Fear of Clowns

"Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable."
- H. L. Mencken

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Immediate reaction 

Palin babbled only once and sort of babbled another time. Much better non-babble quotient than I would have put money on.

However, it was clear to political junkies and will become clear to casual observers that Palin answered few of the actual questions. And - without looking up the actual facts - I suspect Palin contradicted or changed multiple McCain/Palin policy positions.

All in all, Palin far exceeded my (and I believe most) expectations on presentation, but believe her fallback onto prepared responses and refusal to answer actual questions will reinforce the perception (and truth) that Palin isn't experienced enough for the job.

Biden won the debate hands-down on presentation and substance. But as Palin far exceeded the low expectations for delivery it won't register at all in the horse race.

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Live blogging debate 

Palin first to ignore Gwen's question (a request to respond to Biden's criticism about McCain's deregulation mania).

Second time Gwen has asked Palin to answer question about McCain's call to deregulate health care. Third time Palin talks about taxes instead of regulation.

Biden just sort of answers the question about cutting back on campaign promises and shifts to what they're not going to not do. Palin doesn't even make attempt. Gwen again asks Palin to answer question. Again Palin doesn't.

Surprised that it took this long for Palin to fall into complete babble.

Palin is again not babbling, but informs Gwen she's not going to answer her question on allowing allowing judges to rewrite mortgage terms ("we do support it") but instead go into a memorized answer about energy.

"Barak O'Bama and Senator O'Biden". Heh.

Palin claims, "We do have a plan for withdrawal" in Iraq.

Palin supports carbon emission caps. And equal rights for same-sex couples. Huh. (huh?)


Palin says we can't allow Iran to acquire nuclear energy.

Biden hits home run on Bush Israel policy. Palin avoids answer.

Huge difference in Biden's passion in answers on foreign policy is off the chart on foreign policy as compared to his answers on domestic policy.

Biden's fire only lasted for two answers. What a conflagration though.

Drawing line on intervention. Biden starts out strong. Should have used full time on answer instead of segueing into criticing McCain. Palin doesn't answer question but follows Biden's lead by defending McCain.

General comment: In the beginning Gwen pressed Palin to answer the actual questions asked but gave up. Giving up on getting Palin to respond to the questions was a better decision than pressing as the debate would have been perceived as a combative interview with Palin.

Palin's answer about VP responsibility was close to babble, Biden's answer contrasted the difference in depth of experience.

Palin seems like she'd getting tired.

Biden on fire again in interjected rampage against Pails 4+ characterizations of McCain as maverick.

Palin would like to speak directly with the American public without the filter of the mainstream media. So give live press conferences.

GOOD GOD! Children and grand-children are going to look back on us and see it as a time when people where free? Did I hear that correctly?

(close, Karen informs me - Palin hoped future generations didn't look back on now as a time when Americans were free.

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Debate predictions 

Sarah asks Gewn to rephrase a question.

Joe uses the phrases "Humpty Dumpty", "wooden nickels", and "Potemkin village" and calls Sarah "Batty".

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Friday, September 26, 2008

My reaction to the first debate 

I was excited that unlike 2004's format, this season's format allowed the candidates to directly engage in conversation with one another. Neither initially did, after encouragement from Leherer, Obama began to attempt back and forth dialogue but I didn't notice McCain even turn towards Obama once. He uttered a variation of "Obama doesn't understand ..." at least half a dozen times, yet didn't say it to Obama's face. I don't think he was afraid of engaging Obama - after all, it's the campaigns that set the rules - I think he was afraid of losing composure if he did get into a direct back and forth. I could also believe that it was a planned tactic to make McCain appear so dominant over Obama that he was above having to even talk to him. The net effect, I think, was making McCain appear haughtily condescending and petulant and making Obama seem engaged.

Both candidates sidestepped a few questions - the last, "What are the chances of being another 9/11?" was completely sidestepped by both, both to a lesser extent sidestepped what spending they may have to cut as a result of the $700 billion bailout.

Obama repeated the observation that McCain is a Bush Republican and intends to continue Bush policies; a strong point, but one that has been already made - although that reminder doesn't hurt Obama I don't think it will sink in with anyone who didn't already understand it.

McCain repeated a few of his stump speech and advertisement lies, but again, I believe most people already knew this, given the wide coverage of the dishonest nature of McCain's campaign. A lot of independents don't start paying attention to the campaigns until the debates, but the impact of follow-up coverage of the the facts and untruths presented will not affect them nearly as much as how the candidates presented themselves.

I do believe Obama's demeanor was much more presidential than McCain's - which wasn't presidential at all, but ornery. Add to that the fact that McCain leads Obama significantly in polls on national security and is basing the larger part of his campaign on that he his the clear choice for Commander in Chief, a draw on substance and a win for Obama in presentation will bring a noticeable shift towards Obama among undecideds and independents over the next few days.

Biden's evaluation, as to be expected goes beyond my prediction of a noticeable bump in polling for Obama: The debate was "fatal for McCain,

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Saturday, September 06, 2008

Good job Joe 

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