For many of you who were watched the VP debates last night with Bingo Cards in hand, last night was a disappointment. I think many of the people at the debate party I attended were expecting some kind of miracle to occurr – a lightening bolt, a swarm of locusts, or one of the VP candidates saying something really really pathetically dumb – and none of these things happened. Nobody forgot the names of major Supreme Court decisions, nobody claimed that humans walked the earth with dinosaurs, and no one acted like proximity to Russia equaled foreign policy experience. But so what? Katie Couric already go that stuff ON TAPE – Palin doesn’t need to do it again.
I was not surprised by Palin’s performance last night. She gave a dynamic, confident, and poised speach at the Republican National Convention and has proven to be a master of the “glittering generality” in past debates. Last night Sarah Palin showed that she could appear confident and charming under fire, especially with notes in front of her and memorized sound bites. For those in the “Republican Base”- i.e. gun-toting, unborn-baby saving, high school graduates, she proved satisfactory.
However, to many who watched carefully and consumed less than three alcoholic beverages during the debate, she proved to be sophomoric. The ‘cute winking’ at the audience seemed clueless and overconfident. The abundance of folksy lingo – doggonit, darn right, say it ain’t so, joe!, and Joe Sixpack (is this a character from King of the Hill?) – was inappropriate for a vice-presidential debate. Honestly, would you even use such cutesy gibberish on a job interview? Unprofessional, unless you are applying to waitress at The Cracker Barrell. This ploy to appear folksy and uneducated helped George W. Bush get elected, but isn’t the current Republican strategy to distance themselves from Bush?
Palin can repeat the Maverick Mantra as often as she likes, but Joe Biden brought it all home last night when he called her on it, eloquently I might add.
Joe Biden on John McCain: “He’s been a maverick on some issues, but he has been no maverick on the things that matter to people’s lives. He voted four out of five times for George Bush’s budget, which put us a half a trillion dollars in debt this year and over $3 trillion in debt since he’s got there.
He has not been a maverick in providing health care for people. He has voted against — he voted including another 3.6 million children in coverage of the existing health care plan, when he voted in the United States Senate.
He’s not been a maverick when it comes to education. He has not supported tax cuts and significant changes for people being able to send their kids to college.
He’s not been a maverick on the war. He’s not been a maverick on virtually anything that genuinely affects the things that people really talk about around their kitchen table.”
Maybe Palin won – in a way – by exceeding the public’s low expectations, but this debate was clearly not a win for the McCain-Palin ticket.
In the closing remarks, I swear I heard a commentator say that Palin gave a ‘Tina Fey worthy’ appearance. Is this a measure of credibility or what? I can’t WAIT to see Tina Fey do the wink and “You betcha!”