Friday, October 3, 2008

VP Debate Redux

I don't have a lot of time today (it's my College Reunion!), but I wanted to share my thoughts on the VP Debate last night.

Overall, Sarah Palin performed slightly better than I expected. She mostly formed coherent sentences, but she was clearly scripted and had done a solid job memorizing answers, which I believe explains her statement to Joe Bident and Gwen Ifill that she wouldn't be answering the way they'd like or in response to her questions.

That statement was obnoxious. One of the jobs of all candidates in any debate is to answer the questions that are asked. They are asked for a reason and are not "gotcha questions." As President or Vice President, a large portion of the job is about depth of knowledge and being able to think on your feet. I understand that Presidents have vast staffs to advise them, but without understanding the issues and the world more at more than just a soundbite level, a President risks becoming a puppet.

Senator Biden was respectful of Sarah Palin. He called her "Governor" all night, never once referring to her as "Sarah." He also never talked down to her, when it would have been easy to do so. I was a little worried that he might come off as condescending, but he treated her as an equal all night. She, on the other hand, talked down to him on a number of occasions. Remember her "Say it ain't Joe" statement? That was beyond the pale. She often felt the need to attempt to school him, which came off as condescending and disrespectful.

I'm worried about her refusal to look to the past for lessons or for causes of problems. Specifically, she did this global warming and the problems of the last 8 years. Imagine going to your doctor and saying, "Doctor, I'm in pain" and she simply says, "take 2 pain pills and you'll be fine" without attempting to find out the cause of your pain. Maybe you have appendicitis. Pain pills are not going to fix that. And neither will tossing random "solutions" at global warming or the economy or the war.

With regards to her "Joe Six Pack/Hockey Mom" persona and folksy way of speaking, we've tried that before. It's called the George W. Bush Administration. People say that her gaffes and lack of depth of knowledge about issues makes her like them. Well that's super. If you're electing the PTA President or Homecoming Queen. Unfortunately, that's not what this is all about. Is it too much to ask that our leaders have a well-rounded education on the issues and are better than just the guy I want to go drinking with? I know a number of people I'd enjoy having a few beers with, but I wouldn't let them baby-sit my cats, much less run the country.

I could go on, but I'm off to my College Reunion. I'll try to post some pics later tonight or tomorrow morning.

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