Friday, October 03, 2008

VP Debate: What did Palin Actually Say?

The lasting impressions of the debate come from the visuals, the demeanor, the smiles, the glares, the poses. We all know that. But before it all fades away, it's worth taking note of what Gov. Palin actually said last night.

Well, for one, Palin said nookyular. There's one culture war I'm happy to sign up for: the Nuclears against the Nookyulars. If you can't pronounce nuclear, you just don't get to be Vice President. Stop trying to rhyme Nookyular with arugula. We've had eight years of nookyular. That's enough.

And then she said this:
"I'm thankful the Constitution would allow a bit more authority given to the vice president if that vice president so chose to exert it in working with the Senate and making sure that we are supportive of the president's policies and making sure too that our president understands what our strengths are. "
WTF? Do we know which Constitution she's referring to? Do we know what her intentions are? And if I may be so bold as to ask, does she?

There was a brief relapse into her Couric-era syntax of loosely connected phrases (includin' some more o' that "head-rearin" she's so fond o' warnin' us about—only this time it wasn't Putin doin' it. It was pesky mortgage lenders)"
...there have been so many changes in the conditions of our economy in just even these past weeks that there has been more and more revelation made aware now to Americans about the corruption and the greed on Wall Street.
We need to look back, even two years ago, and we need to be appreciative of John McCain's call for reform with Fannie Mae, with Freddie Mac, with the mortgage-lenders, too, who were starting to really kind of rear that head of abuse.... It is a crisis. It's a toxic mess, really, on Main Street that's affecting Wall Street.
Throughout the debate she made a string of assertions that ranged from dubious to infuriatingly false:
  • that John McCain is "one representing reform" in our financial markets
  • that he's the one who brought the folks in Congress together
  • that he suspended his campaign
  • that he put politics aside
  • that he really meant "the American workforce" when he called the fundamentals of our economy strong
  • that Obama supported raising taxes for families making only $42,000
  • that John McCain is "known for" pushing for even harder and tougher regulations
  • that John McCain's health care proposal is a good deal for folks.
  • that Barack Obama "even opposed funding our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan"
  • that our current troop deployment (152,000) is down to pre-surge levels (132,000)
  • that Obama's plan for for troop withdrawal is white flag of surrender in Iraq"
  • that Obama refused to acknowledge the surge is working
  • that "victory is within sight" in Iraq
  • that Iraq is the central front in the war on terror
  • that Obama would meet with enemies "without diplomatic efforts being undertaken first"
  • that John McCain knows how to win a war
On that last point, I need to ask, what is the evidence that John McCain knows how to win a war? Did he ever win one? Given his academic record (finishing 894th out of 899 students in his class at Annapolis), it surely wasn't book-learning.

Palin declared that she wasn't about to answer any questions that didn't please her, and proceeded instead to deliver a rote recitation of the misleading and discredited talking points that the McCain camp has been peddling all summer. That's treating her audience with the same dirisive contempt that McCain showed to Obama last week.

It wasn't so much a debate as an interrupted monolog. Eugene Robinson put it this way: "the pattern, so far, has been one of Biden presenting facts and Palin countering with… saying stuff."

The New York Times summed up the debate this:
In the end, the debate did not change the essential truth of Ms. Palin’s candidacy: Mr. McCain made a wildly irresponsible choice that shattered the image he created for himself as the honest, seasoned, experienced man of principle and judgment. It was either an act of incredible cynicism or appallingly bad judgment.
Mickeleh's Take: I said yesterday that even a perfect storm of Palin success, Biden failure, and Ifill bias wouldn't change the dynamics of the race. In reality there wasn't a storm of any magnitude whatever. Palin had, at best, a mild recovery. Biden's performance carried the day with independent voters in both the CBS and CNN surveys, and Ifill lived up to her well-earned reputation as a solid pro. On balance, the Dems are now two for two in debates. So the race goes on.

1 comment:

kate loving shenk said...

Mickeleh--Great assessment of the VP debate last night.

But I'm still scared SH**less.

May have to go on a spiritual retreat.

Peace (of mind)
Kate Loving Shenk