45 Thoughts to “Biden vs Palin Debate”

  1. Robb Pearson

    I, for one, find all the candidates likeable: Obama, McCain, Biden, and Palin. Who do I think will win in November? Obama-Biden. Though by a tremendously narrow margin (I am predicting maybe by a margin of 4 to 12 electoral votes).

    And when it comes to the VP pick, I think it’s extremely important when voting on election day. Because what if the newly inaugurated president dies the day after his or her inauguration? The VP candidate has to take over, and must possess an executive character, wealth of knowledge, and professional zeal and charisma equal to the task.

    And so when I think of Sarah Palin fitting into the scenario of having to take over as President the day after Inauguration Day, I absolutely shudder. Putting Biden into that same scenario, I have great confidence.

    Yes, Sarah Palin is tremendously likeable and has a personality of gold. How can you not like her? But tonight in the debate she demonstrated that she didn’t know what she was talking about, but was only parotting what she had been scripted to say during what must clearly have been intense coaching.

    Although an executive (i.e., Governor of Alaska), she does not possess a convincing executive character the same as Obama, McCain, or Biden. I cannot stress enough the importance of executive character. As to knowledge, she is so deficient as to be destitute. Professional zeal and charisma, those she might have. But her zeal and charisma are appropriate to perhaps a pep-rally atmosphere, not to the most powerful position of political leadership in the world.

    In the end I think Palin inspires great admiration, but nothing more. And I think people have confused their feelings of confidence about her with what is merely deep admiration.

    Ultimately, though, minus the obvious appearance of Palin having been severely prepped, I think the debate resulted in a break-even. It turned out to be simply an energetic joint presentation of opposing views and policy positions. No winner, no loser.

  2. DiversityGal

    I actually think Biden did a better job than Palin. I am not saying that she did horribly. She did much better than the extremely low bar that was set for her. I was predicting a bloodbath given the recent CBS interviews (which made her look incredibly incompetent).

    The broad smile and folksy demeanor only go so far with me. I can’t speak for the rest of America, but you need to at least back that up with the ability to think on your feet, and speak with intelligence, confidence, and wisdom. Forgive me…call me an elitist, I really don’t care, but I want my leaders to be smart. I want them to give the world the impression that they are smart. I need to get the sense that you walked into the debate with your own pursued knowledge and understanding of the topics. With Biden, I got that. With Palin, I definitely got the impression that she was a great student at the Arizona Boot Camp of Debate, and had just come from a week of cramming in her dorm.

    I have heard so much “Let Palin be Palin” in the last week, that the phrase made me cringe almost as much as the word “maverick” (whoever started using that term should get a good kick in the pants). Palin was herself last night in the way she looked at the camera, spoke in her warm midwestern-sounding tones, etc. However, what I heard come out of her mouth sounded like McCain Cliff’s Notes.

    Say she does become VP; if she is let loose, not sequestered and drilled within an inch of her life, I would say that it is likely we would have another Dan Quayle on our hands. I base this on what has happened on the rare occasions she has been allowed to buy cheesesteak in the real world or have an interview with a journalist.

    I was happy that Biden finally spoke up about the whole maverick thing. Your campaign becomes extremely annoying when you start using the term at all times. As I have said before, the maverick image is a false one, and Biden was dead-on in the way he addressed it.

    Palin is image without substance to me. She is a very pretty, very nice walking set of Western values. She embraces and is encouraged to market herself as a hunting, down-home hockey mom more than as a professional politician. Sure, you can talk about your family and your life experience, but use your professionalism. You demean yourself when you present your family life and values as your highest qualification for the job, instead of education, ideas, experience, etc. I find it even more demeaning that a lot of Americans might really be looking for that in a female politician.

    Yeesh…it would seem we haven’t come that long of a way, baby.


    Just have to say: Great Analysis, DG!

  4. DiversityGal

    OK, here’s another thing…I get annoyed when I hear politicians talk about improving education in our country when some of them clearly don’t value it.

    Look, education matters. Obama, by all accounts, was a great, high performing/achieving student who pursued/achieved a doctoral degree. Biden has called himself a lazy student, and had some controversy with possible plagiarism, but did pursue/achieve a a doctoral degree. McCain was quite a poor student, and I can’t find that he has more than a bachelor’s degree (I could be very wrong about this; please correct me if I am). Palin went to 5 different colleges to achieve her bachelor’s degree, which is a big red flag.

    Palin talked last night about improving standards in education. So many politicians do. Everyone speaks of how important it is to raise educational standards for teachers, so that we have the most “highly qualified” staff teaching America’s children. Is it not equally as important to have the most highly qualified leaders, educationally speaking?

    If you are going to speak about improving education, and do not have the educational experience to back yourself up, I think you look COMPLETELY ridiculous and hypocritical. Why is the educational performance/achievement of our leaders much less important than the educational performance/achievement of children and teachers?

    We need to consider this more when we talk about educational reform.

  5. We’ve had colds running through the house all week. My stomach already hurt. The thought of adding Palin to the pain was more than I could put on myself.

  6. –Palin went to 5 different colleges to achieve her bachelor’s degree, which is a big red flag.–

    Actually, I don’t judge her on that one. It takes many people longer to complete degrees which is why some of them (not Palin I am sure) get sucked into rotten colleges. Our military folks fall into this all the time: they start a degree, get deployed, and get stuck, sometimes with credits that never transfer. Then they are lured into fly-by-night schools promising quick programs that are never delivered. Of course, the student loan lenders love this! They get to collect money for YEARS without any accountability from the school or the government.

    I did a whole blog posting on the way unethical schools work the system.

  7. WHY do my links never go through?? It’s not like I’m going to post porn or anything.

  8. Sorry, but Palin is an embarrassment to any professional with a vagina.

  9. Marie

    I also thought DG did a great anaylsis of the debate. So, I will not add any additional comments.

  10. Marie

    BTW I think Robb did a good job of assessing the debate as well.

  11. You all did better than I! LOL!

    I’m cranky this morning. Can you tell? 🙂

  12. Moon-howler

    I do not think I can endure hearing the work ‘maverick’ any more.

  13. Slither hither

    What’s up with that “wink” during the debate ? 😉

  14. ShellyB

    I agree with DG as well. Robb read it right but I don’t agree it was break-even, and I don’t agree Palin is likeable since her best skill is being nasty, misleading, and dirisive. She is a suitable vessel for a negative and backward thinking message that relies on attacking the opponent rather than offering ideas or a vision.

    (I wrote the below on a previous thread. It mentions Palin’s accidental references to a Civil War General who has long since retired from the U.S. military. He was the one who ran against Lincoln in 1864 for President.)

    Biden was the clear winner. I have been watching the pundits try to spin this for Palin. I think the disingenuous way in which Republican talking heads have been trying to manipulate people through their TVs has become the latest and most obvious example of putting partisanship before straight talk. There are so many others. How is Bush’s press secretary supposed to come out and tell the truth about what’s been going on the past 8 years (except for McClellan years too late and no I don’t mean GENERAL McClellan). But the independents who will decide this election are well aware they have been lied to. They are looking for it. So it was a big mistake to choose a VP you have to lie to say you have faith in.

  15. Lucky Duck

    Come on Shelly, is that as bad a Biden stating on CBS two weeks ago that FDR was president during the Great Depression and went on television to calm the nation?? Of course, it was Hoover as President in 1929, FDR didn’t come in until 1932 and television was not even invented until decades later.

    My point is, everyone has the right to be a bit nervous and her error in the General’s name was minimal.

    I agree that Biden won the debate, but find something stronger than that to tear her down with.

  16. Mando

    Biden is a slick crook like his new best buddy Obama. I’m not a fan of McCain either. Didn’t know much about Palin untill a few weeks ago. Still don’t know much about Palin.

    All I know is i’m not voting for a socialist.

  17. Gloria Mejia


    Regarding your vagina comment, I commend you for being bold and saying something many of your fellow sisters have wanted to say.

    I am proud of my Democratic vagina, and believe that the racists on that bigot website wouldn’t have the first clue what to do with it if they had the honor.

    As a fellow feminist, we will win the war against those bigots that believe in ethnic cleansing of Prince William County!

  18. hello

    Wow kgotthardt, this thread was about the debate (which you said you didn’t even watch) and your contribution to the discussion (about the debate) was “Sorry, but Palin is an embarrassment to any professional with a vagina.” Amazing, simply amazing, and so articulate as well.

    I decided to take a look at your blog to see if there was something that could explain why your such a hateful person. The only thing I could find were some nice pictures of nature, some poems, and then some pics of your cat and some nice vacation pics. Then I saw something that almost made me puke, your “Industry” is EDUCATION!!!!!!????!!! I drop to my knees right away (hands in prayer position, eyes looking to the heavens), God, Dear God, please tell me that this woman doesn’t teach children these vile, hateful things. And for the first time in history I actually got a response. I heard a soft whisper in my ear say “hello, I tried with this one… I really did, however, her fragile mind was no match for Satan”.

    So that’s it, I have finally figured it out, your possessed by the devil himself. Good luck with that.

  19. Moon-howler


    Youi might not agree with Kgotthartd’s politics but I think telling someone they are possessed by the devil is a little much. Furthermore, not all people teach children. Some people teach adults, those in jail, those learning business skills.

    I don’t feel Palin has the skills and knowledge to be a vice president or a president in the unlikely event she would have to take over the top position. I can’t see someone whose language is that casual, who winks and who does ‘shout outs’ talking with heads of state. She is cute and personable, but not presidential.

    Does that make me satanic?

  20. hello

    Your correct Moon-howler, that was a little harsh and it was my attempt at a little humor, sort-of. KG constantly says things like this and I’m getting a little sick of it. If you didn’t even watch the debate then it would be better to say nothing rather than that crap. Especially coming from a woman about another woman (a VP candidate at that).

    Okay, so you don’t like her or don’t agree with her politics, then say so. There is no need for this kind of language.

    About the debate, I thought that it was pretty much a tie. Nobody really won in my view, however, given the past week Palin had I think that she did really well. You have to give her credit for doing how good she did considering she was going up against someone who has been debating since she was in 2nd grade. I think she held her own, had a few flubs but so did the extremely more experienced Biden.

  21. Robb Pearson

    Mando, you wrote:

    All I know is i’m not voting for a socialist.

    Where the broad definition of socialism is concerned (i.e., collective ownership and state control of property, production, and capital distribution), I can’t say I blame you.

    However the “bailout”, which I’m against, doesn’t represent socialism but is actually state interventionism (not control). The very social and political dynamics of American society don’t make socialism a possibility (at present).

    Now, having said that I’m against the “bailout”, I personally feel some reconsideration is actually necessary. While the greed of the few on Wall Street was pivotally responsible for the current economic crisis, the unfortunate fact remains that the resulting fallout (plumetting stock values, credit freeze, etc.) has harmed a great many innocent Americans who were honestly unsuspecting (such as those with retirement investments, businesses which rely on credit, etc.). Assistance to them ultimately helps us all.

    And that brings us to the Constitution. From the preamble:

    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty . . .

    I’m particularly interested in the “insure domestic Tranquility” and “promote the general Welfare” sections. The “bailout”, albeit distasteful, has the objective of quite literally “insuring” that our “domestic Tranquility” and “general Welfare” — both of which are directly related to the health of our national economy — are duly protected. And doing so via funds from the collective wallot of Americans I think is, to a degree, called for.

    I only think the “bailout”, which became law today, is a terribly imperfect mechanism in seeking to achieve that end.

    What now must happen is a total restructuring of how our economy operates, and ensuring that its security is not dependent upon a mere few financial institutions. And that’s a lengthy discussion for a future post.

  22. Michael

    Robb, I agree with you, good analysis of Palin. She’s so radical right she scares me. I only hope Obama is not so radical left to scare all of us (liberal conservatives) more than McCain does.

  23. Michael

    Robb, I too am against the bailout, but know we need to prevent the furthur shock to the economy. It will be a temporary fix in my opinion however, and I do not believe we will avoid a depression due to the cost of it all. I believe we must make sure those we bailout do not profit and do not escape accountabiliy for their reckless behavior (bordering on illegal, and some will later be found by the FBI to actually be illegal, then I hope we punish them).

  24. Michael

    Excellant analysis on Palin Diversity Gal, I wholeheartedly agree.

  25. Michael

    KG, how about just an embarrasment to any professional? You should take gender thinking out of that equation if you really believe in equality issues. Sounds feministic to me.

  26. DiversityGal

    Thank you, Michael:)

  27. the VP debate was stunning. Palin did a decent job faking about 20% of the questions and didn’t even bother answering the other 80%.

    i couldn’t help thinking of the end of the movie Billy Madison, when the debate moderator says to Adam Sandler, “Mr. Madison, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.”

  28. Michael

    And feminism is good GM? Kinda like racism?

    Yeah let’s just keep thinking the world will be perfect when we all belong to angry hateful ethnic, gender, religious and racial hate groups who judge each other by our different “attributes”.

  29. DB

    How come folksy colloqulisms(sp?) are so endearing in a white VP candidate? Who is Joe Six pack by the way? A six pack of what? She reps the soccer moms and Joe six packs of this country? What does that mean? Every middle class man is drunk? Every middle class mom represents the wife on that Earl show? What!? There are no educated middle class moms and dads left in this country? I want a VP candidate that is less informed, less educated, and less well-spoken than I? Sara Palin does NOT represent me. I pose a question…if Obama walked into a debate and spoke ebonics, would we find him “endearing”, would we give him the same platitudes as we give her? No. We’d blow him off as ignorant. I listened to a radio station this AM whose DJs were busy trying to Lexis Nexis the last time that “doggone it” was ever used in a VP debate. OMG she’s a laughing-stock, and a rock tied to the ankle of every female who ever wanted to acheive more…this is my opinion.

  30. Lake Ridge

    Movie Fan – Classic quote and there can’t be one more fitting.

  31. –Michael, 3. October 2008, 18:42
    KG, how about just an embarrasment to any professional? You should take gender thinking out of that equation if you really believe in equality issues. Sounds feministic to me.–

    Because she is PLAYING off her own gender, and therby MINE! She’s using her gender as a tool here. Her gender isnt’ the problem. It’s how she is trying to represent her gender. She makes a mockery of women who want to overcome the “cutsey” stigma.

    Do you see the difference?

  32. –I am proud of my Democratic vagina, and believe that the racists on that bigot website wouldn’t have the first clue what to do with it if they had the honor.—


    Thanks, Gloria, to you and your Democratic vagina!!!

  33. Yes, Hello, you GOT ME! I teach little kids to worship Satan and pick on Sarah Palin. How did you manage to discover this? I give you credit for being a genius!!!!!!!!

    Incidentally, Hello, you shouldn’t assume that everyone in education teaches children. Education is a broad industry….and it’s this fat broad’s industry. Furthermore, you shouldn’t assume everyone in education talks about their political viewpoints to their students. Finally, not everyone working in education even WORKS with students. You make far too many assumptions, dear.

    You don’t “know” me as you claim to. What you know is my writing and what you might hear at citizen’s time. Everything else is rumor, supposition, and probably slander that I choose to ignore.

    Don’t like the bluntness? Then leave it alone.

    Or perhaps you just prefer lies.

    I don’t know because…..I don’t know you.

  34. “she’s a laughing-stock, and a rock tied to the ankle of every female who ever wanted to acheive more…this is my opinion.”

    Well put, DB! She brings women back to some previous century. I’m not sure WHICH century, but it probably was before women had the right to vote.

  35. Hello has a problem with the word “vagina” apparently.

    I bet “The Vagina Monologues” just about threw her/him over the edge!

  36. Moon-howler


    I don’t think anyone won or lost either. Those who like Palin continued to like her and felt she did a good job. Those who like Biden thought he won. Both handled themselves well within their scope.

    I am still concerned that Palin has been the governor of fewer people than live in Fairfax County. I do not think she is the energy expert she claims to be.

    She did what she was chosen to do. She shored up the far right and got them back in the race and at least supporting McCain if for no other reason than to vote for her. Now I don’t think that qualifies her to be VP or pres, but …not one really asked me.

  37. I posted my “why I don’t think Palin can be a VP” somewhere else on this site and on my own blog. It’s too tiring to re-enumerate all the valid reasons I and others have for thinking she thinks a little too much of herself. Pride cometh before the fall.

  38. Moon-howler

    Palin is bubbly and perky. However, just not VP material. Can anyone imagine in their wildest dreams, Condolesa Rice acting bubbly and perky like that? I don’t think she is necessarily embarrassing to professional females. I just don’t think she is presidential. Her voice grates on my nerves, her winking disgusts me, and she reminds me of Barbie with a pull string. Her politics are not mine.

    Other than that, I like her as the governor of Alaska. I hope she keeps the job. She probably does an excellent job.

  39. ShellyB

    Lucky Duck, what are you talking about? The Great Depression started in 1929, but it LASTED well past 1932. Most would say it was WWII that pulled us our of the Great Depression. I thought the manufactured gaffe over whatever Biden said was something to do with when television took over radio. Turn on Fox News again, because I think the story had to do with an anachronism.

    Anyway, I think you have to be deeply partisan and, sorry to say, not very patriotic to want Sarah Palin to be involved in national security or any other national issue in the White House. She’d have the code to our “nuke-you-ler” weapons. And Moon-Howler, I had no idea there were less people in Alaska than in Fairfax County.

    And Michael if we’re going to take gender out of the question, my guess is there are 49 governors who are better qualified to be President. Former governor and professional wrestler Jesse Ventura is the only one who frightens me as much as Palin. If she wasn’t a woman in the year of Hillary Clinton, she’s not even on the short list.

  40. ShellyB

    Lucky Duck, I just re-read you post and now I see that you were right about why we’re supposed to be upset about what Biden said. I’m still not upset by it, but I didn’t see the story or the actual words in question.

  41. From The Chronicle of Higher Education

    October 3, 2008
    Biden vs. Palin
    (Opinion crossposted from Brainstorm)

    I haven’t surveyed many of the reactions and commentaries on the VP debate last night, but for me one moment stood out.

    Biden won the debate on substance, showing a deeper understanding of global and domestic affairs. Palin handled questions and the “situation” well (it is impossible to imagine the pressures she’s undergone in the last five weeks), but when it came time to outline the McCain-Palin future, most of her statements came down to reassurances, not positions.

    At one point, though, she offered a pointed characterization of the other side that, while it marked a clear policy difference, transcended policy and ideology.

    After a few exchanges on the War on Terror, Palin termed the Obama withdrawal-from-Iraq plan as “a white flag of surrender” (I believe those were the exact words). She went on briefly, and when the host turned back to Biden, he let the metaphor pass.

    This was astonishing. Did Biden not register the meaning of the phrase? If he had taken it’s full import, he would have muttered the only proper response:

    “Those are fighting words, governor.”

    Forget about explaining why withdrawal is not surrender. Forget about justifying timetables. This was an accusation, a character matter thrown at a potential commander-in-chief. Biden needed an answer in kind, but he let it go. Why?

    Was he afraid to sound like a bully? Has the Democratic Party become so sensitive to the “soft” label that they shrink from rejoinder?

    Whatever the reason, if Democrats don’t learn to hit back, if they go on the defensive when war talk arises, the forensic won’t go away. The global terror condition is with us, and the “white flag” charge will continue. Obama-Biden needs a counter-metaphor just as aggressive and demeaning to characterize the Republican strategic policy.

    Any suggestions?


  42. Moon-howler


    Biden’s gaffe is forgivable. If that is the only mis-speak any of them make, they are lucky. I would forgive any of them for a statement like that. I even forgive McCain over not knowing how many houses he has.

    He wasn’t being cutesy when he said it.

  43. ShellyB

    Katherine if you were watching CNN you would have seen the approval rating meter plummet when Palin said “white flag of surrender.”. Educated voters see empty slogans like “mission accomlished” and “surge” for what they are: insulting simplifications.

    I thought it was especially apparent who vapid and clueless McCain’s “country first” slogans are when you have an over-rehearsed and over her head hockey mom reciting them.

    The contrast between Biden’s expetise and plan for action and Palin’s slogans was devastating.

    Palin’s idea on Afghanistan: apply the “surge” slogan. But she doesn’t understand the strategy that slogan is supposed to stand for, and how the same tactics would not work in Afghanistan.

  44. NotGregLetiecq

    Did anyone hear the Palin Doctrine on nuclear war?

    “That would be the be all and end all for too many people.”

    I agree!

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