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Undesired Walrus
27th September 2008, 09:49 AM
Will it be utterly excruciating to watch? Short of setting herself on fire, Palin will likely exceed expectations at this stage.

However, as knowledgeable as Biden is, he doesn't seem to be a great debater. He seems to throw his hands up in the air and say 'Hey look' more often than nailing his opponent.

He should hope not to come off as a grumpy old parent at the back of the school hall interrupting someone else's child on stage.

hgc
27th September 2008, 09:52 AM
I predict that McCain will find a way to cancel it.

Cleon
27th September 2008, 10:04 AM
I think Palin's going to use the Clinton strategy. She's going to make as many comments about playing in the "boys' club" as she can, and try to avoid substantive answers to the questions. She'll try to be glib and "folksy." (Watch for lots of "lipstick"-type jokes.)

Biden, if he's smart, will avoid condescending to her at all costs. Bullying her will only make her look sympathetic. He'll probably hammer her on the "Bridge to Nowhere" business, which she has lied about constantly with the "thanks but no thanks" business. If he's feeling exceptionally stupid, he'll try to make jokes about her being a former "beauty queen;" there's no way that would come across as anything but condescending and slightly sexist, and would quite probably alienate many women.

Malerin
27th September 2008, 10:14 AM
Some astrophysicists believe information lives on in a black hole. During the debate, Palin will reach a point of negative information and wink out of existence.

David Wong
27th September 2008, 10:18 AM
I predict she will exceed expectations, mainly because the couple of terrible interviews she's done have lowered them so badly. But they will coach her until her brain can handle no more coaching, she'll have her responses memorized, and she'll come out ok.

They've got the format set up as favorably as possible to her, I don't see a disaster happening here.

Gnu World Order
27th September 2008, 10:29 AM
I predict she will exceed expectations, mainly because the couple of terrible interviews she's done have lowered them so badly. But they will coach her until her brain can handle no more coaching, she'll have her responses memorized, and she'll come out ok.

They've got the format set up as favorably as possible to her, I don't see a disaster happening here.

I think she'll come across as someone who has her responses memorized.

She'll probably get in some carefully planned zingers at Obama/Biden, justified or not, which might blunt the effect of her being in over her head.

In '04, as I remember it, the veep debate was full of wild charges being thrown around, way too many to be corrected or fact-checked. I suspect this year's will end up being the same way, and be judged a draw.

Oliver
27th September 2008, 10:46 AM
I predict that I will get headaches over trying to translate what the heck she was talking about.

FaisonMars
27th September 2008, 11:10 AM
She will try to be folksy and tell stories-- I predict a lot of awkward (and for us, painful) transitions as she tries to segue from an question she can't handle into a pre-recorded, heavily practiced anecdote or laugh line. But there is tons of material out there for Biden to challenge her on without being condescending. Why does she keep lying about her support for the Gravina Island Bridge? Why is she obstructing the troopergate investigation if there's nothing to hide? How does Alaska's proximity to the least-densely populated corner of Russia give her foreign policy experience? Why won't Palin do media interviews? Etc. Family issues must (and should) be off limits, except perhaps the question of why Todd ignored the troopergate subpoena.

I worry that Gwen Ifill will let her nonsensical answers drift into the air in order to move on and save time. Ifill is going to have to do what both Gibson and Kouric did by asking the question again and again until she admits she doesn't have an answer.

Biden can score significant points in two ways: pointing out how Palin is like Bush ("ya can't blink," cronyism, lack of curiosity about the world, pushing an extreme evangelical agenda) and also by emphasizing that Palin is not qualified to be a "heartbeat" away from the Presidency.

TheJim
27th September 2008, 11:40 AM
Don't forgot debates are not about who "Wins" but how according to the swing voter answers the questions they have of each individual candidate. That is why last nights debate that looked like a tie or possibly a small win for either candidate last night actually turned out to be a sizable win for Obama as he answered the questions that the swing voter had about his ability to look like a president and he had enough FP chops to at least hold his own against McCain.

With all of that said, it is also important that the Veep debate is almost always unimportant and really can not help the top of the ticket so much as it can hurt the top of the ticket. I would wager that this is the most watched VP debate since at least 92 if not of all time as still no one knows how Palin is. Biden does not really have to answer any question to the public as he is a known quality and as long as he shows her respect he will do his part.

This debate is all about Palin. I don't buy into low exceptions meme about her for a few reasons. First, because of McCain's age she is more likely to take over the presidency than anyone since Bush 1 so the swings will want to know there is someone that can jump in if needed. Second, McCain obviously will not use her as anything more than a glorified hostess but to the public the VP is now seen though the lens of Cheny who was a key part of an administration. Third, she has to have at least as much knowledge as the average congressperson on Meet The Press and she just has never dealt with national issues before so she could be the smartest person in the room and still she has to cram enough information to sound at least informed about Health Care, the Wall St bailout, housing, unemployment, taxes, the budget, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, NATO etc etc. She also has to explain away her previous interviews along with why she is hiding. I would not be surprised if either Gwen or Joe corner her into agreeing with doing a press conference or going on the Sunday talk shows that weekend. Without the interviews she only had about a 10 percent chance of not hurting the ticket but with the interview I just don't see how she does not cost McCain a point in the polls and each gaff she makes forces McCain to waste time at the next debate.

Alferd_Packer
27th September 2008, 11:51 AM
A lot is going to depend on Gwen Ifill. One of the things I liked about Jim Lehrer is that he kept the answers focused on the questions.

If Gwen can do the same thing and not allow either candidate to give non-answers, then I suspect that Palin will not do well.

R.Mackey
27th September 2008, 11:54 AM
I'd expect Palin to come out swinging. This is typical debate coaching with a weak participant -- Dan Quayle did it against Gore, for instance -- where one tries to make up for poor reactions by seizing the initiative.

Biden, if he's smart, will plan to let her do it, tossing in an odd barb here and there, and then suddenly turn and riposte about twenty minutes into the debate. The problem with the all-offense debate tactic is that when it breaks, it breaks hard.

Biden can lose if he comes across as patronizing or belittling. On the other hand, if he lets her dig a hole and then stops her cold by exposing her lack of knowledge, this can be a disaster for the GOP.

If I was a shark, I'd be smelling blood right about now...

hgc
27th September 2008, 12:01 PM
A lot is going to depend on Gwen Ifill. One of the things I liked about Jim Lehrer is that he kept the answers focused on the questions.

If Gwen can do the same thing and not allow either candidate to give non-answers, then I suspect that Palin will not do well.


True - Jim Lehrer set a new standard for debate moderation last night. I hope to see the same from the rest of the debates.

Thunder
27th September 2008, 12:04 PM
McCain and Palin will find some sort of excuse to cancel the debate. cause they know that Biden will wipe the floor with her.

Just thinking
27th September 2008, 12:10 PM
There's only one thing more boring than watching presidential debates ... reading biased posts as to their outcome.

uk_dave
27th September 2008, 12:12 PM
If I was a shark, I'd be smelling blood right about now...

....they're gonna need a bigger boat.

hgc
27th September 2008, 12:14 PM
There's only one thing more boring than watching presidential debates ... reading biased posts as to their outcome.


Another thing more boring: reading posts saying that other posts are boring. That tops them all.

dudalb
27th September 2008, 12:39 PM
I think Palin's going to use the Clinton strategy. She's going to make as many comments about playing in the "boys' club" as she can, and try to avoid substantive answers to the questions. She'll try to be glib and "folksy." (Watch for lots of "lipstick"-type jokes.)

Biden, if he's smart, will avoid condescending to her at all costs. Bullying her will only make her look sympathetic. He'll probably hammer her on the "Bridge to Nowhere" business, which she has lied about constantly with the "thanks but no thanks" business. If he's feeling exceptionally stupid, he'll try to make jokes about her being a former "beauty queen;" there's no way that would come across as anything but condescending and slightly sexist, and would quite probably alienate many women.


The one thing that could blow this for Biden is if he acts condescending and/or acts like he is beating up on her.
You might argue that Palin knew she would get tough treatment when she signed on, but that does not matter to the a verage viewer if he thinks BIden is beating up on her.

Whiplash
27th September 2008, 12:39 PM
McCain and Palin will find some sort of excuse to cancel the debate. cause they know that Biden will wipe the floor with her.

I don't understand how you guys can say this "with a straight face" so to speak. Surely it's sarcasm. Otherwise, I honestly don't understand your mindset in the least. Is it wishful thinking?

Denver
27th September 2008, 12:49 PM
My impressions of these VP candidates, from my limited exposure to date, is that Palin is way underqualified and essentially clueless, and that Biden is a smartass, and essentially clueless. When you mix a debate up with these elements, you'll have Palin trying to pull out random memorized facts at the wrong moments to justify irrelevant parts of the current question, and you'll have Biden trying not to laugh at and attack everything she says, failing that and coming off as condescending, while blowing smoke around his own non-answers.

So, as far as the political process: business as usual.

Wangler
27th September 2008, 01:18 PM
I don't think that there is going to be a draw on this one.

Palin will either step-up, and by just doing that score a major victory, or she will post an epic fail on national network TV.

Everyone knows that Biden is going to drop a few sound-bite jabs and gaffes, and all the attention will be on Palin.

I just hope that the liberal pundits continue to lower the bar for her...easier for her to stick the landing.

FaisonMars
27th September 2008, 01:22 PM
My impressions of these VP candidates, from my limited exposure to date, is that Palin is way underqualified and essentially clueless, and that Biden is a smartass, and essentially clueless.

Biden is a smartass and a windbag, but he's not clueless. Look at the transcripts from his "Meet the Press" appearances and such... he can speak very intelligently about many issues, esp. foreign policy, and he can be good at handling tough questions directly.

HarryKeogh
27th September 2008, 01:39 PM
I predict Palin will start the debate by blowing into her cupped hands producing a variety of animal noises. Her woodland friends will then burst into the auditorium, trampling Senator Biden and thus ensuring her victory in the debate.

Then she will cut open his belly and drink a cup of his still-warm blood. This will endear her to the "low information" voters even more than her inane ramblings and pregnant daughter have done.

corplinx
27th September 2008, 01:53 PM
Palin has set the bar so low, she only needs to trip over it to be successful.

Biden comes in still being a largely undefined quantity to the electorate. A memorable gaffe could define him.

Denver
27th September 2008, 01:54 PM
Biden is a smartass and a windbag, but he's not clueless. Look at the transcripts from his "Meet the Press" appearances and such... he can speak very intelligently about many issues, esp. foreign policy, and he can be good at handling tough questions directly.

I really have not seen much of him at all, so I am looking forward to the debates to really get the scoop on both of them.

joobz
27th September 2008, 02:00 PM
Prediction:
It will end in tears and the slow removal of clothes. Palin will be dumbstruck by this display of Biden's.

R.Mackey
27th September 2008, 02:04 PM
I predict Palin will start the debate by blowing into her cupped hands producing a variety of animal noises. Her woodland friends will then burst into the auditorium, trampling Senator Biden and thus ensuring her victory in the debate.

The only "Woodland Friends" Ms. Palin has wear blaze orange and carry firearms.

Though it would be a useful super-power for a politician to have, no doubt. I'd rethink my opposition to her.

MattusMaximus
27th September 2008, 02:15 PM
I think that ultimately the VP debate won't matter that much, despite the fact that I'd enjoy seeing Palin crash-and-burn.

I think that McCain has the most to lose in the VP debate, because of all the attention given to his "maverick" pick of Palin. If she royally screws up, it will reflect much worse on him than some ham-fisted gaffes from Biden hurting Obama.

In large part, the VP debate will be eclipsed by the remaining two presidential debates. And no matter how well, or poorly, Palin does in the VP debate, McCain going toe-to-toe against Obama is the real story.

And McCain did not carry it off as he needed to last night. Palin cannot save him from that, even if she blows Biden out of the water.

IMST
27th September 2008, 04:23 PM
Couldn't resist:
sxlYjqTRqvk

MattusMaximus
27th September 2008, 04:55 PM
Excellent post! :D

Dragoonster
27th September 2008, 06:33 PM
It's dangerous to set the bar really low as people say. But after watching her interviews she might not even reach it no matter how low.

A lot is going to depend on Gwen Ifill. One of the things I liked about Jim Lehrer is that he kept the answers focused on the questions.

If Gwen can do the same thing and not allow either candidate to give non-answers, then I suspect that Palin will not do well.

Yep!

Even Palin's nonanswers have self-destructed in soft interviews. The "Russia" thing for example, she had to have been prepped on a response to that--but still came out with a muddled, irrational horror of a response. Couric didn't need to press much at all on that.

The range of topics is going to be vast enough that she'll have to answer some where she has no prepped response. And as demonstrated she may fail even things she's practiced.

If I were Biden my primary focus would be limiting my gaffes, or body language, tone--anything that a post-debate dissection could use as a 5-second "what was he doing here" clip. If he keeps that to a minimum, I think Palin will provide enough of her own so the majority of pundits are pointing to her flaws rather than his.

If I were Palin I'd try to draw Biden into emotional responses, perhaps by attacking Obama's position. OTOH I'd try to learn McCain's position during the next week, and focus more on answering what he'd do, rather than any anecdotes or theories of my own. (Might be a tall order, she's having trouble enough learning her own position!)

gdnp
27th September 2008, 07:02 PM
I think although the expectations for Palin are low the bar is high. It's not good enough if people say "gosh, I thought she was a complete idiot, but she was almost coherent". Biden does not need to prove himself. He has been around long enough that there is little doubt that he is knowledgeable enough to step in as president should the need arise. Palin, on the other hand, has performed so poorly in every unscripted appearance that she really has only this one shot to prove herself capable of the job. If she puts on a Katie Couric level performance the McCain ticket is toast. There is no "round 2" for her to come back. Obama can survive a few Biden slips. Palin, however, will be under a microscope. She has to show that that she is ready to play with the boys. This is not a sexist thing: Hillary proved that she was ready. Palin might have been able to do the same if she had been through a year of primaries. She hasn't been. She has been dropped into the World Series directly from the minor leagues, with her team down 3 games to 2. She needs to come up with the performance of a lifetime without a teleprompter or the series may be over.

chipmunk stew
27th September 2008, 07:18 PM
I agree with gdnp.

Biden's main objective is easy: Don't make a major gaffe that draws attention away from Palin.

Palin's is really, really hard: Reassure the voters that you can step up if the president goes down.

She may "win" the debate by surpassing low expectations, but even a tactical win will not be enough if she doesn't clear the reassurance bar.

geni
27th September 2008, 07:28 PM
I agree with gdnp.

Biden's main objective is easy: Don't make a major gaffe that draws attention away from Palin.

Palin's is really, really hard: Reassure the voters that you can step up if the president goes down.

She may "win" the debate by surpassing low expectations, but even a tactical win will not be enough if she doesn't clear the reassurance bar.

So both sides play it safe resulting in a VP debate so dull that it is used as a calibration for future measures of dullness.

MaGZ
27th September 2008, 07:35 PM
If I were Biden I would take the debate easy and let Palin do as well as she can.

chipmunk stew
27th September 2008, 07:40 PM
So both sides play it safe resulting in a VP debate so dull that it is used as a calibration for future measures of dullness.
Perhaps. But it's hard to imagine that these two going head-to-head could calibrate the dull-o-meter, no matter how safe they play it. Even if they respond entirely with canned responses, there will be enough to scrutinize in the body language and facial tics, etc. to make it more interesting than many a debate.

MaGZ
27th September 2008, 07:48 PM
I predict Palin will start the debate by blowing into her cupped hands producing a variety of animal noises. Her woodland friends will then burst into the auditorium, trampling Senator Biden and thus ensuring her victory in the debate.

Then she will cut open his belly and drink a cup of his still-warm blood. This will endear her to the "low information" voters even more than her inane ramblings and pregnant daughter have done.

That will never happen because her Black African exorcist pastor has removed all evil spirits, demons and witches from her.

corplinx
27th September 2008, 07:50 PM
Palin's is really, really hard: Reassure the voters that you can step up if the president goes down.


The electorate is largely stupid. All she has to do is look nicer and be more likable than Biden. HDTV and all, I have a feeling that whichever candidate looks nicer without completely flubbing is the winner.

I think this may explain why so many people thought McCain/Obama was a draw outside the hard partisans. However, when you look at the polls of the general public they show a slight Obama lead.

So as cynical as it is, Palin really doesn't have to show presidential quality. She just has to win the beauty pagent.

joobz
27th September 2008, 08:09 PM
The electorate is largely stupid. All she has to do is look nicer and be more likable than Biden. HDTV and all, I have a feeling that whichever candidate looks nicer without completely flubbing is the winner.

I think this may explain why so many people thought McCain/Obama was a draw outside the hard partisans. However, when you look at the polls of the general public they show a slight Obama lead.

So as cynical as it is, Palin really doesn't have to show presidential quality. She just has to win the beauty pagent.
And they call liberals elitist.;)

chipmunk stew
27th September 2008, 08:19 PM
The electorate is largely stupid. All she has to do is look nicer and be more likable than Biden. HDTV and all, I have a feeling that whichever candidate looks nicer without completely flubbing is the winner.

I think this may explain why so many people thought McCain/Obama was a draw outside the hard partisans. However, when you look at the polls of the general public they show a slight Obama lead.

So as cynical as it is, Palin really doesn't have to show presidential quality. She just has to win the beauty pagent.
In a sense, Obama had a similar hurdle to clear. There were a good number of people who have been uneasy about Obama as CIC. He had to reassure them that he was qualified. I think he did, and I think that's why the overall electorate gave him a slight edge.

Palin has to do the same thing, but many more people have misgivings about her than had about Obama. By her embarassing interview performances, she exacerbated people's misgivings, and it will take even more for her to reassure people than it would have if she'd skipped those interviews.

It's a gut-level gauging of the candidate, but I don't think it's as superficial as you make it out to be.

ZenFountain
27th September 2008, 08:21 PM
It should be remembered that in 1988 Dan Quayle was practically beaten and dragged out of the VP debate by Lloyd Bentsen but the ticket still went on to win. Honestly find some clips of that debate.

And maybe McCain could learn something from George H.W. Bush on how to defend his candidate.

iBhmXNWQyGo

Purely a discussion point, the thought of President Palin scares the hell out of me.

corplinx
27th September 2008, 08:24 PM
It should be remembered that in 1988 Dan Quayle was practically beaten and dragged out of the VP debate by Lloyd Bentsen but the ticket still went on to win. Honestly find some clips of that debate.

It should be worth pointing out, that the moderators including Brit Hume basically pie-faced Quayle. For all the smack Hume gets for being slightly right of center, he helped pants Quayle on TV.

The sad part is, Quayle actually smoked Al Gore in the next cycle's debate.

chipmunk stew
27th September 2008, 08:26 PM
It should be remembered that in 1988 Dan Quayle was practically beaten and dragged out of the VP debate by Lloyd Bentsen but the ticket still went on to win. Honestly find some clips of that debate.

And maybe McCain could learn something from George H.W. Bush on how to defend his candidate.

iBhmXNWQyGo

Purely a discussion point, the thought of President Palin scares the hell out of me.
It's true that running mates don't decide elections, but they can be either a boost or a drag on the candidate, which could be decisive in a marginal victory or loss. Bush I probably would have won with a larger margin of victory if he'd picked a better running mate.

BenBurch
27th September 2008, 08:51 PM
I think Sarah Palin is looking a little peaked. Yeah, I think there is a NASTY flu coming on that will hit her hard on Wednesday... :D

gdnp
27th September 2008, 08:58 PM
Maybe I just wasn't paying as much attention then. I remember thinking that Quayle was a lightweight, and his misspeaks were legendary, but I don't recall having had the opinion that he was completely an empty suit.

The other major difference, of course, is that GHWB was following a popular president, rather than the most unpopular president in recent memory. Therefore, it was Bush's election to lose, whereas McCain is running against an incredibly strong Democratic tide. Bush could afford a weak VP. McCain can't.

BenBurch
27th September 2008, 09:01 PM
Maybe I just wasn't paying as much attention then. I remember thinking that Quayle was a lightweight, and his misspeaks were legendary, but I don't recall having had the opinion that he was completely an empty suit.

The other major difference, of course, is that GHWB was following a popular president, rather than the most unpopular president in recent memory. Therefore, it was Bush's election to lose, whereas McCain is running against an incredibly strong Democratic tide. Bush could afford a weak VP. McCain can't.

Quayle was not an utterly stupid man. In fact a mutual acquaintance tells me that if he can think an issue out he comes up with good decisions, but does not think on his feet at all.

MaGZ
28th September 2008, 07:34 AM
It should be worth pointing out, that the moderators including Brit Hume basically pie-faced Quayle. For all the smack Hume gets for being slightly right of center, he helped pants Quayle on TV.

The sad part is, Quayle actually smoked Al Gore in the next cycle's debate.

How ironic we are discussing Dan Quayle and Sarah Palin. There is a common denominator here, namely Bill Kristol of The Weekly Standard. Kristol was Quayle’s handler and guided him on all things Jewish and related to Israel. Today Kristol is too busy to be Palin’s rabbi, but instead gets credit for “discovering” and promoting her in his publication.

New Ager
28th September 2008, 04:06 PM
The other major difference, of course, is that GHWB was following a popular president, rather than the most unpopular president in recent memory. Therefore, it was Bush's election to lose, whereas McCain is running against an incredibly strong Democratic tide. Bush could afford a weak VP. McCain can't.


Well, so far, Palin has been a plus for McCain. She energized the base and gave everyone, including liberals, something to talk about.

As far as the debate goes, I look for her to do perform really well. She's nice to look at, she has that cool voice, plus she's like a breath of fresh air among these usual cookie cutter candidates.

Biden is boring and less than 1% wanted him as the Dem candidate. How many really care that he's the VP candidate?
Does anyone care what he says in the debate?

This will get ratings all because of Palin. It's all about her.

plumjam
28th September 2008, 04:12 PM
I predict that at the end of the debate Palin will butt in over the moderator, saying "And here´s George, with the weather."

Upchurch
28th September 2008, 04:22 PM
It's true that running mates don't decide elections, but they can be either a boost or a drag on the candidate, which could be decisive in a marginal victory or loss.
They "don't decide elections" but "could be decisive"?

...what?

gdnp
28th September 2008, 04:26 PM
Well, so far, Palin has been a plus for McCain. She energized the base and gave everyone, including liberals, something to talk about.

Polls like this (http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2008/09/24/wsjnbc-poll-voters-doubt-palins-qualifications-to-be-president/)would suggest otherwise:

Asked, “Do you feel that Sarah Palin is qualified to be president if the need arises, or is she not qualified to be president?” 49% of all respondents said the Alaska governor is not qualified while 40% said she is.
Not great when half the country thinks you are "not qualified". That's a pretty low hurdle.

As far as the debate goes, I look for her to do perform really well. She's nice to look at, she has that cool voice, plus she's like a breath of fresh air among these usual cookie cutter candidates.
Have you seen the Couric interview? :boggled:

Biden is boring and less than 1% wanted him as the Dem candidate. How many really care that he's the VP candidate?
Does anyone care what he says in the debate?

I agree. when it comes to VP candidates, however, boring is not necessarily bad


This will get ratings all because of Palin. It's all about her.
I agree. Like watching Evel Knievel try to jump the snake river canyon, you had to watch. You thought he might make it, but really you just wanted to see how far he would go before he crashed. ;)

Meadmaker
28th September 2008, 05:36 PM
I agree. Like watching Evel Knievel try to jump the snake river canyon, you had to watch. You thought he might make it, but really you just wanted to see how far he would go before he crashed. ;)


Good description. That's why I'll be watching, sort of.

I want to see her either screw up so badly that it's laughable, or perform so well that everyone is stunned.

(FWIW: I think this election is over. Stick a fork in McCain. He's done. Now it's all about the entertainment value, and Thursday night is the best chance for entertainment between now and November.)

chipmunk stew
28th September 2008, 06:11 PM
They "don't decide elections" but "could be decisive"?

...what?
Sure. I could have phrased it more tightly, but think about it: The running mate has the potential to shift the numbers of the candidate, but only marginally. If the candidate is strong or weak enough, it won't make a difference to the final outcome, no matter how strong or weak the running mate is. If the election is close, though, the marginal shift that the running mate contributes could be decisive.

Upchurch
28th September 2008, 06:14 PM
I agree with you there. What I was disagreeing with was the contention that VP choices don't decide elections. I think "rarely" or "don't usually" would be a much better phrase.

MattusMaximus
28th September 2008, 06:19 PM
Well, so far, Palin has been a plus for McCain. She energized the base and gave everyone, including liberals, something to talk about.


This is the only thing I agree with in your post... the pick of Palin certainly has given everyone a lot to talk about. Unfortunately, most of the discussion seems to center around McCain's sanity.

chipmunk stew
28th September 2008, 06:20 PM
I agree with you there. What I was disagreeing with was the contention that VP choices don't decide elections. I think "rarely" or "don't usually" would be a much better phrase.
You're right. I was using the parlance of Conventional Wisdom. And I think it would be accurate to say that they never have. I can't think of an example where the veep clearly swung the election.

hgc
28th September 2008, 06:26 PM
This is the only thing I agree with in your post... the pick of Palin certainly has given everyone a lot to talk about. Unfortunately, most of the discussion seems to center around McCain's sanity.


Too true. I can never remember a case before of a VP pick calling into question the qualifications of the presidential candidate for making that pick. This is legitimate question. In my opinion, McCain had thousands of better qualified Republicans to pick from. He didn't take from the bottom of the barrel. He chewed through the bottom of the barrel and dug through the crust of the Earth to find Palin.

not_so_new
28th September 2008, 06:43 PM
As far as the debate goes, I look for her to do perform really well.

I don't.

She does a marginal job (even this is debatable) speaking the words of others without having to adlib answers. But in the two real interviews she has done since her selection (Fox News does not count) she has been so abysmal even a few conservative pundits have called for her ouster.

*Hint* In a debate format she will not know the questions beforehand, much like an interview. If her interviews are any gage to her debate abilities I think you are in for a surprise.


She's nice to look at,

Debatable...

she has that cool voice,

If you definition of "cool" is a combination of broken glass and rocks in a metal trash can rolling down hill then yes I think you could say she has a "cool" voice.

No accounting for taste I guess.

plus she's like a breath of fresh air among these usual cookie cutter candidates.


In as much as she has no clue about policy and can't give a coherent answer when asked a straightforward question? Yeah I agree.

SnuggleSmacks
29th September 2008, 03:36 AM
There will be no teleprompter. The questions will be hard. And she'll be debating against someone who has at least half a clue.

I can't wait.

Undesired Walrus
29th September 2008, 04:06 AM
There will be no teleprompter. The questions will be hard. And she'll be debating against someone who has at least half a clue.

I can't wait.

I'd agree with you if she was up against someone like Bill Clinton or Reagan (Considering how he humiliated Walter Mondale in the 1984 debate), but Biden tends to make the topic about himself rather than the other person, and in the process loses people. You have to win people over to your side to make your opponent look bad. That said, I still think he is a good guy.

DavidJames
29th September 2008, 05:52 AM
I posted this in another tread, but it probably belongs here.

The bar is being set incredibly low for her, it won't take much for her to hurdle it with ease. The bar was set low for Reagan and Baby Bush's first debate and both beat expectations which gave their campaigns momentum.

I won't be surprised if she exceeds peoples expectations and McCain ends up with a poll bump. Not that she will "win", she doesn't have to win or even look that great. As long as she doesn't look like Lucy (of Lucy and Ethel) or the SNL Church Women she will help McCain. Yes, I'm that cynical.

Pookster
29th September 2008, 06:17 AM
I posted this in another tread, but it probably belongs here.

The bar is being set incredibly low for her, it won't take much for her to hurdle it with ease. The bar was set low for Reagan and Baby Bush's first debate and both beat expectations which gave their campaigns momentum.

I won't be surprised if she exceeds peoples expectations and McCain ends up with a poll bump. Not that she will "win", she doesn't have to win or even look that great. As long as she doesn't look like Lucy (of Lucy and Ethel) or the SNL Church Women she will help McCain. Yes, I'm that cynical.


I somewhat disagree about the bar being set low for her. I think with all the media scrutiny about her poor performances and hiding from the media, she's got a tough hurdle in front of her. According to the polls, many don't believe she's competent to be VP (and by default, President). She's carrying a lot of heavy baggage now in her effort to clear that hurdle. While the bar is lower than for many in the past, she's trying to jump out of quicksand to clear it. Everything she says will be scrutinized intensely. Her demeanor will as well. I doubt any candidate has ever faced such a challenge to the degree that she does.

If she clear the hurdle and looks competent, it bodes well for her future in national politics. But I doubt it will change the complexion of the race much.

DavidJames
29th September 2008, 06:24 AM
I somewhat disagree about the bar being set low for her. I think with all the media scrutiny about her poor performances and hiding from the media, she's got a tough hurdle in front of her. According to the polls, many don't believe she's competent to be VP (and by default, President). She's carrying a lot of heavy baggage now in her effort to clear that hurdle. That's exactly what I mean While the bar is lower than for many in the past, she's trying to jump out of quicksand to clear it. Everything she says will be scrutinized intensely. Her demeanor will as well. I doubt any candidate has ever faced such a challenge to the degree that she does.

If she clear the hurdle and looks competent, it bodes well for her future in national politics. I'm saying competence will be judged relative to Lucy and the Church Women vs. a seasoned politician.But I doubt it will change the complexion of the race much.I agree, and considering the job description and McCains age, is completely wrong.

Nogbad
29th September 2008, 06:31 AM
Not sure how the youtube thing is done here but here goes

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=yjoPM9pKVks

Edit: Oh bum!

Edit edit - Cracked it I think - or maybe not

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=yjoPM9pKVks

Pookster
29th September 2008, 06:46 AM
I'm saying competence will be judged relative to Lucy and the Church Women vs. a seasoned politician.


Here's where I disagree. She's looked incredibly incompetent to be President in her interviews. The media is miffed with her due to her being sheltered so much from them. The tenor of their coverage and analysis is going to be very tough on her. She's got to change the tide of opinion about her, and it's going to take the performance of a competent national politician to do so. She won't have to match the best and most talented, but she yet to even show the competence of a freshman legislator at the national level.

Darat
29th September 2008, 06:48 AM
My prediction:

I am sure there will a lot of controversy stirred by the choice of clothing, the tight fitting, skirt-suit in purple will get a lot of tongues wagging about Biden, whilst Palin's Goth outfit and black lipstick will cause much consternation with Christian fundamentalists until it is explained that she hadn't had time to change after rushing back from Alaska after executing two high-school teachers who'd tried to teach evolution.


Hey at least my predictions are interesting and as as accurate as all major TV psychics!

Dragoonster
29th September 2008, 07:38 AM
That's exactly what I mean I'm saying competence will be judged relative to Lucy and the Church Women vs. a seasoned politician.

Based on her interviews (which appear more like what the format will be than her RNC speech), she's more the former than the latter.

Yeah, it's great to raise the bar for her in case she does well, but honestly I wouldn't be surprised if post-debate the consensus is the bar wasn't even low enough. She might do that poorly. As I said it partially depends on whether Biden also makes some gaffs that would tend to balance the gaff-o-meter. If he's solid the media will spend a lot more time scrutinizing her.

I just don't see why we should expect her to have a dramatic improvement in knowledge base between now and Thursday. She doesn't seem to know much about national issues or McCain, and her handlers aren't doing a good job focusing her.

not_so_new
29th September 2008, 07:51 AM
Based on her interviews (which appear more like what the format will be than her RNC speech), she's more the former than the latter.

Yeah, it's great to raise the bar for her in case she does well, but honestly I wouldn't be surprised if post-debate the consensus is the bar wasn't even low enough. She might do that poorly. As I said it partially depends on whether Biden also makes some gaffs that would tend to balance the gaff-o-meter. If he's solid the media will spend a lot more time scrutinizing her.

I just don't see why we should expect her to have a dramatic improvement in knowledge base between now and Thursday. She doesn't seem to know much about national issues or McCain, and her handlers aren't doing a good job focusing her.

I 100% agree with this, great post but I would add one little tiny thing that you might have missed right at the end there......

"She doesn't seem to know much about national issues or McCain, and her handlers aren't doing a good job focusing her.... or she just does not have the ability to be focused in the first place because she is THAT bad of a canidate."

Pookster
29th September 2008, 07:52 AM
One of the big challenges for Palin is not to look too pit bullish. I expect Biden to be folksy with his demeanor. I expect some self-deprecating humor as well. His folksy humor is generally spontaneous (or at least comes across as such) in nature. Palin could come across as being very shrill or/and forced with her approach if she's not careful.

gdnp
29th September 2008, 09:03 AM
One of the big challenges for Palin is not to look too pit bullish. I expect Biden to be folksy with his demeanor. I expect some self-deprecating humor as well. His folksy humor is generally spontaneous (or at least comes across as such) in nature. Palin could come across as being very shrill or/and forced with her approach if she's not careful.

Actually, I think looking pit bullish is her best shot. Stay on the offensive and thus on her own turf, put Biden back on his heels, and show that she is tough, able to take a punch, and ready to lead. She can't let this turn into an academic exercise of competing policy details: she is on the losing end of most policies right now, and Biden understands the issues much better than she does. Better to attack using general themes and sidestep the tough questions. Attack the librul press for ganging up on her, and make the moderator part of it if necessary. If she gets that "deer in the headlights" look she got with Couric she is toast.

Pookster
29th September 2008, 09:54 AM
Actually, I think looking pit bullish is her best shot. Stay on the offensive and thus on her own turf, put Biden back on his heels, and show that she is tough, able to take a punch, and ready to lead. She can't let this turn into an academic exercise of competing policy details: she is on the losing end of most policies right now, and Biden understands the issues much better than she does. Better to attack using general themes and sidestep the tough questions. Attack the librul press for ganging up on her, and make the moderator part of it if necessary. If she gets that "deer in the headlights" look she got with Couric she is toast.


Yes, I agree. It is her best shot. But if she looks too pit bullish, then it will backfire on her, IMO.

Plantfoam
29th September 2008, 12:25 PM
Does anyone agree that instead of touting Alaska's proximity to Russia and Canada, Palin should simply note that she is the governor of "former Russian territory"?

not_so_new
29th September 2008, 12:38 PM
Does anyone agree that instead of touting Alaska's proximity to Russia and Canada, Palin should simply note that she is the governor of "former Russian territory"?

Nope... that is still a silly answer.

What they SHOULD have done is just admit that she has very little foreign policy experience in the first place. News flash, most of the time it's better to tell the truth, eat the negative reviews then move on. When you try to hide behind made up BS the media will keep hammering on it.

If they would have taken the "she really does not have a lot of experience in foreign policy but she is a bright person and will learn very quickly" route I don't think this would be AS big of an issue.

It would still be a Democrat talking point but not at the level it is now. It's a big deal now because she has to defend the indefensible position that seeing Russia from her front door makes her worldly.

SnuggleSmacks
29th September 2008, 02:20 PM
Ah but you forget, Palin is the chief executive of a state which resides between TWO foreign countries. It is not only Russia which she can see from Alaska, but she can also see Canada!! This makes her twice as worldly!!

ProbeX
29th September 2008, 02:31 PM
Quick switch in topic. I understand Biden and Palin get 90 sec.s each to answer questions and 2 min.s each afterward to discuss answers. But do any of you know whether or not they are given the questions in advance? Have found conflicing info about this online.

ProbeX
29th September 2008, 02:45 PM
Actually, I think looking pit bullish is her best shot. Stay on the offensive and thus on her own turf, put Biden back on his heels, and show that she is tough, able to take a punch, and ready to lead. She can't let this turn into an academic exercise of competing policy details: she is on the losing end of most policies right now, and Biden understands the issues much better than she does. Better to attack using general themes and sidestep the tough questions. Attack the librul press for ganging up on her, and make the moderator part of it if necessary. If she gets that "deer in the headlights" look she got with Couric she is toast.

Oh yeah, I totally agree that she'll have to avoid that "deer caught ... " look.

At the same time, Palin can't afford to get overly aggressive, lest she be demoted to b!tch status. Hillary got labeled that way, but she is quite smart and crafty. Palin would get labeled a dumb b!tch. That's a bit more brutal and damning.

MattusMaximus
29th September 2008, 08:09 PM
I just don't see why we should expect her to have a dramatic improvement in knowledge base between now and Thursday. She doesn't seem to know much about national issues or McCain, and her handlers aren't doing a good job focusing her.


She won't have any real increased knowledge at all. By Thursday, she will have essentially crammed for five straight days to appear more knowledgeable, but I predict on this point her performance will be full of fail. Hell, I've had students who try to cram like that for final exams (they fail) yet here she is attempting to cram for the second highest office in the United States. When I see her interviews with Gibson and Couric, she strikes me as a kid in my class who should have taken the time all semester to learn the material, but they were lazy and try to fake-it at the last minute in a lame attempt to pass the course. It's sad.

I sense an impending disaster. At least the debate party I'm throwing will likely be entertaining :D

MattusMaximus
29th September 2008, 08:10 PM
Oh yeah, I totally agree that she'll have to avoid that "deer caught ... " look.

At the same time, Palin can't afford to get overly aggressive, lest she be demoted to b!tch status. Hillary got labeled that way, but she is quite smart and crafty. Palin would get labeled a dumb b!tch. That's a bit more brutal and damning.


What do you mean "get labeled"? ;)

ProbeX
29th September 2008, 09:36 PM
:)

Augustine
30th September 2008, 09:43 AM
A lot is going to depend on Gwen Ifill. One of the things I liked about Jim Lehrer is that he kept the answers focused on the questions.

If Gwen can do the same thing and not allow either candidate to give non-answers, then I suspect that Palin will not do well.

Agreed on a lot depending on Gwen Ifill.

Given that she has a book entitled The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama being released January 20, 2009 (Inauguration Day), I think her objectivity in this debate will receive a certain amount of scrutiny. If she remains impartial and objective, the debate can be judged on the merits of each candidate's performance. If she provides any opening for her objectivity to be questioned, and Palin does not perform well, we will devolve into talking points of "media bias" versus "whining". (The cynics may contend that we will get that regardless. ;))

not_so_new
30th September 2008, 10:24 AM
She won't have any real increased knowledge at all. By Thursday, she will have essentially crammed for five straight days to appear more knowledgeable, but I predict on this point her performance will be full of fail. Hell, I've had students who try to cram like that for final exams (they fail) yet here she is attempting to cram for the second highest office in the United States. When I see her interviews with Gibson and Couric, she strikes me as a kid in my class who should have taken the time all semester to learn the material, but they were lazy and try to fake-it at the last minute in a lame attempt to pass the course. It's sad.

I sense an impending disaster. At least the debate party I'm throwing will likely be entertaining :D

There is an odd thing at play here... the fact that people are surprised by Palin's inability to respond well to questions.

There is a huge difference between superficial knowledge and deep knowledge.

A good politician on the national stage has to be 2 feet deep and 2 miles wide, they have to know a reasonable amount about a TON of different topics. A REALLY good politician is 2 miles wide and 5 feet deep, they know A LOT about a TON of different topics.

Palin's problem is that she is and 6 inches deep and maybe (being generous) a 1/2 mile wide. You can cram to get wider or you can cram to get deeper but you can't cram to get wider and deeper.

She could strive to become maybe a mile wide but if you scratch the surface you will find she is still only 6 inches deep. She could conversely strive to be 2 feet deep and 1/2 mile wide but there will be huge gaps in her subject knowledge.

I see this as a no win scenario for McCain, she just does not have the width or depth to make up enough ground on the other.

That said, the average American does not go so deep and they are not very wide either so she could still pull the wool over them but anyone who follows politics should be able to spot the above situation if they view it with an unbiased eye.

MattusMaximus
30th September 2008, 01:41 PM
Nice analogy. Now it just begs the question of exactly what it is that Palin's standing in? ;)