Thursday, October 02, 2008

The Vice Presidential Debate

I took two pages of notes, in shorthand, during this debate. However, so many of the facts and factoids will be covered in other places, so I'll just give a relatively short commentary here.

Just like in the last debate, the first words out of the mouth of the Democrat were an attack on the President, and the first words out of the mouth of the Republican were positive and inclusive.

Unless I misheard, at 7:17 pm PDT Joe Biden, in reference to the role of the vice president as President of the Senate, stated that Article 1 of the Constitution refers to the executive branch, and that's where the vice president belongs. What an egregious error, if he in fact stated that! Article 1 refers to the legislative branch, the Congress--something he should know, having spent 35 years there. (Update: while still completing this post I just received an email from the Instapundit saying that he, too, noted the Article 1 error.)

With the exception of that one statement, I noted that neither candidate made any real gaffes. That was refreshing. I also noted that up until near the very end, Biden seemed agitated and perhaps angry, while Palin seemed poised and even cheerful throughout. She started off seeming a little nervous, but still radiated optimism. It didn't take her long to get into stride, and she flew like the wind once she did--and didn't look back. I loved her "Bless their hearts" comment regarding oil executives!

A few specifics. At 6:16 pm, Biden said that class warfare was "fairness"; I appreciate your clarification, comrade. At 7:25, he acknowledged that he's changed his opinion since joining the Congress and now believes in an ideological litmus test for federal judges. At 6:31 he stated that climate change is "clearly man-made", whereas Palin said it's real but not entirely caused by humans. At 6:36 Biden used the phrases "under the Constitution" and "it's what the Constitution calls for" regarding hospital visitation, property rights, and other benefits for homosexual couples; if those statements are true, why are we still legislating those rights? More on that later.

If Palin disappointed me at all, it was in her continued attacks on the greed of Wall Street. Why was none of her scorn directed at Joe Biden and the Congress, which created, shielded, and was wined and dined by officials from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? Whatever happened to the concept of congressional oversight--or were the congressmen too busy with junkets and parties?

The two candidates agreed on some topics. Neither supports "gay marriage", and neither do their presidential candidates, but all four support seem to support equal rights and civil unions for homosexuals. Both spoke of unwavering support for our ally Israel. Both claim to wear the mantle of "change". Both have sons either in Iraq or on the way there.

And moderator Gwen Ifill, who isn't exactly impartial, what with the impending release of her book about Barack Obama and all, acquitted herself well.

Update: and even though you didn't come directly to this post, welcome to my visitor from Wasilla, Alaska!


Ellen K said...

Probably First Dude....but seriously, the debates were so rigged in their analysis. Why do we have analysis after the fact anyway? Are we such sheeple that we can't listen to a debate and make up our own minds?

mazenko said...

It was another tie, as far as I can tell. Nothing truly exciting, as Biden seemed like a senator and Palin nailed her sound-bites.

Biden's refusal to even engage or respond to Palin's assertion that his/Obama's position on Iraq was a plan of surrender. Clearly, Biden has inferred that the American people have made up their minds on that one. It's not even worth debating anymore. Interesting.

We should probably note, as well, that as many as 40% of Republicans are now polling that they don't consider Palin qualified or ready to be president. Even conservative AOL polls gave Biden the clear advantage on who would be a better vice-president.

Obviously, it's all about the tops of the tickets, but it seems like McCain's gamble peaked too soon, and now offers him no advantage.

I'm glad we don't have to listen to them again.

Ellen K said...

Hey, if you want my entire splunge of commentary, I posted my opinions on the blog. You may also read the definition of what a community organizer does. Frankly, it's a pretty scary scenario with Let The Reduce Principle Joe and Community Organizer Barak.

Anonymous said...

What is "shorthand"?

Darren said...

These young'uns don't know how the world operated before today's consumer electronics.

Look up Gregg Shorthand--wikipedia, whatever.

Ellen K said...

AOL is conservative????ROTFL

Anonymous said...

Is it possible to learn without a class?

allen (in Michigan) said...

Yeah! The young whippersnapper ought to be thrashed with a hickory switch! Ya kid ya!

What I thought was interesting in the past couple of weeks is how McCain's gone back to sleep again. For a little while after the Palin selection the Obama camp didn't know whether to wipe or shake hands. McCain'd caught them flatfooted and I thought "finally, McCain's remembering some of that boring military stuff about taking the initiative".

But no. The consternation and shock the Palin selection engendered passed with hardly a murmur from the McCain camp.

As idiotic a response as it is to question Palin's credentials to be president the Obama campaign seems have established the idea as worthwhile in no small measure due to the fact that there wasn't any response from the McCain camp. McCain could have hammered Obama on the question of Palin's qualifications to be president since she's clearly more experienced, and successful, in public service then Obama. But not a word came forth.

I was beginning to wonder what Bob Dole's campaign staff has been up to the past couple of year. I don't have to wonder any longer; McCain hired 'em one and all.

Darren said...

Allen, I agree completely. That campaign is like a cheap firework display--one big bang, some oohs and ahs, and then you wait several minutes for the next one to be fired off.

Anonymous--*I* certainly couldn't have learned shorthand without a class!

mazenko said...


I tried to click on your profile to see the commentary you mentioned, but your profile and, thus, your blog is blocked.

Yes, the polls and readership on AOL definitely leans right.


rightwingprof said...

Do they even teach shorthand these days?

Darren said...

Not where I teach.

Then again, I took the class during Reagan's first term.

Ellen K said...

They still teach typing, but they call it keyboarding. And sadly they don't teach spelling because none of my kids can spell without spellcheck.

Ellen K said...

Try this one:

Sorry, I don't know how to make links in this program.

maxutils said...

Greed of Wall Street is hilarious. Stock traders get paid as a percentage of sales completed . . .they don't really care if stock prices go up or down -- they care about volume of sales. Their worst world is one in which everyone sits on their stocks.

I'd argue that the appropriate target of contempt is the disproportianate CEO salary, particularly for firms that lose money -- but, apparently it works for them. At least so far.


movie fan said...

it would be dangerous for the GOP to reschedule another VP debate... the more unscripted air time Palin gets, the more time people will have to realize that she couldn't answer a question about any of the major issues if her life depended on it