Chicago Sun-Times
The scoop from Washington

Biden, facing Palin debate, said Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm may be stand-in


Sun-Times Political Reporter

CHICAGO--Democratic vice-presidential nominee Joe Biden assured a crowd of donors in Lincoln Park Tuesday night that he would handle himself just fine in his debate with Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

Democratic Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm has even agreed to spend several days with him as Palin's stand-in for him to practice, he said. But he said "we'll see" whether he takes her up on her offer.

He's not aiming to take any cheap shots, he said.

"Folks, look, I know what she's going to try to do: she's going to try to make it as personal as she can. She's going to take a lot of straight lefts and jabs at me. She's going to try to get me to respond. She's going to try to get me to respond in a personal way," Biden said. "That's not my style. I'm not going to do it."

Biden told the heavy-hitter donors in backyards of Barbara Goodman Manilow and Steve Koch that he doesn't care about the passing controversies like whether Palin sold her predecessor's plane or not or whether or when she supported or opposed the "Bridge to Nowhere" in Alaska.

"What I care about is: What in God's name is she going to do -- along with John McCain -- about the thousands of people who don't have health care?" Biden asked. He'll ask her about "The superhighway of terror between Pakistan and Afghanistan where my helicopter was forced down...John McCain wants to know where Bin Ladin and the gates of Hell are? I can tell him where. That's where Al Quaida is. That's where Bin Ladin is. It's not in the country of Iraq."

Four of the six questions Biden fielded Tuesday night were from donors worried about Palin's popularity which has boosted the Republican ticket's poll numbers over the Democrats. Biden urged the donors to "have patience" and Palin's balloon would return to Earth once he or the press forced her to talk about who she would appoint to the Supreme Court or her views on global warming. He told them not to worry about a poll that showed white women defecting from Barack Obama to John McCain because of Palin.

"The press is exaggerating how white women are all of a sudden for Sarah Palin," Biden said. "We still have more women voting for Barack Obama than for John McCain...Part of the problem is in white suburbia, as well as...among ethnic groups, among, particularly Jews and Catholics, there is a lack of ease about Barack. They don't know him. One of my major jobs is to go out and talk about what I know -- they know me -- talk about who I am, why I support Barack."

Part of Biden's job Tuesday night was to make nice to the campaign's most generous donors, who they now have to convince to give just as much for the general election as they did for the primary.

"We're like poor relatives," Biden conceded. "We keep showing up."

Introducing Biden, John Levi thanked Biden for confirming his father, Edward Levi as former President Gerald Ford's Attorney General early in Biden's long senate career. Then, Levi added, speaking to the donors: "For the past 20 months, many of you have been digging in your wallets far deeper than you expected ... and now you're going to do it again, we need your help now more than ever."

Manilow said she saw the candidates‚ choice of vice-presidents as metaphors for their style.

"One took his time, picked someone he knew, whose ideology he respected...someone who is a great statesman," Manilow said. "The other chose someone he had met once for political gain."

Biden defended Palin against commentators who made an issue of her daughter's pregnancy and who argued that she should stay home with her children instead of running for vice-president.

"All it did was generate overwhelming sympathy (for Palin) and quite frankly it offended me," that anyone even raised the issues, he said. "Tell that to my wife. Tell that to a modern woman."


I love Biden, The more I find out the More I like Biden. Read his Full Bio and Back Ground He is a much better pick then Palin.

The greatest thing about Palin's excessive media coverage is the immense viewership it will bring to the VP debates.
Palin is in no way shape or form as knowledgeable, passionate, or involved in international or domestic policy as Joseph Biden. Nor does she speak as convincingly or powerfully.
The greatest thing about Palin's excessive media coverage is that it will show america exactly how unprepared she is, how inept mccain is at making important decisions and what a silly idea the republican ticket really is.

I cannot wait.

Big talking point is that the Democrats' vice-president nominee, Sen. Biden , has years of foreign policy experience as a member, and now chairman, of the Senate Foreign Relation Committee. That all depends on what the definition of 'experience 'is. He has had front -row set as an observer of foreign policy. But Biden has never had any real experience of making foreign policy and taking the consequences of the results. The difference between being a spectator and being a participant, with responsibility for the consequences of what you say and do , if fundamental. Out of four presidential and vice presidential candidates this year, only Gov. Palin has had to make executive decisions and live with the consequences.

Wow, Carlos! Are you in denial? You are in for one huge surprise.

The republicans have a winner in Palin. Biden has proven time and again that being in a senator for a long time does not mean you know what is going on. He opposed Gulf War 1 and then supported Gulf War 2. He opposed the surge and along with Obama can not accept that it has worked. He has trouble even finishing a thought as was evidenced on "Meet the Press" last Sunday. The debate will be great. Sad to see Joe end his career this way.

I seriously doubt Joe will be up for a serious debate with Palin. He will underestimate her again, which will be a mistake.

Carlos, you need to capitalize both candidates names so we can continue to try and show that this paper is unbiased. Nevermind, the times are as biased as any entity can get and should be ashamed to call themselves a news agency.
Inform us, don't pitch to us.

Biden has a long history in the Senate, but that history is not one of change... or even of correct decisions! He opposed the Gulf War, he supported the Iraq war, and he opposed the surge. Biden is part of the good old boy network- most decidedly NOT an agent for change.

I don't know whether Palin is qualified to be president, but she is as qualified as Obama... and she- unlike either member of the Democratic ticket- has actually worked for change, doing so AGAINST the GOP establishment in Alaska.

Go get 'em, Sarah!

Yea, I can't wait to see the debates between the two.

Joe Biden sunk to an incredible low yesterday when he dissed families of special needs children.

Down's is created by an extra chromosone. Exactly how would stem cell research cure that?

Rocks for brains..

hmmm maybe he is too worried about his brother's and son's fraud indictment to concentrate on his speeches?

Palin can dish out more lies and venom on her stump speaches than a hockey mom at a potluck. And why, is she can so effectively dish it out, can't Palin take it? Not because she's all upset that the media was mean to her *wipes tear*. Palin can't take it because her record and her lies would be exposed for what they are. They want to keep Palin as "managed" as possible so that she can continue to paint this folk hero picture of herself which is based on lies.

The "liberal" media will find a way to put a positive spin on Palin's performance. Have we forgotten the Bush-Gore debates, where the press promulgated the "Bush did better than expected and therefore won the debate" mantra. We must make sure we actually pay attention to the debate and not the media's evaluation of it.

Joe Biden is a good and decent man. He is an excellent choice for Obama. He knows the issues, especially foreign policy, and if you listen to him--even when he rambles on--you will see this is so. He will overwhelm Palin on the issues during the VP debate. It is very obvious she knows nothing about the national issues affecting the American people. Neither does McCain. It took McCain 2 years to figure out that Americans want and need change. Only when it affected his effort to become President does he and Palin try to usurp the idea from Obama. If he was the best person to do that, he would have already tried while he's been in the Senate and on the campaign trail. His head is still in Vietnam and that is too bad. It means he hasn't grown as a person and that the only thing he knows is military might and "winning". There are many ways to win, as Obama knows. If you know what I need, Senator McCain, show me by discussing the issues instead of you and Palin throwing barbs and lies about the Democratic ticket. Show me you are the best agent of change because as of now, you and your VP choice haven't shown me anything but lies, condescention and nastiness. I am proud of Barack Obama and Joe Biden. I'm just as proud of them as I am of my daughter who is a hockey mom, but who knows the difference between substance and lies. She's working for Obama and so am I.

I love John McCain's pick of Sarah Palin. I believe that she will she will handle her self well when debating with Biden. Obama and Biden need to quit trying to attack Sarah Palin. Better than that the Liberals and Democrats need to quit attacking her. Please help me and VOTE McCain Palin 08....

The Democrats have not attacked her, they've just pointed out the facts. She's a farce and a wind-up doll (whiney dialect) "I told congress, thanks but no thanks to that bridge to nowhere!"
The media and the rest of the America will soon find that out. Yeah thanks for the money, (27 million) but no thanks to the bridge, after congress already dropped it anyway.

Joe Biden will eat her alive in the debates. The Republicans don't want to talk about the issues because that have nothing to talk about. What else can they do except look for as many distractions and sideshows as possible to confuse the American public from the real issues. The more mud and accusations they sling the more the media and American public eat it up, and the REAL ISSUES get pushed into the background. Obama has said a number of times "The American people are smarter than that" but I'm not so sure. Just look at how people are buying into this same old republican crap... How many times do you need to get hit in the head before you relaize who's hittin you? Wev'e been gettin hit in the head for 8 years.

Gerd in Florida.... and I approve this message!

The big thing to watch for in the upcoming VP debates is whether Palin is wearing a wire as Geroge Jr was in the first of the presidential debates last time around. The receiver box strapped to his back was clearly visible when the television cameras angled from behind.

Palin's clearly inexperienced when it comes to foreign policy, so undoubtedly she'll be coached. But coached in real-time as George Jr was?

Governor Palin is going to clean Senator Biden's clock. Biden's claim to fame in debate and confirmation hearings is the cheap shot and that is going to backfire on him in this debate. You will see the triumph of substance over the political hack. And I'm not even taking into account Biden's long record of speaking before he thinks. Oh God, this is going to be fun!

I don't think global warming and the US Supreme Court are Palin's weakest spots. I like the idea of drawing Palin's attention to the issues, but the issues should be (1) foreign policy (where Biden has infinitely more knowledge) and (2) the economy (where Palin has nothing more to offer than four more years of GWB's policies).

Unlike the Democrats, the Republicans defend their women against smears. However, you have not heard GOVERNOR Palin say one thing NOR has she even hinted that any of this bothers her. She is a scrappy and tough fighter and she is wise enough to know that all these false rumors have a way of coming back like a boomerang on those who start them. The TELLING thing will be whether the DEMS keep with the same smears or move on to the next ones. Biden is likeable enough, unless of course, you are a family member of the truck driver who was involved with his wife and daughter's/sons tragic accident. How would you like it told for 20+ years that your dad/brother/son "drank his lunch instead of ate it" and caused a fatal accident? How would you like your family member to be falsely accused of such a horrible thing? Biden has done it and continues to do it (in between apologizing for it). This is considered having integrity? Guess that's why the most experienced guy is #2 on the Dem ticket...whatever.

He can TELL McCain a POW who served in war and Gov. Palin where the gates of hell are because his helicopter was forced to land due to weather conditions in a green zone. Biden can you enlighten me a veteran how you are going to do that?

"The press is exaggerating how white women

"exaggerating" is a word Biden should really avoid.

Hey Joe were those twin 40mm Snowballs that forced your chopper down?

BTW, Does Biden drink?

A lot?

"The press is exaggerating how white women

"exaggerating" is a word Biden should really avoid.

Hey Joe were those twin 40mm Snowballs that forced your chopper down?

BTW, Does Biden drink?

A lot?

I remember the Cheney-Lieberman debates as being carefully scripted and controlled in a low-key manner. Both gentlemen came off positively to the press and I would suggest that a Biden-Palin debate will not rise to the all out battle that you think it will.
Khalil, the "liberal" press shouldn't be able to tell anyone who excels in a debate. We should all have the ability to see it for ourselves. The problem arises in trying to make a judgment on esoteric points, ie: how a treaty failed in the past and why, how this economic policy succeeded or failed in the past and why, historical comparisons to candidate's policies to those of the past with the details, etc. Don't expect much from the media, they don't do much more than host the "dog and pony show". They will be able to tell you who answered more confidently or who dominated a debate, but I seriously doubt it will be more than a beauty pageant with a couple rounds of vigorous badminton.

Sara Palin will clean up the stage with Bidens backside. He is the poster child for scumbag liberal politican. People like Sara Palin because she was a nobody, she was not born into priveledge, not endowed with wealth and power as a birthright, and certainly not the product of a broken polititcal system that enables its participants to be for sale to the highest bidder. She is a mom, a neighbor, and an average "Jane." She can identify with the exact same problems that most of us face every daty becasue she is one of us. Shes like every lady in my hometown and every american can identify with her. Any attemp to attack her charachter or foundation will be perceived as an attack on the average american and I dont think there is any way that Heussein (thats Oabama for those of you who forgot the this NAZI's middle mane) or Biden can touch her. Both of them are trash... sara is here to clean house!

I would like Joe Biden to HONESTLY answer the one question everyone wants him to answer, and that is Why, when 4 months earlier you stated and stood by that statement,that he is not qualified to be POTUS, would you turn around and say he is ? Is it because Obama asked you to be his VP? I don't think so..because I truly believe you're more principled than that. Was it because so many others turned it down and someone had to say yes? I think not, you're too smart to do that. Was the DP strong armming you to do it for the Party, because they really needed to have someone on the ticket who had history, ethics, and compassion? Well, I would like to think so, but I really want to hear your answer.
You see, the Democrats are their own worst enemy, because they will always cut off the nose to spite the face.
Where do you go from here, I don't know..but as a life long Dem. I know my head tells me NO..NO and then NO to Obama!!! I could never vote for him, and because of what the DP did to ONE OF THEIR OWN meaning Hillary, I'll never be one again!!!

The media is not "liberal". It's right-wing, on account that all the main stream news organizations are owed by REPUBLICAN fat-cats. Palin is trash. She didn't work as hard as Hillary Clinton did. Hillary Clinton is soooo much more accomplished, and qualified then her. Hillary Clinton should be the first woman elected to the White House. Palin is a 'token' trophy, for John McCain. Something for nothing. Barack Obama probably didn't pick Hillary Clinton because it was too risky.
(And, calling Barack Obama a Nazi? Funny! Ronald Reagan was a Nazi!) He played it safe. Now, republicans can easily use the sexist card against him. Even though most women and minorities vote for democrats. Gee, I wonder why? The democrats did the female V.P. thing way before the republicans did, now the democrats have a black guy. This is the first time the republicans have ever tried anything different, now they are pretending to be the party of "Change." Sarah Palin is just John McCain's token to lure in bitter, bubble-headed, (Mostly Hillary Clinton) female voters. And they took the bate. It's nice to know these so-called "feminists" were only supporting Hillary Clinton, just because she has a vigina. How intelligent. Now, people are being sexist against Barack Obama and Joe Biden, because they are not "moms". But they are fathers. And Barack Obama does not come from a wealthy, elite, family, either. It is also not their fault that neither of them has a special needs child, or pregnant teenage daughter. Joe biden has a son in Iraq, too. Barack Obama's children are not even old enough to enlist in the army. And, Joe Biden did not crap on the families of special needs children. Just more whining from the republicans to smear the democrats, some more. If it was such an insult, then that story would have been bigger than the "Lipstick on a Pig" story. Every election is always turned into a circus. People never stick to the issues. No one can attack Sarah Palin, yet she attacked Barack Obama, and the democrats, (big time) and the media, at RNC. Now as soon as anyone comes after her, these hypocrites want to whine "sexism." Why should people have to be easy on her, because she's a woman? Gee, I thought women thought they were as good as, and as tough as men. Guess, not! This is a joke. Compare the trillions of times Hillary Clinton has been attacked by the media over the years. Hillary Clinton, sucks it up, and takes her beating like everyone else. Palin can't handle ONE day! No matter what you think Joe Biden will school Sarah Palin in the debate. And you can keep pumping up her "executive" experience in her small, hardly populated state. She's never had to make major national, and international descisions. She doesn't even understand that stuff. I'm pretty sure John McCain will end up geting elected. Foreigners are tired of dealing with john McCain's type. And, when he does get elected, it's not going to be pretty. The rest of the world is keeping an eye one this election, too. You think things are bad, now? Just watch. You haven't seen anything, yet...

All Joe Biden needs to do is get up to the podium and talk about his many years of sacrifice, service, and personal donation to America and be genuine about how he intends to continue to make the sacrifice as Vice President.

It's true that Sarah Palin will most likely do the same in her own way, but Joe Biden has a much longer record to prove his sincerity.

I really think that after the debate, Palin will soon be sent packing back to Alaka. If you're looking for an entertaining and enlightening evening of television, look no futher, the Biden-Palin debate is the place to be on Thursday night!

- Andrew, MALL727net -

Did any of you forget that Hillary is a woman also, and was running for PRESIDENT, not Vice President, as Sarah Palin is? Was she ever attacked with below-the-belt trash statements by the right as Sarah Palin is being attacked by the left? This kind of dirty hate mongering has become prevalent in the Obama support population of this country and decency seems to have been thrown to the wayside. I also believe that a somewhat older president is much wiser and more knowledgeable than a young hotshot with napoleonic ambitions and no experience in public administration. And apparently Sarah Palin must present a real threat to the left otherwise she would have been ignored just as much as Joe Biden has. Just remember, she is not running to be President, only Vice President and should not be expected to answer every question that may be presented to her with precise accuracy tonight. I can't remember any other vice presidential candidate ever having to have to know everything there is to know BEFORE he came into office. There will be lots of opportunity and time for her to learn all about foreign policy and whatever else she may have to learn. She obviously did very well in her state as governor, or her approval rating would not be 85% there.

I love how Palin did and I'm switching my vote to McCain!

For those here who think Palin won . . . you are smoking crack. I can see why her "folksy charm" resonates with many Americans but seriously, she was so outmatched last night that it was a joke. Palin prattled on ad nausea from here crib-sheet and issued platitude after platitude. Palin was merely channeling her inner pagent: smile, wink, say "gosh" and the people will love ya. There are serious times that call for serious candidates. There is only really one choice: Obama/Biden.


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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on September 10, 2008 7:47 AM.

McCain and Palin in Pennsylvania on Sept. 9. Transcript was the previous entry in this blog.

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