Friday, October 03, 2008

Biden On Obama, Palin On Palin

Friday, October 5, on Hardball, one day after the Palin-Biden debate, Chris Matthews said of Sarah Palin

"She recited answers that were off the shelf. They were not original answers.... She memorized answers for expected questions. " Citing the week-and-a-half the McCain camp "had to prep" the Veep candidate, Matthews asked "is there anything you heard last night that couldn't have been done by a B-plus college grad?" But the MSNBC host's assertion "we're talking about the number two job. I don't think it's about recitation" guest brought this defense of the candidate from Chris Cillizza:

The job of a Vice-President during the campaign is to advocate for the President's position.

So how did the Governor of Alaska "advocate" for the fellow she is presumably trying to get elected? In a response about taxes, Senator Biden concluded his remarks by stating

Gwen, the governor did not answer the question about deregulation, did not answer the question of defending John McCain about not going along with the deregulation, letting Wall Street run wild. He did support deregulation almost across the board. That's why we got into so much trouble.

Asked by moderator Gwen Ifill for a response, Palin characteristically boasted

I'm still on the tax thing because I want to correct you on that again. And I want to let you know what I did as a mayor and as a governor. And I may not answer the questions that either the moderator or you want to hear, but I'm going to talk straight to the American people and let them know my track record also. As mayor, every year I was in office I did reduce taxes. I eliminated personal property taxes and eliminated small business inventory taxes and as governor we suspended our state fuel tax. We did all of those things knowing that that is how our economy would be heated up. Now, as for John McCain's adherence to rules and regulations and pushing for even harder and tougher regulations, that is another thing that he is known for though. Look at the tobacco industry. Look at campaign finance reform.

Note the nouns and pronouns: "I'm.... I.....I.... mayor and as a governor.....I....I'm....my.....as mayor....I....I....I....as governor we....we (Alaskans)." Then Governor Earmark managed to throw in a word about the guy she wishes were at the bottom of the ticket.

Presumably, the objective in a debate during a presidential campaign is to help drive the ticket to victory, but Sarah Palin, I believe harmed (though very modestly) the Arizona senator's effort. Some Republicans want to claim that the Alaska governor "won" the debate, which is irrelevant except in terms of her future role in the GOP if the ticket is defeated, which she expects.

John McCain's running mate likely improved her still-limited stature by performing reasonably well reciting talking points and avoiding answering questions. Meanwhile, Joe Biden spent the evening promoting Barack Obama. Sarah Palin spent the evening promoting Sarah Palin.

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