8 years ago

Another thing you all need to remember, she and Maverick McCain are Mavericks, because they do mavericky things. Maverick, Maverick, Maverick. (My wife said that we should have counted the times she said maverick.)

sfjayhawk 8 years ago

People think that palin did a great job simply because she didn't mess up or look crazy or stupid like she did with Couric - if that is the standard that the republican ticket sets for success they are clearly the wrong group to lead.

feeble 8 years ago

If I were a general, and someone called me McClellan, I would be pissed as all get out. Of course, I also used to live on "the Peninsula" and am familiar with McClellan's absolute failure as a General.McCain's already had to formally retract some of Palin's talking points from last night: Palin clearly flubbed the Afghanistan questions. On review, she loses on substance.In any event, this is not the game changer McCain needed. Now that McCain has pulled out of Michigan and has to refocus on once safe states like Indiana, the future (in terms of electoral college votes) looks bleak for his candidacy. .

jaywalker 8 years ago

"The only way Palin performed well last night is if you water-down your standards."Thought provoking statement there, logic. Got me thinking that may be true, to a limited extent at least. I have to admit that I found myself pleased that she didn't 'screw up', was 'nervous' for her. In a way, I think I may have lowered my standards in that regard. I would argue that she did perform well, though, doing a reasonably good job countering Biden on some points, like pulling out his past criticisms of BO in rebuttal of his 'new' positions. But I have to give it to ya, I still may be basing my opinion on looking at her as a newbie. Very good point.

Jaylee 8 years ago

Fact Checker: "BIDEN: Said McCain supports tax breaks for oil companies and "wants to give them another $4 billion tax cut."THE FACTS: Biden is repeating a favorite saw of the Obama campaign, and it's misleading. McCain supports a cut in income taxes for all corporations and doesn't single out any one industry for that benefit."we need to have a quick debate. though it is a 'saw'(and i must say i love that context! im gonna start using that!), let it be just that and not a misleading one for it is in fact, fact checker, you who is misleading.though it would be a cut for ALL big corporations, which joe biden DID point out several saws worth, he pinpoints a most obvious and recognizable example of one who had benefited with exxon mobil's $4bil or the looser term he sometimes had used "big oil" etc. just watch it again. i think i will as well

Jaylee 8 years ago

HW, watch the videos again. her insincere smile almost made me puke.---------------------------------------labmonkey (Anonymous) says:Another thing you all need to remember, she and Maverick McCain are Mavericks, because they do mavericky things. Maverick, Maverick, joke!! being a "TEAM OF MAVERICKS" is, as my friend pointed out right away last night, like being THE LONE RANGERS. why doesnt she get it? they would all instinctively break formation in an attempt to save the day by themselves

sfjayhawk 8 years ago

Satrirical We agree that palin is an attractive woman - although the winks kinda ruin it for me. I will have to defer to your expertise on how attractive biden is, I honestly dont have an opinion on that one.As for the criteria that I consider when evaluating a candidate - I have no doubt that on on foreign and domestic policy and overall IQ level that Mr Biden the obvious choice. And the winks are creepy.

Jennifer Forth 8 years ago

Lest we forget - how many times did she say fear? You could make a drinking game out of her performance as that is indeed what it was. I don't want someone who is folksy and can't pronounce words properly, but someone who will represent this country and do us proud to the rest of the world. Does Joe Six-Pack like to be called Joe Six-Pack?Was anyone else laughing when she winked at us, the audience? That was beyond absurd!

sfjayhawk 8 years ago

lets not confuse folksy with ignorant - or in the case of the winks, creepy.

Jaylee 8 years ago

i see my comment was already removed before i could apologize to you tom. sorry i called you a tool. i wish i could remember everything said in that comment though. had some legitimacy to the whole WALL-E thing.

ASBESTOS 8 years ago

"No real substance from Palin, her style kind of reminds me of what I would expect from a high school pep club gathering."You could say the same thig about Obama.Palin is not running for President, Obama is."Palin spouted rehearsed campaign speech snippets to every question whether ..."Just like Barry Obama.

BigDog 8 years ago

Oh well, it is what it is. And after all this time I rant on about the liberal media in the tank for Obama, then I find the Vatican is in the tank for Republicans. What a day I'm having!!-------------------------------------The Vatican along with other church organizations are supporting the concept of life. Seems consistent with the teachings of most religions. They have gone after Republicans who have supported abortion also. And I am sure they would go after high profile Republican is they went out and publicly misrepresented the churches views on abortion.

Sigmund 8 years ago

"Sarah Palin saved John McCain again Thursday night. She is the political equivalent of cardiac paddles: Clear! Zap! We've got a beat! She will re-electrify the base." the Populist: Joe Biden was no match for "Joe Six-Pack.", WSJOpinion, October 3, 2008, by Peggy Noonan

3crookedhearts 8 years ago

I still want to see Palin on Meet the Press or on Hannity and Colmes or even on O'Reilley's show. I would really love to see her on Bill Maher's show. Now that would be interesting.

Confrontation 8 years ago

I'm not surprised that the term "soccer mom" came up in Palin's first statement. Wink, wink, soccer mom, what was the question, again? I loved how she had all of her notes in front of her, and when the question was too hard to answer, she'd ignore the question and spit out some junk she already had on paper. Her fake smile wasn't fooling anyone. Biden can actually do something they call "brain storming." Palin's brain is too empty. Biden has enough knowledge to answer questions without having to have extensive notes and without having to have a cram study session.

preebo 8 years ago

Palin did have a decent night, but it was clear she was trying to create a Reagan-esque aire in her performance. I counted three separate instances where she invoked "The Great Communicator" but they all fell flat. She did, however, learn to play to the audience at home rather than the crowd at Washington University (no doubt a lesson learned down there in Sedona, AZ at her intense debate prep). I did enjoy Biden's "Bridge to Nowhere" line; classic Joe Biden and a great verbal jab. All in all, both candidates did well enough to keep their respective campaigns going, but lets face it, Palin had some pretty LOW expectations. She managed to stay afloat, nothing more.

stuckinthemiddle 8 years ago

one thing about Palin became perfectly clear to everyone who watched the debate last night... if they were actually watching... and that is that Palin can turn that folksy thing on and real is that?and every time she goes into that "gosh darn, we're mavericks" gimmick, she becomes a parody of herself...once again... last night: Sarah Palin wrote Tina Fey's script for her up-coming SNL skit...

Satirical 8 years ago

Mixolydian..."Her response should have been, "Well, I certainly wouldn't go hunting with him. We can agree on that""That would have been golden.

Satirical 8 years ago

I was surprised Biden didn't ask any paraplegics in the audience to stand up and be recognized, or talk about JFK being President in 1980.People who only know Palin from YouTube clips were probably very surprised by her performance, and I think her folksy style worked well for most average Americans who are tired of the Washington rhetoric.

Satirical 8 years ago

sfjayhawk...You are just upset the Republican VP candidate is hotter than the Dem VP candidate.

mom_of_three 8 years ago

I watched a few minutes of the debate, because my teenager was watching, but I HATED the Palin folksy - gotchas, etc. I thought it was very patronizing. And like someone else said, she reminded me of a teacher, with her answers and descriptions. Annoying. Get rid of the folksy stuff. Most Americans won't buy it.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 8 years ago

I thought she did an excellent job of turning letters up there!(There was only that one time when she started to turn the letter in the wrong direction.)

Jaylee 8 years ago

im gonna read every one of these i am certain valid opinions in a minute but first i just wanted to say that in response to the question you just asked, what he said sounded good so i was saying that i would be saying something similar to what he said if you were asking me the same question. im just being straight up!!

Jaylee 8 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Scott Drummond 8 years ago

No mention yet of the Cheney-inspired view of the expanded legislative role of the office of Vice President. Biden did a pretty good job of putting that idea away immediately and to me that exchange was indicative of the lesson to be had from the overall debate. Palin spouted rehearsed campaign speech snippets to every question whether it was relevant or not and threw out plenty of loaded buzz words for the right wing kooks - with this crazy notion of the VP running the Legislative branch being chief among them. Biden shone, I thought, in immediately batting this down when it is clear that he and his advisers likely never contemplated such a wacky topic coming up. Biden has the intellectual heft, curiousity and power to serve the country well. Ms. Palin, in my opinion anyway, clearly does not.

beatrice 8 years ago

The biorhythm charts, or whatever it is, that supposedly show how people are reacting to the candidates as they speak creep me out. They need to stop that. CNN had it going during the Presidential debate and I had to change the channel I found it so distracting. Tom: "Like John Edwards, Obama's tongue is as smooth as a baby's bottom." Um, Tom, that might be the worst analogy you've ever written. And the creepiest. Why not just paraphrase Slim Pickens in Blazing Saddles when he said that Harvey Korman's character "uses his tongue prettier than a twenty dollar hooker." You might have to adjust it to compensate for inflation, but you get the point. To the "one of us" issue on Palin. It isn't that us liberals don't like or care for ourselves and other working folks, just that we don't necessarily think just any of us are qualified for the job. I don't just want "one of us" to take over flying the plane should the pilot fall ill, I want a qualified pilot. Heck, I don't want just "one of us" to take over for the chef at a nice restaurant, so why should I want just "one of us" to be the vp? I want people who actually know history and the American political system. To paraphrase Palin, I'll just have to say thanks but no thanks to that one there by golly.

joeschmoe 7 years, 12 months ago

What a Republican Rag. journal world, shame on you for your propaganda. This isn't just "spin", it is shameless and maliced, not fair and balanced. How low should we set the bar for the next propaganda in chief? Palin sets new records, and new lows. What is the role of the vice president? We should read the constitution and not refer to the interpretation of Dick Cheny. Rediculous, and scary that so many read without thinking for themselves. Discover the facts, and never forget whether democrat or republican the VP will not run the country, the president will, and the VP is mostly just a red herring to distract or attract, depending on your current stance. And to all those too disgusted to vote at all, I encourage you to change your mind. Your voice only counts if you perform YOUR civic duty. Register, vote, and may god protect our troops, and bless our great country.

HW 8 years ago

Jaylee,I don't necessarily disagree with you about Palin's smile. But everybody has already covered that. Nobody seeems to have noticed how condescending Biden looked at times. Almost like he may have been thinking "I can't believe they put a woman up here."

Munsoned 8 years ago

HW says:"Nobody seeems to have noticed how condescending Biden looked at times. Almost like he may have been thinking "I can't believe they put a woman up here."~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~No, I think he was thinking, "I can't believe McCain picked HER over how many other WAY qualified women." It was HER, not that she is a woman.

Bud Stagg 8 years ago

For a woman with no big politics experience, she learns fast. I think that is a plus. I don't want to elect anyone that "knows" the system. The System needs to go, I'd throw both parties out the window if I could. If you are honest with yourself and throw out your party affiliation, Both have pros and cons and neither party gets enough done as far as I am concerned.

Bob Hechlor 7 years, 12 months ago

The republicans are once again congratulating themselves over Palin's "performance." This is like seeing your football team lose 60 to 3 and finding a way to think of it as a victory. Everytime Palin made an actual attempt to say something of substance, she got it wrong. She is a major fact challenged person. She attempted to use Bush speak, which I assume all Republican candidates learn in Republican candidate 101 class. She may have been seen as winning by Repubs due to using the words; maverick, reform, change, terrorist, freedom and not a washington insider. Repubs really appreciate buzz words. She also had the biggest lapel flag pin you can purchase from with a generous donation. You have to think, it doesn't take much to please a Repub. if you are middle and lower class. On the other hand, if you are upper class, then it takes a lot of no bid contracts and under the table deals to please them. Clearly, Palin has signed on and knows how the game is to be played.

Munsoned 8 years ago

HW--I will admit, however, that Biden's massive teeth make him look snarky. Genes? Dentures? Who knows...

beatrice 7 years, 12 months ago

Mickey Mouse would be a terrible pick. He is already 80 years old! A 72 year old McCain and an 80 year old cartoon vp? Sure, it would be 152 years of experience, but forget it. No way, no how, no mice!Perhaps McCain and Wolverine -- then you have a Maverick and a ... well ... a wolverine. Mixo, thanks, but I think the hero question was a couple of days ago.Actually, things can get heated between complete strangers around here, but if you get distracted by life for a couple of days and then come back around most people don't seem all that terrible. Need to remind myself to take it all with a grain of salt and a smile, then things can be humorous again. I only recently found out that Richard Pryor was one of the writers on Blazing Saddles. No wonder it is such a great flick.

Bob Hechlor 8 years ago

Many people are treating this debate as if it was a football game. It isn't. This is determining the leadership of our country and a big player in the world stage. Phrases like Palin stopped the bleeding, are vastly missing the point of all of this. It reflects being taken in by the misguided media. When gas is 4 bucks, wages are going down, jobs being lost and people dying in Iraq for the wrong reasons, we no longer care about popular and charming and all of that nonsense. Now, we need people who know what they are doing and soon.

Jaylee 8 years ago

HW (Anonymous) says:Jaylee,I don't necessarily disagree with you about Palin's smile. But everybody has already covered that. Nobody seeems to have noticed how condescending Biden looked at times. Almost like he may have been thinking "I can't believe they put a woman up here."-------------------------------------------uhhh or maybe your insecurity made you think he was thinking that. woman or not, the woman does not belong in a position of power and it is a sick, cruel joke that we have to put up with her on the other side of the debate platform from a true political player.are you a woman? cause your comment was really out of right field, and no i dont mean a political field, i just meant a baseball field.

Jaylee 8 years ago

basically tom i just want a valid thought, thats all. i just cant read it through all of your b.s.

Bob Hechlor 8 years ago

"You have to remember, Obama is an attorney. Like John Edwards, Obama's tongue is as smooth as a baby's bottom." It should be clear to everyone by now. It is not what people say, it is what they do. So far, I find what Obama does to be admirable.

Bob Hechlor 8 years ago

McCain Camp Admitted Palin Got Homeowner Protections Position Wrong.She also had her facts wrong on what the actual general was saying about a surge in Afghanistan. She was quoting McClelland, a civil war general. Sorry Sarah, wrong war. And she was mocking Biden while doing that, acting smug and righteous while being so far removed from the facts herself. Turns out Biden was right. He had the right general and he had an accurate view of that general's comments. Biden missed out on one opportunity. He did not clarify that McCain has voted against increasing veterans benefits, which is going to be vitally important with so many of them coming home with major health and mental health problems.

Bob Hechlor 8 years ago

I thought it was interesting that Palin, while not really knowing hardly anything and basically left to recite what she could snatch from her memory of the playbook, could still come off as condescending to a man who is knowledgable from an actual involvement of implementing policy and working on relationships with other government leaders. Biden knows McCain far better than Palin. She doesn't begin to comprehend what things would be like dealing with him and his erratic behavior and lack of a sense of what is really going on in the world. To me, McCain is just another Texas good ol boy, looking out for the interests of oil and big banks. Biden said an economy is built by building a stable and productive middle class. He is right. Palin and McCain are opportunists who are finding every possible way to advance their own ambition and the easiest way is to cater to the wealthy class and do their bidding.

Bob Hechlor 8 years ago

Someone mentioned turning on and off the folksy gimmick.I think the media used the folksy term as an attempt to be nice. In fact, Palin came off as ignorant, condescending, immature, and in sum, a person who is willing to make jokes rather than examine important issues in a way which respects her audience.

Jaylee 8 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Mixolydian 8 years ago

beatrice (Anonymous) says: The biorhythm charts, or whatever it is, that supposedly show how people are reacting to the candidates as they speak creep me out. They need to stop that. CNN had it going during the Presidential debate and I had to change the channel I found it so distracting.=============================You're my new hero. That's over the top annoying and useless. I'm glad someone finally pointed that out....but more importantly, you quote Blazing Saddles! Funniest movie ever made.

jaywalker 7 years, 12 months ago

"A man who can't speak his native tongue, a woman whose primary claim to fame is shooting moose, and the bloviations of the likes of Coulter, Hannity and Limbaugh."Does 'duplenty' mean 'intellectual vacuum' in swahili or somethin'?

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