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Sarah Palin survives, Joe Biden thrives in debate

| 17 Comments

ST. LOUIS -- Sarah Palin survived.

You betcha, as Palin indeed did say.

She did not prevail -- Joe Biden was too good. He did Barack Obama proud. Biden was pitch perfect. This debate may have ruined Biden's reputation for verbosity.

But Palin was left standing in her spike heels after 90 minutes on the stage at Washington University, and after some of the loopy interviews she gave in the run-up to the first and only vice presidential debate, that was some accomplishment.

In this much anticipated matchup, Palin tried to pre-empt critics -- assuming there would be some -- early on when she said, "I may not answer the questions the way that either the moderator or you want to hear, but I'm going to talk straight to the American people."

Near the end Palin bashed the "filter" of the mainstream media, and "East Coast politicians" just for insurance.

She seemed to be reading off some papers on her podium -- I'm not sure -- and at times worked to stress areas where the McCain-Palin ticket agreed with the Obama-Biden ticket. Each tried to outdo each other on support for Israel and their common opposition to gay marriage.

While Palin has been a hit in conservative circles -- offering a new kind of feminism and role model for American women--she seemed to understand that her job was not only to jazz up the base, but to appeal to independent and swing voters. That's how I took her riff on tolerance -- in the context of talking about benefits for same sex couples.

Whatever good she did in that department, however, she may have erased when she said she was not entirely sure that global warming was a man-made problem.

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

The main point of this grand political theater was to yield votes for Barack Obama or John McCain.

Palin, elected governor of Alaska in 2006 -- the first female -- had the biggest challenge by far. She not only had to sell McCain -- but she had to convince people that she could be president if the 72-year-old Arizona senator died in office.

Biden methodically kept on task -- saying McCain was in lockstep with President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney -- while stressing the Obama message of helping the middle class.

Biden won because he was better.

Palin won because she did not massively goof up.


17 Comments

I do believe she was reading it. She can't speak without a teleprompter or notes. Not fair. If she needed a cheat sheet then she loses. Fail

Anyone who failed to see that Sarah Palin exposed Joe Biden as an atheist and a hater of America is just too stupid to be allowed to vote. Hopefully there will be some minimum standards applied to gain the right to vote once McCain and Palin are in charge.

We need change. We need to stop babying people. If they cannot hold their own they should not be supported by those who can. Losers lose, and the strong survive. Liberals are losers by nature. The sooner they are eliminated from our country the better the world will be.


I was undecided before (leaning towards McCain) but have now made up my mind. Obama picked a competent, experienced and caring man as VP. This shows good judgement. Unfortunately, McCain picked a clueless beauty who can't even memorize the name of a leading general. She is a chatty robot who would probably be even less competent than Bush. I think we would be in serious trouble should anything happen to McCain.

KARL ROVE AND COMPANY PREPPED HER VERY WELL FOR
THE DEBATE, I WONDER IF THEY GOT THE QUESTIONS
AHEAD OF TIME LIKE SADDLEBACK!
JUST ASKING?
FORMER BEAUTY QUEEN, FLUTE PLAYER, A WEEK AGO
SHE COULDN'T REMEMBER WHAT SHE READ AND NOW SHE
LOOKED INTO THE CAMERA AND REMEMBERED HER LINES!
I WONDER IF YOU AREN'T ALLOWED TO BRING NOTES TO
THE DEBATE, WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED!
SHE SURVIVED HER ONLY DEBATE, WHEW!

Palin blew Biden out of the water! He came off like a DC Flip-Flop money grabber. Check out PitbullPalin.org for some show your vote.I Hope The Maverick and Pitbull can pull this off.

"Whatever good she did in that department, however, she may have erased when she said she was not entirely sure that global warming was a man-made problem."

Why do you media types insist on this premise?! If one doesn't believe that man is causing global warming, he's an idiot?

Actually, there IS plenty of precedence in the cyclical nature of climate change - and don't forget that it wasn't too long ago that the media and other "geniuses" hyped an impending ice age! ...and global starvation, and drought, and...

The Earth has been around for a long time. It's gone through many climatic twists and turns - turns that have changed the face of the planet and the beings living on it.

Biased "documentaries" by politicians, environmentalists, and businesses standing to gain from anti-global warming legislation and funding are not references. The summary of the IPCC Assessment Report (that wasn't written by the authors of the real report!) is not a reference. These seem to be enough for the lazy researcher.

There are plenty of books with contrarian views. They're written by credible people. Pick one up.

Spare us the alarmism and closed-mindedness, please.

The current economic crisis was caused almost entirely by Democrats.

It's just a fact.

The case against the Democrats is devastating. Hear it in their own words!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RZVw3no2A4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MGT_cSi7Rs&feature=related


Why did Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac donate hundreds of millions more dollars to the Democrats?

When the Republicans wanted to regulate them, the Democrats wanted to keep them running wild.

Must have been those donations!

Why are Democrats Chris Dodd and Barack Obama #1 and #2 on the Fannie Mae donation list?

The silence from the liberals is deafening.

Please, America, tell me it isn't true? Is that all it takes to be fit for the vice presidency? Ignore the questions you are asked? Deploy the carbon-copy speeches you were trained to say, over and over again? Give answers to questions you weren't asked?
The only way Sahra Palin did succeed in the debate was by being able to utter complete sencences most of the time. By sticking to the script she was drilled like a fly to a glue trap. As if someone had her winded up and sent to the debate like a toy soldier.

I'm not so sure I want that to be true for a possible POTUS...

I am a big fan of yours, Ms. Sweet; however, I disagree completely with your evaluation of the Palin-Biden debate. Gov. Palin hit it out of the park tonight. Like Reagan, she is able to transcend the camera, command the stage, and reach right into viewers' homes. Gov. Palin demonstrated admirable facility with the issues and policies throughout the night. Senator Biden used Senate-speak.

Moreover, Senator Biden made factually incorrect statements about McCain's voting record in many of his major arguments.

It will not be surprising to see the McCain-Palin poll numbers start to increase again as a result of this debate.

I raise my hands to Joe Biden because this was his night - he was really good. And I agree with you on the why Palin won - she survived another day in the political battlefield! :)


Thank-you for a wonderful, inspiring article and we the people NEED correct information !

there is nothing wrong with being a staunch conservative but when you blindly follow anyone in the name of party that is morally wrong. i am sure if charles manson were the republican nominee every conservative would support him

Tina Hopp you are a complete idiot! Such a waste of oxygen!

Senator Biden impressed me with his command of the facts and his ethos. He looked like someone worthy of the office of the VP.

Governor Palin was shocking. Yes she did not goof up, but are we really setting the bar THAT low? She had to prove to America that she was ready to be a vice-president, let alone a president. She failed miserably. Palin came off as nothing more than a hockey mom. There are millions of them across America and I'd wager that a good number of them are more intelligent than Palin. I don't trust her at all to run any office in the land.

Her appeal to Joe Sixpack is exactly what is wrong with America these days. Instead of voting in intelligent, experienced candidates, people flock to populists for their folksiness. Democracy only works if voters are educated and the sad fact is that many Americans aren't fit to wield such power. How embarrassing!

I'm British living in America, by the way.

By Tina G Hopp on October 3, 2008 12:54 AM
Anyone who failed to see that Sarah Palin exposed Joe Biden as an atheist and a hater of America is just too stupid to be allowed to vote. Hopefully there will be some minimum standards applied to gain the right to vote once McCain and Palin are in charge.

We need change. We need to stop babying people. If they cannot hold their own they should not be supported by those who can. Losers lose, and the strong survive. Liberals are losers by nature. The sooner they are eliminated from our country the better the world will be.
____________________________________________

Glad to see that Palin really is leading the charge for tolerance in America.

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."

The more she smiles, the scarier she is. I keep thinking: Mean Girls. I remember this person, from my jr high days through my kids' middle school years. Combine charm with darker motives and an apparent mean streak.

Hold off on those elitist East Coast habits like, oh, maybe analyzing issues in depth or formulating policy, and you get a recipe for trouble.

She reminds me of Huey Long - popular at riling up the people, never mind what you say to do it, just get them on your side and get their vote. And once you get in, it's all about consolidating your power and obliterating those you view as your enemies, a list that for Sarah will be long and growing. Right now, it starts with reporters. How dare they to ask her questions that any candidate should be able to answer directly, factually and without rancor, and then hold her feet to the fire when, unable to answer intelligently, instead she launches into her standard talking points and stump speech.

There are a lot of governments in this world that do not allow reporters to interview officials: North Korea, Iran, Zimbabwe, China, Cuba and Venezuela come to mind. Does this not give you some pause? Seriously.

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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 October 2, 2008 11:39 PM.

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