Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

October 2, 2008

DEBATE LIVEBLOGGING.... I've been blogging for more than five years now, but have deliberately avoided liveblogging. It's always struck me as impossible -- I'm supposed to listen, think, and type? At the same time?

But tonight, I'm going to give it a shot anyway. Let's just keep expectations low, shall we?

8:50: 10 minutes to go.

9:01: I guess the campaign to give Ifill the boot didn't work.

9:03: The mic picked up, "Can I call you Joe?" He said, "You can."

9:04: Biden is tying the Wall Street crisis to Bush policies, and touting Obama's approach. Good.

9:05: McCain saw this coming two years ago? Didn't we just learn the opposite?

9:06: McCain suspended? When did that happen?

9:08: Palin is talking to the camera, Biden is talking to Ifill.

9:10: "Never again." It's a little jarring in this context.

9:11: Hitting McCain on deregulation. Good. Making healthcare industry like banking industry. Good.

9:13: The 94 tax lie. How predictable. The $42,000 lie. Another predictable lie. Pathetic.

9:15: McCain flip-flopped on tobacco regulation. She's still lying.

9:16: Biden has used the phrase "middle class" a lot. A real lot. Good.

9:17: She's not middle class. She's a millionaire.

9:18: Government-run healthcare? She's still lying. I think I'm noticing a patten here.

9:20: Biden's response on McCain's ridiculous healthcare policy is pretty solid. "Ultimate Bridge to Nowhere." Nice.

9:24: Palin undid federal tax breaks? What a neat trick.

9:27: Just like the Alaska debate, Palin knows how to avoid answering questions.

9:30: "We're not giving energy companies tax breaks." Wow, her lying is becoming pathological at this point.

9:31: "Cyclical" temperature changes. How absurd.

9:33: "If you don't understand what the cause is, it's impossible to come up with a solution." Thank you, Joe Biden

9:37: Same-sex benefits. Biden gives a good, solid, progressive answer. Good for him. "It's only fair."

9:38: Palin doesn't realize McCain has opposed civil unions, even at the state level.

9:40: "Exit strategy"? The surge isn't an exit strategy.

9:40: The funding-the-troops lie. She's obscene.

9:41: I'm glad Biden mentioned Maliki. It was a missed opportunity last Friday.

9:42: If Obama voted against the troops, McCain voted against the troops. Biden could have delivered that clearer, but he got it in there.

9:43: The funding-the-troops lie again. She's disgusting. Literally.

9:44: McCain "dead wrong" about Iraq.

9:47: Biden's answer on Pakistan/Afghanistan couldn't be much better.

9:48: Palin is encouraging us to listen to Osama bin Laden. Not smart.

9:50: The former scretaries of state disagree with Palin. Does she understand that? Of course not. She's painfully clueless.

9:51: Biden hitting McCain on Spain gaffe. Excellent.

9:54: Compare Biden's substantive response on Israel to Palin's. It's like a teacher and a C student. Depth vs. fluff.

9:55: "Blame game"? "Looking backwards"? Is she a child?

9:56: "I haven't heard...." Very strong.

9:57: It's a minor point, but did she say "nucular"?

9:58: "Killing civilians" lie. Palin is quickly approaching Cheney-like levels of dishonesty.

9:59: Biden is taking on Palin very well on the McKiernan remarks from this morning. Good.

10:00: She keeps calling McKiernan "McClellan." Oops.

10:03: Biden's Darfur answer was solid, except for the odd Iraq tangent.

10:04: The funding-the-troops lie again. Where's my Maalox....

10:07: McCain "knows how to win a war"? Since when?

10:09: "Reject the Bush Doctrine." Good to get that phrase in there.

10:11: Biden is hitting the "more of the same" theme very, very well. And unlike Palin, he doesn't sound like he's reading talking points.

10:12: "Looking backwards again." I've never seen such a fool on the national stage.

10:16: Fourth branch? She agrees with Cheney's "flexibility." In other words, more of the same.

10:18: Biden makes the obvious constitutional argument on the vice presidency, based on Article I. He's just out classing her on every question.

10:19: The question was about her Achilles' heel. Did she not hear what Ifill said?

10:21: Biden brings the personal/emotional to the table.

10:22: Can I just say that I have a lot more confidence in George W. Bush's intellect, competence, and knowledge than Palin?

10:24: Not a maverick when it counts, and on things that matter. Good for Biden to pounce on this.

10:25: Bork! Good answer.

10:29: Is it me or has she made a lot of Reagan references?

10:32: "It's time for America to get up together." Not bad.

* * *

My initial reaction was that this debate will probably make no difference whatsoever. Biden was obviously sharper and more knowledgeable. Palin had obviously memorized a series of talking points she repeated over and over again.

Who won? For viewers who checked their heads at the door, I guess it was a toss-up. For anyone who cares about susbtance, it wasn't close. Palin just kept repeating lies and nonsense, regardless of the question, and regardless of common sense. On point after point, Biden just out classed her. The two really didn't belong on the same stage.

Will any of this matter? At first blush, I suspect not. Neither candidate committed any huge, humiliating mistakes, though I suspect the soundbite we'll be hearing a lot tomorrow is: "How long have I been at this? Five Weeks?" Her repeated confusion about Gen. McKiernan may come up a bit, too.

I'll have plenty of additional coverage in the morning. What'd you think?

Steve Benen 8:50 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (278)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

I'm up to that too.

Posted by: GC on October 2, 2008 at 8:52 PM | PERMALINK

You'll do fine Steve...
As for Sarah......??

Posted by: Jim on October 2, 2008 at 8:53 PM | PERMALINK
But tonight, I'm going to give it a shot anyway. Let's just keep expectations low, shall we?
What, are you channeling the governor of Alaska?

:)

Posted by: Bernard HP Gilroy on October 2, 2008 at 8:54 PM | PERMALINK

So what's the key phrase/word that will make you pick up the alcohol?

Posted by: on October 2, 2008 at 8:56 PM | PERMALINK

Let's just keep expectations low, shall we?

Relax. We're not expecting you to post anything about Dred Scott or the newspapers you read.

Posted by: dr. bloor on October 2, 2008 at 8:56 PM | PERMALINK

You're a leviathan of forensics Steve. What could possibly go wrong? :-)

Posted by: Rapid Eddie on October 2, 2008 at 8:57 PM | PERMALINK

My keyword will be maverick. I expect to be blitzed by the end of the debate.

Posted by: Margaret on October 2, 2008 at 8:58 PM | PERMALINK

Fellow members of the reality-based universe, we will travel this journey of nonsense together.

Posted by: JohnN on October 2, 2008 at 9:01 PM | PERMALINK

Can I call you Joe?

Posted by: on October 2, 2008 at 9:02 PM | PERMALINK

Palin's flag pin? Tack-eeeeeee!

Posted by: Gregory on October 2, 2008 at 9:03 PM | PERMALINK

She's starting it off folksy.

Posted by: Brock on October 2, 2008 at 9:05 PM | PERMALINK

Neither of them answered the question!

Posted by: Flee on October 2, 2008 at 9:06 PM | PERMALINK

New drinking word, "ALSO"!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qophEpQuC9E

Posted by: Roger on October 2, 2008 at 9:07 PM | PERMALINK

Joe, don't forget to look at Sarah when you're talking...

Posted by: Susan on October 2, 2008 at 9:07 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, he brought up violence against women-good.

Oh, he's responding to McCain's flip-flopping now..

"He's (McCain) out of out of touch"

Posted by: on October 2, 2008 at 9:07 PM | PERMALINK

No punch in Palin's lines, it sounds like she's trying to say all her points before she forgets them.

Posted by: kth on October 2, 2008 at 9:08 PM | PERMALINK

Please please fix the retention of personal info.

"A team of mavericks" - gagg.

Posted by: JohnN on October 2, 2008 at 9:09 PM | PERMALINK

She sure has a nice smile on her face while she makes up a different past for McCain.

Posted by: mossie on October 2, 2008 at 9:10 PM | PERMALINK

Palin is talking to the camera, Biden is talking to Ifill.

Just like Obama and McCain, respectively.

Good Ford, her voice is awful. "heckuva lot" -- snort!

Posted by: Gregory on October 2, 2008 at 9:11 PM | PERMALINK

Geez, her name should be Sarah Patronizing,you betcha, yes indeedy!

Posted by: Charles on October 2, 2008 at 9:11 PM | PERMALINK

Get her on the tax increase lie Joe!!

Posted by: Flee on October 2, 2008 at 9:13 PM | PERMALINK

9:10: "Never again." It's a little jarring in this context.

I had the same reaction: kind of banal, really.

Posted by: Ahistoricality on October 2, 2008 at 9:13 PM | PERMALINK

McCain voted for the tax increase on 42000 earners?

Posted by: Danp on October 2, 2008 at 9:13 PM | PERMALINK

She's actually not doing a bad job, so far.

Posted by: phoebes in santa fe on October 2, 2008 at 9:14 PM | PERMALINK

Government growth we've seen today? That'd be under Bush, right?

She also repated the $42,000 tax increase lie, and Biden called her on it. Good.

And pointed out that using Palin's standard of accusing Obama for raising taxes 92 times, McCain raised taxes 400 times. Heh.

She claims to lower taxes as mayor -- will he hit her with the debt she left?

Posted by: Gregory on October 2, 2008 at 9:14 PM | PERMALINK

ah, Biden is staying cool as a cucumber--fantastic

but she is attacking him and dissing the moderator:

I'm gonna talk straight to the American people"

insisting on speaking on taxes

Ifill setting limits: Your time is up--

Posted by: on October 2, 2008 at 9:15 PM | PERMALINK

I like the way Biden smiles at her. It even seems pretty genuine.

Posted by: kad on October 2, 2008 at 9:15 PM | PERMALINK

Joe should say the Alaska economy is more like Saudi Arabia's than the US.

Posted by: Michael7843853 on October 2, 2008 at 9:15 PM | PERMALINK

Is it me or does she look like a nervous wreck? I am waiting for her voice to crack from nerves.

Posted by: joe d on October 2, 2008 at 9:15 PM | PERMALINK

Sweet Jesus, Ifill just asked Biden why the proposal to raise taxes on the rich isn't class warfare!!!! I need another drink...

Posted by: Gregory on October 2, 2008 at 9:16 PM | PERMALINK

Biden's running the show.


Posted by: grinningcat on October 2, 2008 at 9:16 PM | PERMALINK

When is this "redistribution of wealth" crap going to stop? Can someone call out the huge redistribution upwards of the last 8 years please please please?

Posted by: mossie on October 2, 2008 at 9:17 PM | PERMALINK

She claimed to be middle class.

She mentions the health care tax credit, without noting that he'd tax health care benefits as income.

She's just full of lies tonight -- but nothing new. Biden must be prepared for these!

Posted by: Gregory on October 2, 2008 at 9:18 PM | PERMALINK

Well, she's certainly doing a good job. I have to say. She's got well-rehearsed statements, she's been well prepped.

Posted by: on October 2, 2008 at 9:18 PM | PERMALINK

Is it me, or does it look like there's a wire over her right shoulder?
And a bulge toward the upper part of her back?

Posted by: Wilco on October 2, 2008 at 9:18 PM | PERMALINK

My wife, a small business owner is railing against her! Regurgitating Reaganism - trying to be a Federalist/anti-federalist.

Posted by: RememberNovember on October 2, 2008 at 9:19 PM | PERMALINK

If any other thing I have seen with her was accurate, she is on uppers....no question.

Posted by: Michael7843853 on October 2, 2008 at 9:19 PM | PERMALINK

She obviously doesnt know anything about McCain's or Obama health care programs.

5000 credit - tax neutral? Obama mandates gov't program?

Posted by: Danp on October 2, 2008 at 9:20 PM | PERMALINK

Bridge to nowhere! Drink!

Posted by: Brock on October 2, 2008 at 9:20 PM | PERMALINK

Me: Biden must be prepared for these!

He was -- he nailed them on the health plan, and the audience reacted, despite they weren't supposed to.

Posted by: Gregory on October 2, 2008 at 9:21 PM | PERMALINK

She says McCain doesn't tell one thing to one group and another to another group? Is she kidding?!

She probably scored on claiming to "take on the oil companies."

Posted by: Gregory on October 2, 2008 at 9:23 PM | PERMALINK

No wonder the McCainiacs fought for this trading-talking-points-only "debate." She's got her points memorized well. She comes across well (unfortunately). The "deer in the headlights" isn't there.

Posted by: TCinLA on October 2, 2008 at 9:24 PM | PERMALINK

"Bridge to nowhere! Drink!"

Oh, I am

Posted by: Lee on October 2, 2008 at 9:24 PM | PERMALINK

"kinda undo." I think kinda should be a definite drinking word.

Posted by: kad on October 2, 2008 at 9:24 PM | PERMALINK

She probably scored on claiming to "take on the oil companies."

Not according to CNN's ticker.

Posted by: Danp on October 2, 2008 at 9:25 PM | PERMALINK

Palin: "How long have I been at this? Five weeks?"
----------------------------------------------

Say what?

She is trying pathetically to defend all her gaffes..

Posted by: on October 2, 2008 at 9:25 PM | PERMALINK

Yes! Point out her windfall oil tax profits! Yes yes.

Posted by: mossie on October 2, 2008 at 9:25 PM | PERMALINK

I'm watching the approvallines on CNN with the sound off--too nerve wracking. They've split out women and men instead of Dems, Rethugs and Ind as they did in the pres. debate. Why? You be the judge. Right now, thank god, she seems to be kind of flatlining but earlier she was scoring well. Women seem to like Biden more at times. But the response to him seems pretty middle of road most of the time. . I'm hoping he'll get stronger as the novelty wears off.

Posted by: Frak on October 2, 2008 at 9:25 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, she seems to be flatter. And what's up with that enormous flag pin? Bet they can see that in alaska...

Posted by: Frak on October 2, 2008 at 9:27 PM | PERMALINK

Joltinn Joe- manages to tear down McCain and compliment Palin.
Nice!

"Main streeters like me" I call BS! SHe lives on a lake! has two airplanes!


Posted by: RememberNovember on October 2, 2008 at 9:27 PM | PERMALINK

Joe finessed the bankruptcy response pretty well there.

Posted by: dr. bloor on October 2, 2008 at 9:27 PM | PERMALINK

LOL!!

Palin slams "East Coast Politicians"--gee, that's a lot of people!

Posted by: on October 2, 2008 at 9:30 PM | PERMALINK

Climate change...what the hell did she just say???????

Posted by: RememberNovember on October 2, 2008 at 9:31 PM | PERMALINK

Um.. if you don't know how climate change is caused, how are you going to fix it?

Posted by: Jane on October 2, 2008 at 9:31 PM | PERMALINK

You can't fix a problem without understanding.

Posted by: grinningcat on October 2, 2008 at 9:31 PM | PERMALINK

You can't fix a problem without understanding.

Posted by: grinningcat on October 2, 2008 at 9:31 PM | PERMALINK

Field dress her on GW, Joe!

Posted by: Michael7843853 on October 2, 2008 at 9:31 PM | PERMALINK

The expectation game will probably work -- she isn't drooling on herself.

Posted by: Gregory on October 2, 2008 at 9:34 PM | PERMALINK

She's winning! She's winning! I'm so afraid we Democrats are going to lose in November!

Posted by: Paid GOP troll on October 2, 2008 at 9:34 PM | PERMALINK

East Coast politicians. Yeah, all those senators and representatives from California and Utah and Montana.

I can barely watch her, she is such an effing b*tch.

Posted by: scruncher on October 2, 2008 at 9:35 PM | PERMALINK

did she just say "Senator O'Biden"?

Oy.

Posted by: tina on October 2, 2008 at 9:35 PM | PERMALINK

9:17: She's not middle class. She's a millionaire.

If you count the value of her house, which is large but not exactly a mansion. She's middle class-ish, given the flexible upper boundary to that category.

What she ain't, at least not while she's pulling down $125K as governor, is "Joe Sixpack."

Posted by: Grumpy on October 2, 2008 at 9:36 PM | PERMALINK

She doesn't support gay marriage, but says she is tolerant. Yeah.

Posted by: Gregory on October 2, 2008 at 9:37 PM | PERMALINK

Grumpy - the Palins pull down $250K/yr, net worth $1.2 million.

Not bad for Wasilla.

Posted by: Max on October 2, 2008 at 9:38 PM | PERMALINK

She keeps saying she will be "straight up" with the American people. Her reputation for evasiveness must be hurting her.

Posted by: Gregory on October 2, 2008 at 9:38 PM | PERMALINK

hey, but she did study up on English grammar! There are actual sentences coming out of her mouth!

Posted by: charlotte on October 2, 2008 at 9:39 PM | PERMALINK

Seriously, it's more difficult to see from the front, but when the camera's at her back, it's clear there's something that looks like a thick black cord.
Does nobody else notice this?
I mean, maybe it's just a clump of hair.
Nobody?

Posted by: Wilco on October 2, 2008 at 9:40 PM | PERMALINK

OMFG: "O'Biden and Nuculer"!!! M'kay?

Posted by: That Galloping Trollop on October 2, 2008 at 9:40 PM | PERMALINK

as Steve pointed out, she's hitting the same phony talking points that McCain used in the first debate. She just said Obama voted against the funding for the troops, when Obama explained it to McCain in the first debate. And Biden is cearing it up now.

Still, those lies must poll well with the base.

Posted by: Gregory on October 2, 2008 at 9:41 PM | PERMALINK

Biden just nailed her on the civil rights for same sex couples issue. He clearly defined the issue and said we agree on this.. no? and she had no idea what he was saying and could only say I don't support same sex marriage. that was good by biden to politely put her in a corner she had no idea how to get out of.

is it to her credit that she at least recognized she was cornered?

Posted by: ph on October 2, 2008 at 9:41 PM | PERMALINK

Well, she bombed on her Iraq strategy. Biden's doing better predictably.

Posted by: Frak on October 2, 2008 at 9:41 PM | PERMALINK

before everyone goes all ape-caca over "she has two airplanes!" - Todd (not her) only has one, and a 1958 Piper Super Cub is not a big deal. It's what is known in Alaska as a "bush plane." A 50-year old Super Cub (a darn good, reliable airplane) probably goes for around $30-35K, which is not a big deal as airplanes go. The airplane may be the most "working class" thing they have, with things the way they are in Alaska. It's the equivalent of an SUV actually used for serious off-road work.

If we're going to attack her, we shouldn't attack her on things that make us look like the kind of latte-sipping lefty who doesn't know that - on airplanes - the pointed end goes in front.

Posted by: TCinLA on October 2, 2008 at 9:43 PM | PERMALINK

We have the quote of the night:

PALIN: "It's a toxic mess on Mainstreet that's affecting Wallstreet."

Posted by: Memekiller on October 2, 2008 at 9:43 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, but has Palin spent any time looking at Senator Biden while he's been talking?

Posted by: Rebw on October 2, 2008 at 9:44 PM | PERMALINK

The CNN ticker shows people are definitely not interested in McCain/Palin's position on the surge. They want out of Iraq. "White flag of surrender" was not a hit. They're also not sold by the "cutting of funding" crap.

Posted by: Danp on October 2, 2008 at 9:44 PM | PERMALINK

"helping Maliki and the Talibani??????


What?
Did I hear her say Taliban?


Posted by: RememberNovember on October 2, 2008 at 9:44 PM | PERMALINK

my heart is sinking
through my throat
she uses words
to cross the moat
the castle walls
are within her reach
lets hope the arrows
stop the breach

Posted by: est on October 2, 2008 at 9:46 PM | PERMALINK

Okay--she just got really mean to Obama--indicated he has no right to make decisions about the war because he has no direct contact or family member in the war?

She also accused Obama/Biden of waving the flag of surrender....

------------------------------------------

She doesn't look at him even while praising him and his son in the National Guard

----------------------------------------

Posted by: on October 2, 2008 at 9:46 PM | PERMALINK

What's the link to the cnn audience response?

Posted by: JohnN on October 2, 2008 at 9:47 PM | PERMALINK

Why can't Republicans say "nuclear" correctly? Seriously, do they do it on purpose?

Posted by: Jane on October 2, 2008 at 9:47 PM | PERMALINK

Seriously -- are "the Castro brothers" DANGEROUS? She's f!@#ing insane.

Posted by: Jason on October 2, 2008 at 9:48 PM | PERMALINK

Does she have a cheat sheet?

Posted by: gregor on October 2, 2008 at 9:48 PM | PERMALINK

At the Rep Convention Palin had cue the word nuclear spelled phonetically on her teleprompter. She needs it today. Nucular?

Posted by: Danp on October 2, 2008 at 9:48 PM | PERMALINK

Now she's on the meet-with-preconditions thing. What did they, sit her down like Malcolm McDowell in Clockwork Orange in front of the McCain/Obama debate? She keeps using the exact same points that bombed the first time!

She has got to be playing to the base; this bullshit didn't work coming from McCain the first time.

Posted by: Gregory on October 2, 2008 at 9:49 PM | PERMALINK

My wife who although a Barack supporter is a blank slate when it comes to the inside baseball of the debates and the Gwen Ifill controversy thinks Ifill is favoring Palin.

Posted by: kfh on October 2, 2008 at 9:49 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory: Still, those lies must poll well with the base.

A-yup. But nobody else.

This year, only the 27-percenters are buying what she's selling.

Posted by: Max on October 2, 2008 at 9:49 PM | PERMALINK

In the little bit that I watched, both Palin and Biden seem respectful of each other, unlike McCain. She's looking at him, and he at her.

Posted by: JWK on October 2, 2008 at 9:50 PM | PERMALINK

John N - the CNN ticker is on the bottom of the screen on TV.

Posted by: on October 2, 2008 at 9:50 PM | PERMALINK

My wife who although a Barack supporter is a blank slate when it comes to the inside baseball of the debates and the Gwen Ifill controversy thinks Ifill is favoring Palin.

Posted by: kfh on October 2, 2008 at 9:50 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with kfh, but "what has Bush done right and wrong with Israel" is a tough one.

Posted by: Gregory on October 2, 2008 at 9:51 PM | PERMALINK

She brings up how proud she is that America stands against the evil Iran and other countries who hate us, our democracy, our tolerance, our supporting womens rights and yet--McCain/Palin are the most intolerant ticket I'm ever aware of!

See--there is no time, so she can just toss that...

Posted by: on October 2, 2008 at 9:52 PM | PERMALINK

Gregor, you beat me to the punch! I noticed her looking down a lot during the Iran/Pakistan question and was wondering the same thing, cliff notes or her own notes that she has been writing.

That leads me to another question. Does someone check the podiums to make sure they do not have cheat sheets out there? Though I suppose they could sneak something out of the pocket when the camera was not on them.

Posted by: Joe D on October 2, 2008 at 9:53 PM | PERMALINK

But she is just so cute. As cute as a shiny button. So well scrubbed. What a nice young lady. Gosh, what do you people want?

Posted by: JohnN on October 2, 2008 at 9:53 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory -- yes, that is a tough question, which is why Palin didn't answer the question at all.

Posted by: mossie on October 2, 2008 at 9:54 PM | PERMALINK

Ifill has always been a reliable patsy for Republicans.

Posted by: Max on October 2, 2008 at 9:54 PM | PERMALINK

What the hell? She said you can't look at the mistakes of the Bush Administration to bring change?

Posted by: Gregory on October 2, 2008 at 9:54 PM | PERMALINK

Poor Joe, he's biting his tongue...

She just writes off the past as 'blunders' that will change.

Oh--GREAT--he's hitting hard now--'Past is Prologue'

Posted by: on October 2, 2008 at 9:55 PM | PERMALINK

Biden's response to Palin's claims about change was strong, focused, and lovely.

Posted by: mossie on October 2, 2008 at 9:55 PM | PERMALINK

Go Joe Go!! That was great-hammer the comparison!

Posted by: Lee on October 2, 2008 at 9:56 PM | PERMALINK

Wha hoppen? She couldn't speak coherently in sentences during soft interviews. But tonight she's talking in complete sentences and is essentially coherent.

Posted by: Charlotte on October 2, 2008 at 9:56 PM | PERMALINK

If I took a shot every time Palin said 'maverick,' I'd be completely plastered by now. And we've still got 30 min. left.

And I've had to reassess Palin somewhat. I used to say that she was Caribou Barbie. I was wrong. Listen to her: she's the Caribou Valley Girl. Gag her with a spoon!

Please!
-Z

Posted by: Zorro on October 2, 2008 at 9:56 PM | PERMALINK

I will consider contributing $5 to the McCain campaign if Palin will pronounce "nuclear" correctly just once tonight.

Posted by: Cindy McCant on October 2, 2008 at 9:57 PM | PERMALINK

We aren't killing civilians in Afghanistan, we're killing terrorists?!?! She said we're building schools?!

Biden said facts matter. Except to the dead-enders, but Palin's message is aimed at them and no one else.

They're still rallying their base in October.

Posted by: Gregory on October 2, 2008 at 9:58 PM | PERMALINK

question -- lying or truth aside, who's more listenable? And how much does it matter? I think it might matter more than actual content.

And why do the women on the CNN ticker swing so much higher and lower than the men do? And why does that annoy me to no end? And why do Palin's Rs make me nuts?

"I'm so encouraged we both love Israel." wtf?

My husband lived in Alaska for a couple years and wonders whether her accent might be a fundamentalist accent rather than an Alaskan accent, because he never heard such there.

And I think Ifill is doing okeedokee, so far.

Freaking repeated "nucular." Argh.

Rephrase: Who's more listenable to the great unwashed masses? And how much of the great unwashed masses will vote?

Posted by: tina on October 2, 2008 at 9:58 PM | PERMALINK

mossie - Yep.

I think those "nightly-for-six-months" Democratic debates last year are helping Biden out here tonight.

Posted by: Max on October 2, 2008 at 9:59 PM | PERMALINK

Yes he fucking did say the surge would work in Afghanistan -- I listened to him say it, you dimwit!

Posted by: Gregory on October 2, 2008 at 10:00 PM | PERMALINK

I'm confused. Biden said commander in Afghanistan said a surge strategy will not work. But a couple days ago, didn't he ask for more troops pronto?

And who is McClellan? Is she thinking Civil war?

Posted by: Danp on October 2, 2008 at 10:00 PM | PERMALINK

Joe D,

I don't have video of this, but Palin has a nervous habit of counting points off on her fingers.

Posted by: Jassalasca Jape on October 2, 2008 at 10:00 PM | PERMALINK

"We should rally the world to act.." --Joe. But just not in Iraq. What?

Posted by: DougOutCanoe on October 2, 2008 at 10:03 PM | PERMALINK

"We should rally the world to act.." --Joe. But just not in Iraq. What?

Posted by: DougOutCanoe on October 2, 2008 at 10:03 PM | PERMALINK

He did just tell you why he voted for AUMF, cow.

Posted by: Gregory on October 2, 2008 at 10:03 PM | PERMALINK

Every time she says "nuke-u-lar," I want to scream and through things at my TV. But I like my TV too much.

Posted by: Rebecca on October 2, 2008 at 10:03 PM | PERMALINK

This is degenerating into a competition to see who can say Ahmadinejad correctly the most times. Sarah's successes with that are somewhat spoiled by alternating 'Ahmadinejad' with 'nucular'.

She's repeating her Alaska gubernatorial debate: looks & sounds pretty good as long as you don't think about content and context, and give her a pass on her evasions and lies.

Biden needs a notecard that says "TALK TO THE CAMERA".

Posted by: N.Wells on October 2, 2008 at 10:04 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory - They're still rallying their base in October.

Yeah - seems the strategy now is to get out enough votes to hold on to Texas.

Posted by: Max on October 2, 2008 at 10:04 PM | PERMALINK

Palin: "Boy, it's so clear I'm a 'Washington Outsider'"

Posted by: on October 2, 2008 at 10:04 PM | PERMALINK

I quit at her third "nukilar" which, I think, is even worse than Bush's "nucular." I already had problems with her "I-wreck" pronunciation and this was just too much to stomach.

Remember November @21:44

I think she got "Talibani" (Iraqi Prime Minister) and "the Taliban" (the bad guys in Afghanistan) all mashed up into a single unit. Not surprising.

Biden is truly impressive; even better than Obama, given how short a time they have to "digest" a question and respond to it. And he listens well to her blathering (poor guy) and manages to shoot down most of her crap on the rebuttal, while all *she* has for rebuttal is to hark back to some point she hadn't managed to make earlier, whether it's relevant or not.

If people decide she's ready to step into Presidential stilettos at a moment's notice, I will give up on US. Honest.

Posted by: exlibra on October 2, 2008 at 10:05 PM | PERMALINK

Oohhhhhhhh, she should not have thrown the "we'll know who was telling the truth tomorrow" gauntlet.

Posted by: Gregory on October 2, 2008 at 10:07 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, did you know that John McCain was in a war?

Posted by: charlotte on October 2, 2008 at 10:07 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, Joe, tell them you'll continue Obama's policies because you're both Democrats.

Let Palin say they're both Republicans, I dare her!

Posted by: Gregory on October 2, 2008 at 10:08 PM | PERMALINK

They're MAVERICKY!

Posted by: steve hager on October 2, 2008 at 10:09 PM | PERMALINK

McCain knows how to win a war? When was that?

And he "knows what evil is"? Sounds to me like he's finally sold his soul to Lucifer . . .

Posted by: Charles on October 2, 2008 at 10:09 PM | PERMALINK

They're MAVERICKY!

Posted by: steve hager on October 2, 2008 at 10:10 PM | PERMALINK

The Palin rope-a-dope: flirt, ignore difficult points, parrot sound bytes.

Posted by: Michael7843853 on October 2, 2008 at 10:10 PM | PERMALINK

I can't wait to see Tina Fey mug to the camera as Palin as doing.

Posted by: mossie on October 2, 2008 at 10:11 PM | PERMALINK

"There you go, doggone it, looking back at the Bush administration..."

Because McCain supported Bush, you twit!

She's become completely incoherent. And the winking at the camera is just disturbing.

Posted by: Gregory on October 2, 2008 at 10:12 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory - Yes. That was a Big Mistake.

Posted by: Max on October 2, 2008 at 10:12 PM | PERMALINK

Biden's doing much better now. Even the boys are cooling to Palin now... Oh, god, they like her description of a Palin administration. I guess there's always suicide...Jeez, they like her, they really like her...or they don't...can't tell.

Posted by: Frak on October 2, 2008 at 10:12 PM | PERMALINK

Wasn't the "Maverick" the Mercury version of the Ford Pinto, which frequently exploded when its gas tank was hit? If not, my mistake. But if so, what'll happen to these two so-called "Mavericks" when they are hit? Hee hee! ;-)

Posted by: Kirsten on October 2, 2008 at 10:12 PM | PERMALINK

Palin just got her best response from the CNN ticker people for saying No child left behind isn't working.

Posted by: Danp on October 2, 2008 at 10:13 PM | PERMALINK

Well, doggoneit, Joe!

*puke*

Extra credit for the third-graders--good linem, though. Would resonate with me if she weren't so smarmy folksy.

Posted by: charlotte on October 2, 2008 at 10:13 PM | PERMALINK

Palin: "Say it ain't so, Joe" No wonder she asked if she could call him Joe...and now she is going on about education and praising Joe's wife while at the same time putting him down.

I'm going to be sick--did anyone see her wink a few minutes ago?

Posted by: on October 2, 2008 at 10:14 PM | PERMALINK

For people who are asking about cheat sheets. I think both of them have some kind of cards with notes. And I saw Biden *taking* notes while she was answering, getting ready for his rebuttal.

Posted by: exlibra on October 2, 2008 at 10:14 PM | PERMALINK

She agrees with Cheney that the Veep is the fourth branch of government. Heh.

Posted by: Gregory on October 2, 2008 at 10:16 PM | PERMALINK

Palin did OK. Not much material that can be added to the Couric/Gibson highlight clip.

She hammered Biden pretty well about his 2002 Iraq vote. I kept hoping Biden would call her a liar, when she brought up the troop funding, but he settled for the same refutation.

She made me gag, but "low information" voters would probably go for most of it. She was mostly pretty genial, while Biden was getting heated at times.

Posted by: Uli Kunkel on October 2, 2008 at 10:16 PM | PERMALINK

Well, she's leaving them cold now, stone cold. But Joe's scoring! Will this ever be over?

Posted by: Frak on October 2, 2008 at 10:17 PM | PERMALINK

Most Dangerous Vice President in American History (especially when he's hunting!) Otherwise, more Joe Hyperbole about Chaney. Gag

Posted by: DougOutCanoe on October 2, 2008 at 10:17 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sure that other people have noticed Palin's habit of simply ignoring Ifill's question and saying whatever she wants.

And, to be honest, I'm kind of concerned about Caribou Valley Girl. I think she may be retarded.

-Z

Posted by: Zorro on October 2, 2008 at 10:17 PM | PERMALINK

Is it just me, or does this feel like a speed date?

Posted by: Danp on October 2, 2008 at 10:18 PM | PERMALINK

So have we heard all six of Palin's talking points now?

Posted by: Jackelope King on October 2, 2008 at 10:18 PM | PERMALINK

Did she just flub the "Reagan-moment" with the "There you go, doggone it"?

Her handlers must be just chugging the Jack Daniels about now.

Posted by: Max on October 2, 2008 at 10:19 PM | PERMALINK

"Equal rice"

Posted by: gang green on October 2, 2008 at 10:19 PM | PERMALINK

Biden on Cheney: best answer yet.
(SP on the vice presidency: gag me with a moose.)

Posted by: N.Wells on October 2, 2008 at 10:20 PM | PERMALINK

Perfect? No one is perfect, hon, especially not you & McLame!

Posted by: Kirsten on October 2, 2008 at 10:20 PM | PERMALINK

she's twinkling all over the place. I'm gonna hurl.

Yay team! Team team team! Twinkle aggressively!

Posted by: tina on October 2, 2008 at 10:21 PM | PERMALINK

Oh man. I know what it's like to be a single parent ... I love Joe! Who wouldn't after he tells his story.

Equal opportunity at work!

Posted by: charlotte on October 2, 2008 at 10:21 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think she didn't hear Ifill; I think she doesn't know who the hell Achilles was, or what was wrong with his heel...

Posted by: Kirsten on October 2, 2008 at 10:23 PM | PERMALINK

It's the Achilles' heel question--they loved Joe; Sarah, not so much. The guys are starting to see her as that pretty, pretty girl who wouldn't go out with them.

Posted by: Frak on October 2, 2008 at 10:23 PM | PERMALINK

She said McCain took on his own party when the time is right...and Biden is hitting her on the claim that McCaim is a maverick. Good.

Posted by: on October 2, 2008 at 10:24 PM | PERMALINK

Joe just effectively smacked down the John McCain the Maverick.

Posted by: John Henry on October 2, 2008 at 10:25 PM | PERMALINK

Ha! Biden said he changed his mind on judicial ideology, and she said she didn't veto budget as mayor -- completely whiffing on Biden's point on judicial ideology!

She's regurgitating, not responding to the actual debate.

Posted by: Gregory on October 2, 2008 at 10:26 PM | PERMALINK

Passing a budget you don't like is a far cry from changing your entire legal philosophy based on years of observation.

Posted by: Kirsten on October 2, 2008 at 10:28 PM | PERMALINK

How do you build up infrastructure and reign in spending?!?!

Palin isn't making any sense!

She also just hit out at "the mainstream media".

Of course, playing to the base doesn't have to make any sense.

Posted by: Gregory on October 2, 2008 at 10:30 PM | PERMALINK

Strong closing from Joe. Was he in an advantageous position--Palin got the first question, and he the closing? Closings are what people remember most. Hopefully.

Posted by: charlotte on October 2, 2008 at 10:34 PM | PERMALINK

CBS is saying the headline will be Palin didn't embarrass herself. Oh, boy!

Bob Schieffer just pointed out Palin didn't answer the questions but repeated talking points.

Posted by: on October 2, 2008 at 10:35 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, god, here come the kids. Why is she patting Trig so hard--he's sleeping. I think she's trying to kill him...

Posted by: Frak on October 2, 2008 at 10:35 PM | PERMALINK

cutting taxes at this point is like cutting fuel costs out ofbthe family budget. You're still going to have to pay for it.

Posted by: chrenson on October 2, 2008 at 10:36 PM | PERMALINK

They brought out the baby prop again.

Posted by: Gregory on October 2, 2008 at 10:36 PM | PERMALINK

OK, it's over. As a whole, I think that Biden won on points, so to speak. However, I suspect we'll see something of the GWB effect in the MSM tomorrow. If you recall, expectations of GWB were so low coming into debates against Gore + Kerry that, when he merely avoided drooling on himself, the MSM was ready to declare him the winner.

Well, the Caribou Valley Girl didn't make a compete idiot of herself- perhaps half an idiot, or even 90% an idiot, but not a complete idiot- I suspect some in the MSM will spend more time saying how good she was than they will pointing out that Biden actually made more sense.

-Z

Posted by: Zorro on October 2, 2008 at 10:36 PM | PERMALINK


Biden played the gravitas card.
And he knocked it out of the park at the end.

I'm happy.


Posted by: koreyel on October 2, 2008 at 10:37 PM | PERMALINK

Paling didn't have what Jeff Greenfield called "a Tina Fey moment," and she came off as folksy, but she didn't seem Presidential -- she seemed like a last-minute substitute. Biden appeared Presidential but managed to put in his won connections to middle America time and again.

This debate will not move the electorate toward Obama -- how could it? She was playing to the base.

Posted by: Gregory on October 2, 2008 at 10:39 PM | PERMALINK

debate = boring

we've been had

Posted by: bunto on October 2, 2008 at 10:39 PM | PERMALINK

Zorro, I agree that the expectations game favored Palin, but CBS pointed out how scripted she was, and that she didn't answer questions -- she didn't respond to almost anything in the debate.

She just recited talking points, and the electorate yawns.

Posted by: Gregory on October 2, 2008 at 10:41 PM | PERMALINK

That was a great debate!

I've never felt better about Joe Biden for VP.

As for Sarah Barracuda, she's roughly as bright as a fish so I guess the name fits.

Posted by: Quinn on October 2, 2008 at 10:41 PM | PERMALINK

Palin's flirting, winking, and aw shucks attitude may work for catching the HS QB, but it is not going to go over well with many, especially women who take themselves seriously. Caribou Barbie, she absolutely is.

Posted by: Michael7843853 on October 2, 2008 at 10:42 PM | PERMALINK

"My keyword will be maverick. I expect to be blitzed by the end of the debate."

Has anyone called 911 for Margaret?

Posted by: C-Red on October 2, 2008 at 10:45 PM | PERMALINK

If the real thing don’t do the trick
You better make up something quick
You gonna burn burn burn burn it to the wick
Ooooooh, barracuda

Posted by: Sarah Filibuster on October 2, 2008 at 10:46 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory @ 10:30,
How do you build up infrastructure and reign in spending?!?!

Be Alaska.

Posted by: on October 2, 2008 at 10:47 PM | PERMALINK

I absolutely love what Rachel Maddow just said about the debate--every single word. And Steve--thanks so much for the live blogging--great job!

I too noticed that Palin just kept going like an automaton robot after Biden grew extremely tearful.

She was indeed cartoonish.

Did anyone notice she indicated that this venue much more , this 'speaking directly to the American people' versus speaking to the mainstream media?

That was not what I'd call 'speaking to the American people'. That was an amazingly rehearsed, rather coldish and mocking speech essentially.

I lost her at that wink.

Posted by: on October 2, 2008 at 10:47 PM | PERMALINK

A few questions:

1) Can I hold the Palin baby? Trig would have been in my arms by now.
2) Could I adopt Joe Biden as a surrogate grandfather?
3) Could we please agree that formulating complete sentences is not the only qualification for being VP?

Posted by: Cindy McCant on October 2, 2008 at 10:48 PM | PERMALINK

Did she really tell Joe Biden, whose first wife was killed in a car wreck, that his second wife's "reward will be in heaven" because she's a teacher???

Really???

Posted by: tess on October 2, 2008 at 10:48 PM | PERMALINK

Sarah Palin was about what I expected: babbling bumper sticker phrases and spewing lies. If there was anything that surprised me, it was the laughably phony quality of her facial emoting. She came off as someone doing a parody of Tina Fey doing a parody of Sarah Palin.

What surprised me was that Joe Biden was awesome. He was a rock star. He was Jimmy Stewart. He was a sage. It was probably the most powerful performance in a VP debate since Al Gore in 1992. I was much more impressed by Biden than I expected to be.

Sarah Palin was a scripted phony. Biden is the real deal. This country will be extraordinarily fortunate -- probably more fortunate than we deserve -- if we get an Obama/Biden administration. A Palin/McCain administration will be a tragic catastrophe for the entire planet.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on October 2, 2008 at 10:49 PM | PERMALINK

OK, it's over. As a whole, I think that Biden won on points, so to speak. However, I suspect we'll see something of the GWB effect in the MSM tomorrow. Posted by: Zorro

Based on what little I've heard on television, the reaction has been that she had nothing to say. Biden knows his stuff and she's repeating talking points.

Posted by: Jeff II on October 2, 2008 at 10:52 PM | PERMALINK

Geraldine Ferraro just said she was pulling for Palin to do well "as a woman."

WTF?

Palin represents women like Clarence Thomas represents blacks.


Posted by: chance on October 2, 2008 at 10:52 PM | PERMALINK

"She's not middle class. She's a millionaire." You're a little behind the times. See how much annuity income you can buy with a million and whether that would take you out of the middle class.

Posted by: skeptonomist on October 2, 2008 at 10:53 PM | PERMALINK

You can go vote on the NBC website for who won the debate.

Posted by: mossie on October 2, 2008 at 10:54 PM | PERMALINK

Very strange...
Scanning up thread I saw this from Tina:

she's twinkling all over the place. I'm gonna hurl. Yay team! Team team team! Twinkle aggressively!

Strange because the "twinkle" word was my internal descriptor for her performance too. I don't suspect her bright-eyed bullshit is going to sway Joe Six-Pack one iota.


Posted by: koreyel on October 2, 2008 at 10:54 PM | PERMALINK

Note to Geraldine Ferraro: If winking at the camera is doing well as a woman, I'm ashamed for her.

Posted by: Quinn on October 2, 2008 at 10:55 PM | PERMALINK

A lurker here ...

What'd you think?

I think you did a great job live blogging this, Steve. Thanks.

Posted by: bystander on October 2, 2008 at 10:56 PM | PERMALINK

I thought there were a number of points in which Palin actually spoke against the base. She talked about increased teacher pay, essentially more funding for public schools. THAT won't go over well with her base. She also seemed to support equal treatment for same-sex relationships, though not specifically supporting gay marriage. THAT is certainly against her base.

Not that any of this makes me want to vote for her. But it may turn OFF some of her base support actually.

Posted by: JWK on October 2, 2008 at 10:57 PM | PERMALINK

A Palin/McCain administration will be a tragic catastrophe for the entire planet.

And yet, there are tens of millions of people eager to vote for that pairing, along with a goodly number ready and more than willing to cheat to win it for them.

I fear for the future of our beloved country.

-Z

Posted by: Zorro on October 2, 2008 at 10:58 PM | PERMALINK


Biden did well. Palin held her own. No surprises. Palin started strong but Biden closed even stronger. His talk about his sons at the end was really moving. THe kicker is... I don't think this will change much in the end. Does anyone know a campaign where the veep debate performance actually made a difference? Not so sure.

Posted by: ctrenta on October 2, 2008 at 10:58 PM | PERMALINK

She wasn't the cartoon of the Couric interview. She was the constant reflexive liar of her first couple of weeks. And yes, Biden was superb. I think he did better overall than Obama. I think she stopped the talk of booting her off the ticket, but I don't think she swung many needles towards people voting for McCain.

I hope somebody makes Biden's "McCain is not a maverick' answer into an ad.

Posted by: Prup (aka Jim Benton) on October 2, 2008 at 10:59 PM | PERMALINK

Jeff II wrote: "Biden knows his stuff and she's repeating talking points."

That's a good concise summary of the whole debate.

There are two dimensions to such a debate: the substantive dimension and the affective dimension.

In the substantive dimension, Joe Biden was authoritative, experienced and wise, and in the affective dimension, he was a real, warm, compassionate human being.

In the substantive dimension, Sarah Palin did nothing but spew a stream of jumbled, incoherent scripted, bumper-sticker phrases -- they didn't even rise to the level of "talking points" -- which were often completely unresponsive to the moderator's questions, and recite equally scripted, and despicable lies; and in the affective dimension she came off as a smirking, winking, animatronic robot.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on October 2, 2008 at 11:01 PM | PERMALINK

Clearly, the initial impression is no change.

But I think to any but the most partisan Republican listener, it was a clear Biden win. Were it high school president, Palin would be a shoo-in. Potential President of the U.S.? That nervous, fast-talking, winking, spunky, social-climber attitude is impressive, but not what you would call a "command" type.

Boy, she really didn't want to talk about the past eight years, did she? Wonder why?

Posted by: Jon on October 2, 2008 at 11:02 PM | PERMALINK

Steve my thoughts are that you have a problem with hate.

Posted by: Eric Blair on October 2, 2008 at 11:02 PM | PERMALINK

You're a little behind the times. See how much annuity income you can buy with a million and whether that would take you out of the middle class.
Posted by: skeptonomist on October 2, 2008 at 10:53 PM | PERMALINK

NOBODY I know is a millionaire, not one person. If you consider millionaires as middle class, you are as out of touch as McKeating.

Posted by: In what respect, Charlie? on October 2, 2008 at 11:02 PM | PERMALINK

I'm a political junkie & a yellow dog democrat like all y'all, but I'm afraid Sarah's friend, Joesixpak, who pays almost no attention to politics, will think she's a regular gal & will bring some good ole American common sense to DC & straighten out those ole pols who been ruinin our country! They are wrong when they say this is the most important election - that was in 2000 when all this pain could have been avoided. If the voters is this country voted for W cause they'd like to have a beer with him, I bet they'll vote for her cause they'd like to go hunt with her. God help us.

Posted by: carolanne on October 2, 2008 at 11:04 PM | PERMALINK


Who remembers this?

Sarah Palin: "Senator O' Biden."

Posted by: ctrenta on October 2, 2008 at 11:04 PM | PERMALINK

"oil producing state of alaska" and I'm blitzed

Posted by: on October 2, 2008 at 11:06 PM | PERMALINK

I really like what the senator from Missouri noticed
that Palin never was able to say how McCain is different than Obama.

Indeed, all she was willing to speak to was what she had rehearsed. She dodged the rest and refused to speak to it.

No wonder she loves this format over speaking to the mainstream media!

She controlled the whole thing to the extent she could.

Posted by: on October 2, 2008 at 11:06 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks, Steve, for the great live-blogging and for hosting the conversation.


Posted by: mossie on October 2, 2008 at 11:07 PM | PERMALINK

So, I went scrounging for non-pundick reactions to the debate and came across this one, on the NYT website:
http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/10/02/debate-watch-student-view-veep-edition/
Seems like all of them liked Biden better. And, if those kids don't show up on Nov 4th, to vote for Obama, I'll be very, very surprised. I think those under-polled kids are likely to do us proud this year.

Posted by: exlibra on October 2, 2008 at 11:07 PM | PERMALINK

If I'd taken shots every time she said "also", I'd have alcohol poisoning.

Posted by: jzamdag on October 2, 2008 at 11:08 PM | PERMALINK

Biden clearly won, but Palin didn't do badly.

The one thing that sticks out in my mind is, "Can I go back to energy?" cuz I can't rebut Joe's last point.

BWAHAHAHAHA!!!!

And I agree with the posters above, she clearly had NO CLUE what an Achilles heel is. How does one get to the age of 44 and not have any idea what such a common phrase means.

A sober debate punctuated by brief moments of hilarity.

Posted by: Taritac on October 2, 2008 at 11:09 PM | PERMALINK

biden won

Posted by: texas tom on October 2, 2008 at 11:09 PM | PERMALINK

biden won

Posted by: texas tom on October 2, 2008 at 11:10 PM | PERMALINK

biden won

Posted by: texas tom on October 2, 2008 at 11:10 PM | PERMALINK

biden won

Posted by: texas tom on October 2, 2008 at 11:10 PM | PERMALINK

Biden was superb.

Palin, Whats with the winks!!! Bush and Company signals, come on people, Palin had no clue on what the Vice President does. What just consider pushing legislation for McCain, Biden said it correctly Cheney was the most dangerous VP we ever had. Palin, not even refer to the Constitution guidelines for the Vice President. Sheesh.

And the push back in answering questions the way she wanted too. Here America got a dose of Palin’s deliberate ability to use her sexuality here in this position charming dictating and a super foul, the attitude of a cold fish to move with the exact mean spirited crap America does not need any more. Lies. A whole host of lies. The Republican base loves it because they have to lie there is no recourse. The American situation is screwed up the Republicans have to lie.

The war is crap, the economy is crap, the whole culture these Republican’s give to America is just a heap of sugar, with Palin, a cute smile and good “Q” cards with the Bush plan and McCain with no brains.


Posted by: on October 2, 2008 at 11:10 PM | PERMALINK

Nice job, Steve. Thanks.

Biden kicked her azz. Palin rehabilitated herself somewhat. Good. No game changer. Relieved to get fool Palin back in her bunker until after Obama/Bided victory.

Good night, all.

colonpowwow

Posted by: colonpowwow on October 2, 2008 at 11:14 PM | PERMALINK

OMG.

That was the most painful thing I've ever had to watch.

She was just bitchy enough not to back down, which only enhanced her belligerence. What a crock. And what disrespect for the American people and the office she was nominated for.

Shame on John McCain. If this is who he chooses to replace him, what does this say about how he feels about his supporters? He thinks they're idiots. Sarah Palin should be a bank manager AT BEST. That she rose to govern Alaska is testament only to the hesitation of good people to get involved. Nothing more.

She is a horror!

Posted by: MissMudd on October 2, 2008 at 11:14 PM | PERMALINK

Should have asked her what her Moose's Heel is.

Posted by: gang green on October 2, 2008 at 11:15 PM | PERMALINK

1) Biden demolished her. Anyone thinking "she held her own" is on crack.

2) Biden will win all the independent voters out there. Anyone on the fence is not going to be leaning toward Palin -- mumbo-jumbo and talking points.

3) Question: Did she say she supports a two-state policy in Israel? I wasn't sure. So she supports giving half of Israel to Palestine? Just wasn't sure -- it happened so fast. If so -- she just lost a few million Jewish votes -- and single-handedly gave Florida to Obama with that gaffe -- which probably happened because once again -- she has no idea what she's talking about.

Posted by: jonno on October 2, 2008 at 11:15 PM | PERMALINK

How does one get to the age of 44 and not have any idea what such a common phrase means.

As I said: I think she's retarded.

-Z

Posted by: Zorro on October 2, 2008 at 11:18 PM | PERMALINK

Why didn't Biden hit her with the earmarks that she got for her "joe six-pack" town when she was so famously cutting the budget?

Posted by: digger on October 2, 2008 at 11:24 PM | PERMALINK

Sarah Palin proved once again that she is nowhere near ready or qualified to be VP, much less President of the United States. However, tonight she just happened to prove it with a more rapid-fire presentation of all the same multiply-debunked talking points as before.

Biden wins. Not that any of this changes the dynamics of the race, but there it is.

McCain/Palin are still FUCKED!

Posted by: Bob Loblaw on October 2, 2008 at 11:26 PM | PERMALINK

Article I is the Legislative Branch. Article II is the Executive, and Article III the judiciary. Biden made a simple mistake, but his point holds.

Posted by: J on October 2, 2008 at 11:27 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory,

"How do you build up infrastructure and reign in spending?!?!"

The whole night was like that. She kept espousing completely contradictory ideas in the same sentence. As someone that pays close attention to these things, as do most here, it was maddening.

Posted by: OhNoNotAgain on October 2, 2008 at 11:27 PM | PERMALINK

Here is a question for you. If you didn't know what office the two of them were running for would you have been surprised to learn that Sarah Palin was running for Vice President of the United States? Would you feel the same about Joe Biden? I didn't think so. This wasn't even close. Joe Biden completely outclassed her from start to finish, for 90 full minutes.

Posted by: Ted Frier on October 2, 2008 at 11:29 PM | PERMALINK

She's keeeeeuuuute! And she winked at me! And, cuz I'm a third grader I get special credit for watchin her too.

I thought Biden was the perfect gentleman and struck a good balance between courtesy and confrontation. Eye contact was good.

This may help McCain a little for the know-nothings but overall I think it strengthens the Obama/Biden team more. Kennedy/Johnson comes to mind. Biden can work the Congress as well as Johnson. Obama is a cool and almost scary smart leader. Andrew Sullivan called him a nerd with Xanax in his DNA. I second that.

As an aside, the first words out of Obama's mouth when he greeted his wife after the debate were, "How are you doing?" Think about that! Here's a man just finished with his first presidential debate and his first question is about how someone else is doing - admittedly his wife. Talk about composure! Somehow that was completely reassuring. Here, for the first time in my experience, is a man of intellect running for president without a self-destructive ego. I think we're very lucky to have him in the race, human and political.

Posted by: LJR on October 2, 2008 at 11:29 PM | PERMALINK

I agree, Palin sounded like she was stringing talking points together that she crammed into her head over the last two days. I found Palin incoherent. Her grammar was awful. She ducked answering 6-8 important questions. If she answered one more question by turning back to Alaskan energy issues or by saying McCain was a maverick I was going to throw a shoe at the TV.

At one point she said something to the effect of "Teachers, God bless 'em, they'll get their reward in heaven, right?" Well, my wife who is a teacher was ready to barf. Why should she have to die before she sees her reward? Why not simply raise salaries for teachers who are living now and leave God's judgment to God?

Like a lot of Pentecostal Christians Palin presumes to know what God wants. She projects her policy views onto God and then turns around and couches her positions in religious terms. This concerns me. A lot.

Was Gwen Ifill correct that Palin agreed with Biden about approving civil unions? Palin seemed uncomfortable with how that discussion ended.

It was odd to hear Palin simultaneously calling for greater regulation of Wall Street and getting out of the way of business to let them do their job. She kept saying we have to bring an end to Wall Street greed and curruption. What policies does she propose to end greed? Send everyone on Wall Street to Sunday school?

She also said, "We have to fight for the freedom of national security." What the hell does that mean?

She said that taxes on the wealthy are attempts by Democrats to re-distribute America's wealth. So then what are tax cuts and tax loopholes? What are no-bid contracts to corrupt companies? What is lax regulatory enforcement? What is paying for Wall Street's worthless securities? We have seen the country's fastest growing disparity between rich and poor under George Bush, who now sees government as vital to achieving his goal of redistributing money to the wealthy after trashing government his entire career.

I'm glad Biden didn't take the bait when Palin said his and Obama's Iraq policy was like "raising the white flag of surrender." It's all about win and lose, good and evil with Republicans. Palin doesn't see how severely this attitude restricts their policy options -- options that can keep America safer than George Bush has.

I thought Biden was fundamentally strong on all the issues and he spoke with the authority that comes from 26 years of experience. Thought he was good on Darfur. Best moment was in the last half hour when he cited all the reasons McCain wasn't the maverick Palin kept saying he was, and kept saying and saying . . .

I was sorry they didn't get to Roe v. Wade & court appointments. I would have liked Biden to raise Palin's recent public statements that she agrees with liberal arguments for rights to privacy.

I got the sense that if there were ever any follow-up questions to the ones she dodged Palin would not have known what to say.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on October 2, 2008 at 11:30 PM | PERMALINK

It was almost surreal. When Biden was on it was a debate. When Palin was on it was Saturday Night Live. She was creepy artificial. The down home hokum bordered on vaudeville. There was not one word that she uttered that didn't sound scripted. She was unpleasant. I would be surprised if her performance was well recieved, but who knows?

Posted by: Saint Zak on October 2, 2008 at 11:33 PM | PERMALINK

Here's my post debate blogging, which is not all-inclusive, mind you. Still, I think I brought up some insightful observations.

Posted by: jurassicpork on October 2, 2008 at 11:41 PM | PERMALINK

Palins performance wasn't the carcrash the left had hoped for,but she was still outclassed by Biden.


Biden wins on substance and style and Palin restores her image.

Posted by: Dublin on October 2, 2008 at 11:44 PM | PERMALINK

She was animatronic, except for the part where she said that she wants to, after Dickless Cheney, to EXPAND the powers of the vice presidency. WTF? More power than Cheney? He was the most dangerous vp in history, and she wants more? Scary f'in witch (with a 'B').

Posted by: In what respect, Charlie? on October 2, 2008 at 11:46 PM | PERMALINK

I think this debate made the choice clear for any undecided independents as well as the intellectual Republicans who have been disgusted by Palin. Joe Biden was the clear winner, he came across as incredibly knowledgeable and came across as a true statesman. It was clear his focus was on helping the middle class while for Palin it was just a punch-line since she didn't have any policy recommendations to back it up. It really was surreal, Palin didn't deserve to be on that stage and that came across well. Of course the fanatical wingnuts on the right will say she did well regardless of how big a clusterf**k she was, but all actual evidence proves she is nothing but an embarrassment.

Posted by: WallStreetNobody on October 2, 2008 at 11:48 PM | PERMALINK

Biden won by (1) meeting her soundbites and snark (whoever told her to say "say it ain't so, Joe" should be looking for a job tomorrow) with a serious attitude about the issues that count--health care, getting out of Iraq, tax relief for 95% of us rather than the richest of the rich, (2) dealing with her half-truths effectively and (3) taking it to McCain on his record. To which she responded with scripted answers. That may make Castellanos and Buchanan pee in their pants but it won't cut it with anyone who actually cares about where this country is going. And I got choked up at the end by Biden's story about talking to his kids--a gift that Sarah and her speechwriters handed him. It's over.

Posted by: Henry on October 2, 2008 at 11:49 PM | PERMALINK

One more thing -- Palin and McCain keep taking cheap shots at the East Coast. Saw it again tonight, with Palin accusing Biden of being one of those "East Coast" politicians who keeps Alaskans from drilling for oil.

What does that mean? Aren't there environmentalists in the midwest and west? Why do cornered Republicans always lash out at the East Coast?

Note to Sarah Palin: VIRGINIA IS ON THE EAST COAST, HON. IF YOU'RE PULLING OUT OF MICHIGAN TO FOCUS ON VIRGINIA YOU BETTER A) LEARN YOUR GEOGRAPHY AND B) STOP INSULTING EAST COAST VOTERS. YOU SOUND LIKE YOU JUST FELL OFF THE TURNIP TRUCK.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on October 2, 2008 at 11:51 PM | PERMALINK

She was animatronic, except for the part where she said that she wants to, after Dickless Cheney, to EXPAND the powers of the vice presidency. WTF? More power than Cheney? He was the most dangerous vp in history, and she wants more? Scary f'in witch (with a 'B'). Ask her a follow up question, and she can't answer, she can't handle it. She begins to babble (Can you name ONE specific Supreme Court case OTHER than Roe v Wade that you disagree with?).

Posted by: In what respect, Charlie? on October 2, 2008 at 11:51 PM | PERMALINK

Well, Palin came to St. Louis and did not soil herself on stage. So that's a big win for her. And she dropped the terms "Joe Six Pack" and "hockey mom" at least once, which even Joe Sixpacks and hockey moms these days use purely in a ironic sense.

In the end, she did what she came to do: convince the same 25% of the country who still thinks GWB is doing a peachy job that she and McCain deserve to push the trainwreck down the tracks for another four years. That's McCain's base and, except for brief moments when she appeared to be somewhat sympathetic to homosexual people, they've probably decided that it's worth getting up on election day to go vote for her. As for independents and the rest of the electorate with functioning brains who don't think the Rapture will occur before November and thus care about the future of the country, Biden took her to school big time.

Posted by: jonas on October 2, 2008 at 11:51 PM | PERMALINK

Biden did a good job of attacking McCain. I think there were plenty of opportunities where he could have attacked Palin's position (and he did a bit), but by hammering McCain, Biden remained on message.

Having said that, Biden did address one point I'd like Democrats to address more: The windfall tax on oil companies. Palin supported it for Alaska. Not only that, Palin and Alaskans enjoy a $3000 redistribution of wealth in the form of Oil company payouts to every citizen in Alaska. Perhaps Palin would advocate abolishing that 'socialist' program since she's against Obama's plan to tax the rich?

Posted by: JWK on October 2, 2008 at 11:52 PM | PERMALINK

I didn't care too much for the live blogging at Think Progress (while they fact-checked -- nice, they covered *only* Palin), their round-up of "hot off the presses" reactions to the debate *is* interesting:
http://thinkprogress.org/2008/10/02/vice-presidential-debate-live-blogging/

Posted by: exlibra on October 2, 2008 at 11:52 PM | PERMALINK

biden did a good job, it's good to see someone, finally, on the dem side undercutting this assinine repetition re mccain as maverick.

now --- more inconsistent inanities to clear up: she wants accountability accountability accountability ... but she runs a campaign inside a mccain mandated bubble. if she thinks accountability is so critical, shouldn't she be asked about her politburo-like existence ? (although she wouldn't understand, thus rendering the question 'gotcha'.

Posted by: timeoutofmind on October 2, 2008 at 11:53 PM | PERMALINK

Clearly Biden is all class. Ready to be President if need be - not a doubt.

In terms of how this might affect the race... the more exposure Palin gets, the better it is for the Democratic ticket, period.

If the campaign became all about Sarah Palin, that would suit the Dems just fine.

Posted by: Max on October 2, 2008 at 11:54 PM | PERMALINK

I hear pundits saying Palin made herself "likeable" in this debate and I wonder how that can be. She was so obviously fake and shallow. Fake folksiness, fake empathy, pushing simple mindedness and overconfidence to the extreme. Perhaps folks in red states can relate to this, but they were going to vote Repub anyway. Many others will be annoyed even if she "exceeded expectations".

Posted by: cestlavie on October 2, 2008 at 11:56 PM | PERMALINK

Any woman who's lived through high school can see that under that aw-shucks "charm" is one cold, arrogant, spiteful bitch.

Posted by: karen on October 3, 2008 at 12:02 AM | PERMALINK

"If we're going to attack her, we shouldn't attack her on things that make us look like the kind of latte-sipping lefty who doesn't know that - on airplanes - the pointed end goes in front."
Posted by: TCinLA on October 2, 2008


I agree we should focus on important things.

On taxes McCain-Palin would give the rich even more. Who do ya think would pay for that?

On Iraq McCain-Palin would keep us there for some undetermined time. Who do ya think would pay for that?

On health care McCain-Palin would let the problem fester or make it worse with deregulation. Who do ya think would pay for that?

On energy McCain-Palin would give us more oil, coal and nuclear power, but probably little alternative energy. All mankind would pay for that.

I once saw a Cub fly low over a small cliff and the updraft stopped it in it's tracks. It just hung there in air with a headwind holding it back (they're slow in best conditions). Finally it started to drift backwards -- just like the McCain-Palin campaign.

It is important to focus on important things.

John McCain can't be trusted with the power of the presidency because we can never know what he would do with it after all the lies he's told.

America can't afford John McCain.

Posted by: MarkH on October 3, 2008 at 12:06 AM | PERMALINK

Any woman who's lived through high school can see that under that aw-shucks "charm" is one cold, arrogant, spiteful bitch.
Posted by: karen on October 3, 2008 at 12:02 AM | PERMALINK
****************************
So can any man. It's as Palin as the nose on your face.

Posted by: In what respect, Charlie? on October 3, 2008 at 12:11 AM | PERMALINK

"My husband lived in Alaska for a couple years and wonders whether her accent might be a fundamentalist accent rather than an Alaskan accent, because he never heard such there."
Posted by: tina on October 2, 2008

I heard a speech guy on the radio and he said it was entirely typical of the northwest. I think with her time in Idaho that it might be more 'northwest' than Alaskan, but he seemed entirely convinced it was natural.

okey dokey?

Posted by: MarkH on October 3, 2008 at 12:13 AM | PERMALINK

Biden: excellent overall. He had a lot of good responses, and several excellent ones (need to know causes to figure out solutions / past is prologue, Spain, Cheney, his closing)

Palin: the more I think about it the more disgusted I get. Her nonsense about America's going to lead the world in reducing emissions (or whatever exactly she said) - I don't think she's heard about the Kyoto treaty, and how other countries are far ahead of us.

However, she partially redeemed herself relative to the Couric interviews: she's probably pulled herself back up into Quayle territory, which means she'll be less of a drag on the ticket, but she won't be a net plus beyond getting the rabid base to the polls. McCain can continue dragging his ticket down all by himself.

Posted by: N.Wells on October 3, 2008 at 12:15 AM | PERMALINK

cestlavie: "Palin made herself "likeable" in this debate and I wonder how that can be. She was so obviously fake and shallow. Fake folksiness, fake empathy, pushing simple mindedness and overconfidence to the extreme."

Sound like anyone else we know?? Worked for him.

Posted by: SteveB on October 3, 2008 at 12:15 AM | PERMALINK

Fabulous summary, Steve.
Riveting debate. Palin was exposed as the neo-conservative student of the week, spouting the requisite, memorized right wing talking points. And she used avoidant patterns, saying
she may not answer the questions as the moderator states--holy sh--, how Bush like is that.
And her arrogant reference to increasing the power of the vice president, how Cheney like is that. She is both ruthless and uncaring.
Joe Biden rocks

Posted by: consider wisely always on October 3, 2008 at 12:17 AM | PERMALINK

She corrected him on the "Drill Baby Drill" chant. that was the Dukakis in the tank moment for me.

This isn't high school honey, we don't give a fuck about your stupid chant.

Posted by: grinning cat on October 3, 2008 at 12:17 AM | PERMALINK

She corrected him on the "Drill Baby Drill" chant. that was the Dukakis in the tank moment for me.

This isn't high school honey, we don't give a fuck about your stupid chant.

Posted by: grinning cat on October 3, 2008 at 12:18 AM | PERMALINK

This debate reminded me of that Reagan line that the most terrifying thing a person could hear was "I'm from the government and I'm here to help." That was bullshit line then, but Sarah Palin's MO right now is "I'm from the PTA and I'm here to help."

If only that the solution to the world's problems was a shortage of milk and cookies at bedtime, Sarah would be a champ. But, unfortunately for Sarah, you have to know some shit to solve some problems in government these days. At a time when people have grave reasons to be concerned about who leads this nation and what the qualifications of those leaders are Palin was thin and trying way too hard.

And what's up with her "world's longest run-on sentence" responses? Won't need any sleeping pills tonight after hearing those. Listening to Palin was like listening a to a used car salesman: everything you wanted to hear but that nagging suspicion that by the way she was talking she didn't mean a damn bit of it.

Posted by: petorado on October 3, 2008 at 12:19 AM | PERMALINK

As my wife pointed out, her whole performancewas what a beauty pageant contestant does in the "serious interview" contest.

And the mugging and the winking and wearing her hair down, all to "appeal to the boys." My 45-years-a-feminist partner was ready to throw my cowboy boots through the screen.

Posted by: TCinLA on October 3, 2008 at 12:20 AM | PERMALINK

I'm from Idaho and never heard anyone talk like that. Might could if they were from the Dakotas.

Posted by: matt on October 3, 2008 at 12:23 AM | PERMALINK

What bothered me the most about Palin was her refusal, and admission of such, that she might not answer the questions. Also, she just rambled on about Republican talking points without giving any specifics. She kept saying maverick without explaining how or why. Every time she had a tough response or question she went back to the "but we're mavericks", whatever that is supposed to mean. She claimed to be the new ideas and change needed for Washington; is she not aware that McCain has been there for 20+ years?

Also, her referrals to McCain having the experience and McCain leading were too numerous. During the second half of the debate, I thought she gave viewers very little reason to support her other than she was running with John McCain. The lack of experience and knowledge really showed through. Biden did a much better job of balancing examples of his experience and knowledge while providing examples of Obama's policies and leadership.

Also, I thought she was tacky at times. First, she did not acknowledge Biden or his family after his emotional story of his wife and child dying. Very inappropriate not to at least acknowledge Biden or his family. Second, the "say it ain't so Joe" was totally inappropriate and a cheap shot at a sound bite.

Posted by: k2readone on October 3, 2008 at 12:32 AM | PERMALINK

Positives-
No major gaffes on either side. A big positive for Palin. Another day at the office for Biden. But that's all they'll be able to compliment Palin on tomorrow.

Negatives-
Biden spoke a little too fast at times. Talked numbers too much for the average viewer. Might've fit some people's view as a "Washington Insider."
Palin gave a completely different answer if she didn't understand the question. That happened enough to make it noticeable. Other times when she didn't have an answer she spoke in sheer wankery (which I would then use the universal sign for wankery. My wife thinks I'm not getting enough love).

Looking at the camera v. looking at Ifill: Palin ALWAYS looked at the camera. You either love it or you hate it. Biden stayed on Ifill for the majority of the debate but built up his looking at the camera more and more towards the end. Better use of technique?

Closer: Biden was fantastic on his closer. You could just hear Ifill cut off the applause from the audience. Palin reminded us that teachers will never get paid what they deserve in this lifetime.

Posted by: Five Feet High 'n Risin on October 3, 2008 at 12:36 AM | PERMALINK

"Not only that, Palin and Alaskans enjoy a $3000 redistribution of wealth in the form of Oil company payouts to every citizen in Alaska."

I completely lost it when she talked about cutting taxes while she was Governor. They don't pay any taxes, do they ?

Posted by: OhNoNotAgain on October 3, 2008 at 12:40 AM | PERMALINK

Many pundits are saying that because neither VP candidate made any major gaffes that they will have no effect on the presidential race. They also go on to say that life will move on tomorrow with the House vote on the bailout er rescue er with no vaseline situation tomorrow. I humbly disagree for one reason. The fact checkers are going to tear Sarah Palin a new one tomorrow. She herself asked for them and because she has a credibility problem already she is going to be roasted over the coals over and over. The only reason John McCain didnt catch a lot of hell after last friday is because so many people are not willing to call him out because of his long career and POW history. But Palin is a neophyte and she continues to call out the MSM. I am sure the NYT is going to pull an all nighter tonight going over every inch of her answers and don't be surprised if they dont wait till all the way to Sunday so the bailout news will come and go and they can roll out a huge story about all the false claims she said tonight. I think its going to be a game changer when that shoe drops. Its like the Bridge to Nowhere claim. It was exciting....until everyone found out it was a lie. She is going to drag McCain all the way out of contention within a week

Posted by: sgwhiteinfla on October 3, 2008 at 12:41 AM | PERMALINK

She corrected him on the "Drill Baby Drill" chant. that was the Dukakis in the tank moment for me.

This isn't high school honey, we don't give a fuck about your stupid chant.
Posted by: grinning cat on October 3, 2008 at 12:18 AM | PERMALINK
******************
Oh, silly me, I thought "Drill baby drill" was referring to oil, but MissInformation is still psychologically living the world of high school (flirt, mile smile, "wink-wink" @ YOU 'big boy'), where you can hire all your unqualified friends and buddies in our click at fat salaries, be vindictive and carry vendettas to the point that you ruin other people's lives (e.g., Walt Monegan, Mike Wooten), and 'drill baby drill' has an entirely different meaning. Sara, you are a disgrace.

Posted by: In what respect, Charlie? on October 3, 2008 at 12:44 AM | PERMALINK

Someone should ask Palin if she knws what an "Achilles Heel" is. When asked by Ifill she started spouting off her good points as if at some job interview. Biden of course has an understanding of the English language.

Clearly Palin was clearly trying to appeal to the Reagan Conservatives with her "there you go again" comments to Biden, copying a line that Reagan used on Jimmy Carter in their debate. Of course Reagan knew ahead of time what Carter was going to say since he had Carter's DEBATE NOTES STOLEN. I guess the Repugs don't think that was such a reprehensible act on Reagan's part.

It just seems that Palin simply spoke in a bunch of generalities and used a lot of feel-good slogans. It's really insulting what the Republican party must think of the intelligence of Americans that they just keep promoting these goofballs to the highest office in the world. "Just give 'em big personalities with small vocabularies, peppered with lots of Tough Talk, and don't forget to wave the flag and they'll just fall in line, the idiots. Then we can get in there and do whatever the hell we feel like doing, tee hee. Works every time."

Posted by: Byron on October 3, 2008 at 12:44 AM | PERMALINK

Her transformation from frightened deer in the headlights to quick study neo-con Stepford Wife automaton was pretty evident and disingenuous, at best. Quite Rovian.
Familiarity breeds contempt--all that winking, teeth showing, cheekboniness...folksy b.s.

She absolutely had several cheat sheets.

Will anyone wake up JohnMcCain at 3 a.m. to tell him she apparently supported civil unions?
He will stroke out.

Posted by: consider wisely always on October 3, 2008 at 12:46 AM | PERMALINK

So what now for Sarah Pitbull?
Does she go back into hiding? Spend the next 4 weeks interviewing on Faux? Or give more msm interviews/sunday morning talk shows?

I bet a shiny penny that if she interviews with msm that we'll see more Couric/Gibson like lowlights. Did you see her uneasiness with the whole climate change question? Every single time she has to account for her own record/views she looks like a deer caught in headlights. If you asked what foreign policy experience she has, she would still stumble through the whole Alaska is close to Russia bulls**t!
In football, if the other team can't stop your run game, you keep running. Sarah has to answer these Couric/Gibson questions until she shows some sign of intelligence.

Posted by: Jim on October 3, 2008 at 12:52 AM | PERMALINK

An Alaska judge on Thursday refused to block a state investigation into whether Gov. Sarah Palin abused her power when she fired her public safety commissioner this summer.

Judge Peter Michalski threw out the lawsuit filed by five Republican state legislators who said the investigation had been tainted by partisan politics and was being manipulated to damage Palin shortly before the Nov. 4 presidential election.

"It is legitimately within the scope of the legislature's investigatory power to inquire into the circumstances surrounding the termination (of) a public officer the legislature had previously confirmed," the judge wrote in his decision.

The probe is looking into whether Palin, who is the Republican vice presidential candidate, and others pressured Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan to fire a state trooper who was involved in a contentious divorce from Palin's sister, and then fired Monegan when he wouldn't dismiss the trooper. Palin says Monegan was ousted over budget disagreements.

The five Republican lawmakers had argued that the legislative body that ordered the investigation exceeded its authority. Their attorney, Kevin Clarkson, said the political bias was demonstrated by the plan of the Legislature's independent investigator to issue a report by Oct. 10 although the full legislature won't consider until reconvening in January.

But Michalski said in his ruling that the mere appearance of impropriety does not mean any individual's right to fairness was violated.

The independent investigator, Steven Branchflower, still plans to conclude the probe and report his findings by Oct. 10, said Democratic state Sen. Hollis French, the investigation's project manager. Branchflower's report will not include the testimony of Palin's husband, Todd, and several top aides who refused to appear under subpoena.

In the ruling, released minutes before Palin and Sen. Joe Biden faced off in a debate in St. Louis, Michalski agreed with defense attorney Peter Maassen, who argued that the Legislature has the authority to investigate the governor as it sees fit.

"He agreed with us on pretty much everything," Maassen said of the judge's ruling. "The separation of power principles that governed this case seemed pretty clear."

Maassen represents the Legislative Council, 10 Republicans and four Democrats who authorized the investigation, and others involved in the probe.

Clarkson said in a statement that the judge's decision was "dangerous because it robs every Alaskan of the protection specifically provided by the Alaska Constitution" against bias interfering with due process.

At first, Palin agreed to cooperate with the probe, but since being picked Aug. 29 to be McCain's running mate, she, her family and staff have instead said the legislative investigation has been compromised by politics and that they would only cooperate with a separate investigation run by the Alaska State Personnel Board, whose members Palin can fire.

Michalski also threw out a lawsuit filed by Palin aides seeking to dismiss subpoenas compelling their testimony in the investigation. The aides had argued that the subpoenas should not have to be honored because they should not have been issued.

Todd Palin also refused to testify under subpoena, but he was not a plaintiff in the lawsuit filed by the state. His attorney, Thomas Van Flein, declined to say whether Palin would testify now, saying he had not seen the ruling to study the options.

"The question was never if Mr. Palin would testify, only where. The personnel board or the committee," Van Flein said by e-mail. "Now it could be both. But no decision has been made."


Posted by: Hahahahahahaha on October 3, 2008 at 1:03 AM | PERMALINK

My company closed last year (and after nine months I finally found another job -- thanks, Bush economy!), and Palin reminded me of the perky human resources person from the parent company that we had to go see--the one who robotically "empathizes" with you (just like she was trained to!) and tells you about all the swell things in your puny severance package and how much they valued you and how you should call if you need anything, blah, blah, blah.

Aside from completely ignoring Biden's moving moment about his family, she also made a cheesy, self-aggrandizing joke about how "you can see I'm not a Washington insider" in response to Biden's passionate condemnation of the genocide in Darfur.

And she gave Reagan credit for "shining city on a hill," which is from 1600s Puritanism. I mean I know the Gipper was old, but...

I threw up in my mouth a little when she talked about how Kissinger "shared his passion for diplomacy" with her and how "John McCain has already tapped me." Somehow with the winking and all, everything started to sound smarmy to me.

And special needs funding--she loves it so much she cut it by 70%!

"Government, get out of my way if you're gonna mandate more things on me!" Yeah, like healthcare and Social Security!

For those who say that having a net worth of $1.1 million doesn't necessarily take you out of the middle class: she and her husband also pull down a quarter-million a year. That DEFINITELY takes them out of the middle class. I was hoping Biden would call her on it when he was talking about the Obama tax plan, something like, "Well, governor, to be honest, you and your husband wouldn't get a tax cut, since your annual income is above the quarter-million-dollar threshold."

Biden rocked, Palin ranted. But one quibble with political rhetoric in general: can we cut the "kitchen table" cliche? We have a small kitchen, with no table in it. I feel so inadequate, so un-American.

Posted by: gradysu on October 3, 2008 at 1:07 AM | PERMALINK

From the CNN sample voter group 'meter line,' the McCain Maverick Myth is clearly DOA. It immediately sank every time Palin mentioned the word, indicating that no one is buying the image of McCain as a maverick these days. The meter line also took a dive when Palin referred to the middle class as "Joe Six-Pack," etc., and when Palin resorted to folksy-speak in general. I've always thought of it as too contrived, and tonight it came across as particularly so. It also doesn't seem appropriate in a potential Vice President. And that winking to the viewers was a bit patronizing! It also grates on me when she speaks with that smiley/snotty somewhat airhead affectation. But most of all, I was aggravated that Gwen Ifill did not insist that Palin actually answer the question at hand! She was allowed most of the time to free associate ad nauseum, when I wanted to hear her give specific answers to the questions. In spite of Palin's phony efforts to portray herself as a just a regular gal, it was Joe Biden who inadvertently demonstrated that he was US when he talked about his personal struggles as a single parent. It was apparent that Palin knew it as well.

Posted by: Varecia on October 3, 2008 at 1:07 AM | PERMALINK

Palin already revealed herself in the interviews...the debates were about her pretense.

If it took waiting for the debates to make up your Palin mind then you are one who ignores your lying eyes.

I beginning to believe McCain just needed someone to blame..."Palin, you cost me the election". (Hey, you picked her to be president in your absence ) Amazes me that some are waiting for Palin to be someone other than who she is..."Let's wait till the debates and ignore the Couric/Gibson interviews. Oh look, she's changed...no it was just her lipstick."

Posted by: joey on October 3, 2008 at 1:12 AM | PERMALINK

Here's a link to the "Debategate", wherein Reagan had President Carter's debate notes stolen just so tht he could one-up him throughout.

http://eightiesclub.tripod.com/id293.htm

So I wonder why the Repugs think that was a worthy thing to celebrate, having Palin use the same phrase on Biden (while also mentioning Reagan positively many times). I wonder if Palin even knew the repulsive origin of that phrase while repeating it as trained? Party of traditional values, yeah right. If by values they mean cut-throat end-justifies-the-means traditional values.

Posted by: Byron on October 3, 2008 at 1:18 AM | PERMALINK

I think Palin is terribly unqualified, and contradicting herself all the time.

More importantly, though, I think it's too late, period. Obama wins 55-45?

All that means means to me is about half of America is too stupid to live with.

We're cooked. Even if Obama wins, we'll have such a disaster of epic proportions to clean up, all Obama will do is face Media Man's horror show of ratings whoring.

Idiocracy was not meant to be a documentary.


Posted by: John O on October 3, 2008 at 1:21 AM | PERMALINK

Sorry. Just to say your commentary was totally uninformative of the debate. I listened to the debate, then came here. Reading your time-line I still don't understand what was said.

Of course, I could just be stupid.

Posted by: nottherre on October 3, 2008 at 1:27 AM | PERMALINK

I just finished watching the debate, tape delayed, and I have to say that I really think Biden did a great job. Biden was substance, Palin was fluff. I know that I am not the target demo here, but I do believe that those on the fence were presented with two starkly different examples of capability.

Biden had so, so much more depth. He was never condescending to her, and he kept the eye on McCain. He never denegrated Palin, he attacked McCain while trumpeting Obama. The fears of him bullying her are moot. He carried himself quite well. Palin did ok, in that she did not commit the unfathomable vacuous verbal blunders, but she really was out of her element and was reduced to, in the end, sound bites and shallow rhetoric.

Joe Biden kicked ass in the only way he could -- by illustrating the failures of the past administration, tying McCain to them, and respecting Palin while defining his ticket's superiority as a choice to McCain/Palin.

Good job O'Biden.

Posted by: e henry thripshaw on October 3, 2008 at 1:29 AM | PERMALINK

Palin implied something along the lines...Obama--indicated he has no right to make decisions about the war because he has no direct contact or family member in the war?

Who in Bush's family has had 'direct' contact, as in served in the military in Iraq and/or Afghanistan?

For that matter, who in Cheney's family, or former AG Gonzales, Rumsfeld, Condi Rice, Paulson, etc... Any Bush Administration cabinet members with family members currently serving inside Iraq or Afghanistan?

could be good research project to juxtapose against Palin's claim

Posted by: bruno on October 3, 2008 at 1:33 AM | PERMALINK

Considering how Obama performed during his debate with McCain and how Biden performed as well. Contrast that with McCain's and Palin's performances.

Assuming the next few debates will have similar results without major deviations...

The margin with which Obama/Biden win the presidency, will tell us how many really stupid people are living amongst us. I can only hope that McCain looses by a landslide, at least that would show there aren't all that many ignorant people.

Posted by: bruno on October 3, 2008 at 1:37 AM | PERMALINK

Bruno, I felt that way before Reagan got elected twice, before 41 and 43 ever got into the presidency. The only time my "prayers" were answered was Clintons first election victory.

I would like to offer into the lexicon the reaction I had every time I heard Gov. Palin
lie (which seems to be most of what she opens her mouth to do):

"That's BULL Hockey, Mom!"

Posted by: Wacky Librul on October 3, 2008 at 1:53 AM | PERMALINK

Bruno, I felt that way before Reagan got elected twice, before 41 and 43 ever got into the presidency. The only time my "prayers" were answered was Clintons first election victory.

I would like to offer into the lexicon the reaction I had every time I heard Gov. Palin
lie (which seems to be most of what she opens her mouth to do):

"That's BULL Hockey, Mom!"

Posted by: Wacky Librul on October 3, 2008 at 1:53 AM | PERMALINK

Can somebody tell me what the hell a BABY, with Down's Syndrome, is doing out on the freek'in campaign trail at 11:00 pm ??! That's putting your infant child's needs first sister. Way to go. Putting the needs of an infant after your own selfish motives, just like McKeating/Plain put 'country first', not.

Posted by: In what respect, Charlie? on October 3, 2008 at 2:19 AM | PERMALINK

I missed it live because I went to see Weezer.

Wow, Palin lies a lot. And easily. She looked shaken several times, though. I lost count of how many times she went to some talking points.

The woman didn't utter a single truthful answer all night. That should give the Democrats plenty of fodder.

Posted by: doubtful on October 3, 2008 at 2:23 AM | PERMALINK

I watched this is Australia about midday, but when you noted "9:40: The funding-the-troops lie. She's obscene", I would have been saying unprintable things to my TV screen.

When she talked about "The toxic mess on Main Street affecting Wall Street" and then just carried on without a blink I knew one thing for "doggone" sure.

She may sound natural to some, but she's as tightly programmed as Hymie the Robot. The ultimate phoney, like her mavericky boss.

Posted by: Squeaky McCrinkle on October 3, 2008 at 2:46 AM | PERMALINK

Obama the next president...

you can win, if you want! try this!
http://tinyurl.com/hacker-game

Posted by: kovx on October 3, 2008 at 3:11 AM | PERMALINK

I think we all need to keep in mind here that the VP debate historically has had virtually no impact on the presidential contest. Like the stock market reacting to analysts' projections, there was no way Palin could underperform tonight without literally rolling her eyes back in their sockets and drooling. Biden didn't say anything particularly stupid and even got in a few good zingers, especially at the end. End result? Not a lot of movement. Obama keeps his momentum. Palin gets love from her dead-ender base, but independents groan and either throw up their hands or start to lean Obama.

On the other hand, though: the media have been focused almost exclusively on Palin the past two weeks. For most viewers, this was the first time they've heard Biden talk about the major issues of the day and he did yeoman's work presenting a clear case for the Democratic ticket.

Posted by: jonas on October 3, 2008 at 3:37 AM | PERMALINK

I'm sorry but the first time she said Nukular, Joe Biden should have said "Excuse me Governor, but that's nuclear, surely if we're going to debate education tonight we should pronounce words correctly!". Too elitist, some might say? But I found several points in this debate when pAlien should have certainly could have had her ass handed to her on an unarguable platter. So, now it's my turn: WTF are Obama/Biden thinking? This was an opportunity to knock that fake Wisconsin accent right the fuck out of the venue but Biden just stood there and smiled... Pathetic! This stupid biatch deserved to have that smile wiped right off her face but Joe Biden looked at her liked he wanted to fuck her....

Straight men suck, and not in a good way!

Extremely disappointing, so where are our leaders again? Where are the smartest people for the job??????!!!!!

Don't tell me I have to vote for Nader!

Posted by: The Galloping Trollop on October 3, 2008 at 3:45 AM | PERMALINK

I just won the VP Debate Liveblogging Commentboard, as I'm the one who committed the fewest gaffes compared with how many were expected of me. Sure, I didn't say anything real about anything, but at least I didn't screw-up as badly as the rest of these gaffe machines. And that's what good presidenting is all about: Not committing a gaffe on live TV. As long as you can do that, the rest is just icing.

Posted by: Doctor Biobrain on October 3, 2008 at 3:51 AM | PERMALINK

Biden should have torn her a new one at least 5 times but folksy Sarah was irresistable to Joe Biden.. All smiles, no retort, no speaking up. This was a pathetic loss, and a really embarrassing loss to a complete imcompetent. Only now, which imcompetent? I'm not really certain any longer! You Democrats had better get your shit together or there is sure as shit going to be some change going on in Washington!

Posted by: The Angry Trollop on October 3, 2008 at 4:03 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah, which "imcompetent"? Trolls really have lost it these days.

Posted by: Squeaky McCrinkle on October 3, 2008 at 4:48 AM | PERMALINK

Have a look at the analysis I performed of the words used by Palin and Biden in tonight's debate. Just as for the 1st debate, I produced "bubble graphs" showing length and number of words and sentences and "word clouds" displaying which words were used more by each debater. You can find it all at my Word Face-Off blog.

Posted by: fdeblauwe on October 3, 2008 at 5:02 AM | PERMALINK

Over at Hullabaloo, the point was made that Palin's quotation from Reagan that synopsized her positions, that America needed to be vigilant or it will lose its freedom, was in fact a warning by Reagan against Medicare. That pretty much sums up what Republicans are afraid of. It pretty much sums up why I am a Democrat, too. I hope they can put this in an ad somewhere.

Posted by: candideinnc on October 3, 2008 at 5:27 AM | PERMALINK

We got home a bit late from the library last night; the kids were still up when I clicked the ABC link to watch online, and my kids saw the first few minutes of Palin as they were on their way to bed.

10-year-old son: "Bush's secret evil sister."

8-year-old daughter: "The lying lady."

3-year-old daughter: "Scary lady."

My opinion? Last night, America got her first really good look at a modern-day Marie Antoinette. The plethora of lies, when rolled into one mass of petty snobbishness, just oozes the words "let them eat cake."

The gambit to defeating the evil that is McCain/Palin (or Palin/McCain, given the stupidities coming from the cretinous candidate himself these past several weeks) is her blatant lying to the camera. She avoided eye contact with Biden and Ifill so she wouldn't be lying to "them," but by doing so to the camera, she effectively lied to the American People.

Yep---each and every last American citizen was "lied to." She lied to their faces, staring them right in the eye. Every Man and woman watching---or watches even so much as a clip---or reads the newspaper---will see Sarah Palin, staring her or him square in the eye, while lying through her teeth---and she doesn't give a damn about it.

Because she's Sarah Palin; she's the Queen of it all, and she's telling Mr. and Mrs. America to "eat cake."

America's "Bastille Day" is November 4, and every vote against McCain/Palin is a metaphorical guillotine....

Posted by: Steve on October 3, 2008 at 5:35 AM | PERMALINK

Certianly, the McCain campaign was debuting their new, "stop looking backwards" strategy to use against Obama. I guess they don't seem to realize we're up to our necks in the disasters the Bush adminstration has caused, but thier policies are the same as Bush's, so the tone-deafness isnt surprising.

Personally, I found Sarah Palin to be creepy. I think Biiden came across very well, and considering the problems we face I think most people would walk away feeling much more confident in Joe Biden. I do think he, like Obama in the first debate, missed several chances to really put it away. When discussing the economic crisis and John McCain's history of support for deregulation Biden really should have mentioned the man McCain is getting his economic advice from : the king of deregulation himself, Phil Graham.

Posted by: Saint Zak on October 3, 2008 at 6:39 AM | PERMALINK

I missed it live because I went to see Weezer. doubtful

Gee, I would have thought he would be watching the debate to see how his little girl did.

Posted by: Danp on October 3, 2008 at 6:58 AM | PERMALINK

Biden was smart -- he kept all his arguments trained on John McCain. He didn't allow Palin to become the issue, which the Republicans desperately want here to be. They would have loved her to start playing the beauty-queen-as-victim role. I'm sure she has that down.

As it is she just looks like another ill-informed Republican in a suit.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on October 3, 2008 at 7:43 AM | PERMALINK

Having slept on it, I realize that with Palin's performance, the McCain campaign tried to deliver the same message with a different messenger.

Obviously the message failed to resonate in the first debate -- not the least because many of their talking points are lies, and now known to be such. The McCain campaign is either gambling that Palin's personality will sell the lies better, or that their working of the refs will allow them to escape scrutiny.

Still, the fact remains that however nicely focus grouped it may be, the McCain campaign's message is failing to resonate with the majority of American voters, especially when compared to the strong message and presentation of the Democrats.

Posted by: Gregory on October 3, 2008 at 7:59 AM | PERMALINK

I haven't seen anyone mention what I thought were several important points in the "debate", which occured early on:

Biden did a good job of taking Palin apart with her "redistribution of wealth" bullshit, though I would have preferred that instead of rebutting with "fairness" he had pointed out that we've had 30 years of redistribution of wealth under Republican policies - with all the wealth moving up into fewer and fewer hands. This is important because it's the underlying reason for the illness in the economy, including the mortgage meltdown. But he did get to the really important point that under the slightly higher taxes on the wealthy under Clinton that not only they but everyone else as well did better than they have under the Bush tax policies that McCain proposes to continue and expand.

Another really important point: Biden didn't let Palin get away with that "John McCain is going to give you a tax credit for going shopping for your health insurance" BS - he got right to the point on that one, making the connection that McCain was going to tax everyone in the country on their employer-provided health benefits, and for employers who finally give up on providing coverage for their employees under this onerous new policy, it would mean their employees go shopping for $12,000 worth of health care with a $5,000 tax credit. This was a very important point to get out there, because Obama himself failed to connect these dots in the first debate with McCain. The debate coaches probably shouldn't have programmed Sarah to go there, because the McCain health "plan" has all along been a ticking time bomb for the McCain campaign. It needs to be really hammered home as a campaign theme from now until the election by Obama and Biden.

Posted by: Jennifer on October 3, 2008 at 8:32 AM | PERMALINK

Here I chime in on the morning after debate... but have to say, Steve, you did an excellent job! Your time-line is perfect and your instant reactions are now the main talking points in this morning's news.

Posted by: beans on October 3, 2008 at 9:02 AM | PERMALINK

The winking drove me nuts. I counted four. This is not a beauty pageant. And that bit about a white flag of surrender. I think Andrew Sullivan is right when he says she is a pathological liar. Give me a break. I thought Biden did great and didn't bully her which is what everyone was worried about. In the end this won't really make a difference.

Posted by: Erin on October 3, 2008 at 9:05 AM | PERMALINK

Definitely Biden won. Palin was just spouting gibberish. Honestly, I wanted to try to listen fairly to both candidates, but when I wasn't wincing at Palin's blatant lies I ended up spacing out because she wasn't making any damn sense. It was just phrases and talking points hobbled together.

Also, I'm not sure how many of the news channels are going after her for her lies yet, but honestly? She was blinking like crazy, especially in the beginning, which is a classic tell of a liar. Did nobody else notice this? She was just staring into the camera like a zombie and blink-blink-blinking as she repeated her lies.

I'm still disappointed they didn't ask her about abortion or creationism. I was told that because Ifil is a social scientist of sorts that they had to stay away from social issues like abortion for fear the right would claim the moderator was biased... but they could at least have asked something about science and creationism.

Posted by: Jabberwocky on October 3, 2008 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

10:12: "Looking backwards again." I've never seen such a fool on the national stage.


Missed the Gore/Quayle/Stockdale debate then?

Posted by: toowearyforoutrage on October 3, 2008 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly