VP Debate Live-Blog

In case you missed the vice-presidential debate, here’s a blow-by-blow live-blog. That’s right folks, I typed non-stop for 90 minutes. That’s how much I care. What can I say? I’m a giver.

Wow! Sarah Palin looks pretty good!

Good opening response by Biden. He sounds very friendly. So far so good. Just maintain, Joe. No foot in mouth!

Sarah Palin’s going now. Playing the mom card: did she just say “betcha.” Golly gee! But she hits on the fear factor, which is legitimate. She agrees that the economy is hurting and the federal government’s not done a good job of policing the economy. Gotta call BS on McCain’s role in policing the economy.

Joe Biden worked on violence against women? Good one. I had no idea. Ooohhh! Called McCain out on saying the economy was strong, and then flip-flopping on the economy. John McCain’s out of touch!! Zing!

Sarah Palin says the American workforce is the strongest in the world? In theory, sure. But with jobs being shipped abroad, I’m not sure how strong that workforce is now. Ah! She threw in “maverick.” Less than ten minutes in? Americans are craving something new and different . . . oh maverick again! Twice in two minutes? Damn!

Sarah Palin just said “darn right.” She’s more folksy than Rachel Rae. I think I’m going to keep a tally of “Palinisms.” Oh, there she goes with soccer moms and joe sixpack. A “heck” of a lot of good lessons. She should write a thesaurus of folkisms. Her answers aren’t so deep.

Biden calls McCain out on the deregulation thing again. Cha-ching!! McCain called for deregulation 20 times in the last however many years? Had no idea. OK Joe, you made your point. McCain’s for deregulations. Oh! Biden pulls out the folkism. Talks about guy who doesn’t have enough money to fill up his gas tank!

Palin said “darn right” again. Wassup with that. Just noticed Palin’s gigantic flag brooch. People need to learn to live with less? OK. What about the corporations, Sarah? Are they going to have to learn to live with less? Palin says Obama voted to raise taxes on middle-class families.

Biden comes back saying McCain voted the same way to raise taxes. Calls Palin out for not answering the deregulation question.

Oh, Palin says she’s going to talk straight, admits she’s not going to answer the questions the way Biden or the moderator would like. New tactic. Apparently Palin lowered taxes in Alaska. Got cut off by moderator.

On taxes.

Biden says it’s only fairness to raise taxes on people making over $200 thousand. McCain wants to cut taxes for very wealthy. The super-wealthy don’t deserve any new tax cut.

Palin challenges “redistribution of wealth.” Brings up small businesses. Raising taxes will create unemployment? Paying taxes is not patriotic. Government is not the solution, too often the problem. Oh, she and Todd are firmly middle class. Good one. McCain’s health care plan is good, offers a $5000 tax credit so people can buy their own coverage? Hmmm . . . with families being bankrupted by healthcare costs, I’m not sure five grand would make much of a difference to a family.

Biden scoffs at Palin’s “redistribution” argument. Calls BS on tax breaks to ExxonMobile. So Biden’s bringing out facts, Palin’s waxing eloquent with her folkism. McCain’s $5000 credit goes straight to the insurance companies. The ultimate bridge to nowhere!!?? Dag! Zing!!

Promises parties won’t be able to keep.

Biden admits party won’t be able to double foreign assistance. But stands firm on opposing tax breaks for corporations, commitment to education, job creation, affordable healthcare. Biden slips on “characterize” but recovers nicely. Offshore tax dodges are unpatriotic.

Palin says McCain doesn’t say one thing to one group and another to another group. Except for when he flip-flops on the status of the economy twice in one morning? Hmmm . . .. Palin took on the oil companies in Alaska? She knows the names of all the oil companies . . . “bless their hearts” . . . WTF? So Obama’s energy plan gave tax breaks to oil companies and Palin had to undo those policies in her area of expertise (energy)? Palin’s determined to stop the greed and corruption on Wall St.

Biden’s getting sidetracked refuting Palin’s statements. Good comeback . . . no . . . the audio just went out . . . phew! . . . it’s back. Praises Palin’s windfall profit tax. McCain wants to give another $4 billion tax cut to the oil corporations.

Debt, credit, and bankruptcy.

Palin would have supported the bill that made it harder for debt-strapped homeowners to declare bankruptcy. McCain raised the alarm, brought people together. “A toxic mess?” Greed rears it’s ugly head? She’s all about heads being reared. First Putin in Russia, then greed on Wall Street. I feel something rearing its ugly head in my pants.

Damn Palin, answer the questions. Stop talking about your energy policy. We all know this country needs to be energy independent. East Coast politicians? Oh, here it comes: we gotta drill in ANWR. And it’s the fault of East Coast politicians who won’t allow energy-rich states like Alaska to tap into their reserves. “A heck of a lot more than that.”

Climate change.

Palin says climate change is real but she won’t admit that it’s all the result of man’s activities. So she agrees it’s real, won’t comment on the cause. We have to clean up this planet? We pollute far more than any other country. Energy independent again? What does energy independence have to do with climate change? Oh, I see, other countries are polluting more than the US would ever stand for? We’re the biggest polluter.

Biden says climate change is man-made. If you don’t understand what the cause of climate change is, it’s impossible to come up with a solution. Dayyyuuummm!!!! McCain has opposed clean alternative energy more than 20 times in the last 15 years. Obama supports clean coal? Not sure how I feel about that. I mean, clean coal is better than Chinese dirty coal, but still. Drill, drill, drill baby! But the oil won’t come for at least ten years. I had no idea.

Palin corrects Biden: the chant is “drill, baby, drill!!” Ka-pow!! Good comeback. Alaska’s providing natural gas for hungry markets. Drilling is not safe and it’s not environmentally sound. Stop lying! Glad to hear Palin supports capping carbon emission.

Biden asks how to deal with global warming if we only look to oil. Good question.

Granting same-sex benefits (gay marriage).

Biden supports benefits for same-sex couples. Yay!! Equal rights for everyone: hospital visitation, health insurance, etc. Good one, Joe Biden. I had no idea you were so progressive.

Palin is afraid we are redefining the definition of relations between a man and a woman, but she’s tolerant with a diverse family and groups of friends. Some friends don’t agree with her. Does that mean her friends are less “tolerant” than she is? I thought when people say “diverse” they mean different ethnicities and lifestyles? She opposes redefining marriage as something other than a between a man and a woman.

Biden caves on the marriage question.

Palin does not support gay marriage.

Foreign policy.

Palin thinks we have a good plan (the surge) that is working in Eye-rack. Good one. Lots of great Americans. Oh . . . no she didn’t . . . Obama opposed funding for the troops! How can you end an illegal and unjust war while continuing to unquestioningly fund it? I’m just saying . . .. Grow our military, send troops to Afghanistan. Oh, we’re getting closer and closer to victory in Iraq? Yeah.

Biden didn’t hear a plan for Iraq: neither did I. Even the Iraqis want us to get out. McCain’s the only one who doesn’t. McCain also voted to not fund the troops if the funding came with a timeline. McCain wants us to be there indefinitely. Very strong response: we will end this war. For John McCain, there’s no end in sight.

Palin stumbles! Then comes back saying Biden’s plan is a white flag of surrender. Damn!!! Tough cookies! Commanders on the ground will tell us when the Iraqi people can govern themselves. She’s on the attack (Biden laughs). Palin’s got a lot of good facts at her fingertips. Very impressive. Now she’s praising Biden . . ..

Biden says McCain voted to cut off funding for the troops, voted against life-saving equipment. Calls McCain (and Cheney) out for saying Sunnis and Shia got along well and that we will be welcomed as liberators. McCain was dead wrong.

Nuclear Iran vs. Unstable Pakistan

Biden says Pakistan is bigger threat. Pakistan can hit Israel with nukes (boo!). Next attack will come from Al Qaeda in Afghanistan/Pakistan. OK. Pakistan should be stabilized. Schools are better than madrasas. No disagreement. But attacking Pakistan? Crazy talk.

Palin says both are equally dangerous. Great non-answer. Then she talks about . . . wait . . . did she just say “new-killar?” Israel is in jeopardy? Eye-ran? I’m having trouble keeping up . . . but somehow she can correctly pronounce “Ahmedinejad.” Oh brother. Here we go again about Obama meeting without preconditions. Yet she agrees with Kissinger that engagement is crucial. These dictators who hate America, hate our freedoms, hate our tolerance of women’s rights (like abortion, gay marriage, visitation rights for lesbians?). Did she just say diplomacy is hard work by serious people? Guess Obama doesn’t count as a serious diplomatic person because he can’t see Russia from his living room.

Biden’s comeback is good. Good point about McCain not understanding that Ahmedinejad is not really in charge in Iran. Biden, stay cool, brother. Stay cool. Your voice is rising. Uh-oh! Is he gonna blow? OK, last point. McCain won’t sit down with the government of Spain? Incredible!

Israel

Palin supports two-state solution. Secretary [of State Condoleezza] Rice met with leaders on one side or other? Which side, I wonder? Yeah, yeah . . . Israel is our greatest ally . . . we’d never allow another holocaust. Israel is a peace-seeking nation? Track record of forging peace? Somebody hasn’t read a lot about the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Biden’s the greatest friend of Israel. Great. We know, Joe. We know. Bush policies might have failed in Israel but I don’t know if AIPAC’s been succeeding at bringing peace either.

Palin says Bush hasn’t failed in the Middle East. Admits huge blunders. Putting the people first? Yeah, ’cause that’s what the Republicans are known for. Like when they put New Orleans first.

Biden says he’s hearing nothing new from McCain, nothing different from Bush. “The past is prologue.”

Interventionism/nuclear weapons

Palin answers about new-killar weaponry. Apparently, she’s answering a different question. The moderator asked about nuclear weapons. Is it a requirement for being a member of the Republican Party, that you can’t pronounce nuclear? Oh well. She likes to name the leaders of countries. Impressive. I’m going to call BS in advance on her talk about Afghanistan. Accuses Obama of making reckless comment about killing civilians. I wonder why the Taliban is resurgent if the US is making such great progress on the ground.

Biden points out that commanding general in Afghanistan says surge would not work in Afghanistan. Said we need more infrastructure, non-military spending. Nation-building versus combat.

What is it about Palin’s voice that makes me yearn for cookies and milf? Then she makes up a name for a non-existing commanding general in Afghanistan. McClellan? I think McClellan was Bush’s press secretary. He was never a general in Afghanistan (further research has revealed there was a civil-war era General McClellan, though).

Biden says the American people have the stomach for success. Yeah. And for swallowing whatever war the government sells them, if you ask me. Our stomachs are actually pretty tough when it comes to war. Not so tough when it comes to helping people in a flooded city, though.

Palin says “Oh man” she’s not a Washington insider. Doesn’t answer the question. Answer the question please. Supports no-fly zone in Darfur, all options on the table. Which options, I wonder? Urged divestment of Alaska investments in Sudan. Hmm . . . they’re atrocities in Sudan but not in Iraq or Afghanistan?

OK, so Biden supports invading Sudan or other countries that commit genocide or harbor terrorists. Ho-hum . . ..

This debate is boring now. They’re not really talking about anything real. What’s happened to politics in this country?

Palin says McCain knows how to win a war? The only thing he knows about war is how to get shot down. The US lost the only war McCain was in.

Biden/Palin as President

[I’m fading now] Biden’s not saying anything new. Oh, brought up the Bush Doctrine. Wonder if Palin knows what that is now.

Palin brings up mavericks again. Great. Putting government back on the side of the people? McCain’s entire campaign was run by lobbyists! What’s Palin banging on about?! Putting Wasila Main Street in Washington? Sorry, no moose here. And you can’t carry guns. For now anyway.

Thanks for reminding us how the Republicans have screwed the working class, Biden. Good response.

Palin says “say it ain’t so” and “doggone it.” Is this woman for real? Is this 1950? And “God bless her.” What the hell is she talking about now? Schoolteachers. A family of schoolteachers. How is that an answer to any kind of question? Clearly she didn’t get much from the schoolteachers in her family because she can’t pronounce nuclear.

Views on Vice Presidency

Palin’s being very charming and personable. But she’s dodging the question. Answer the question. What does the Vice President do and how do you see your role in that position. John McCain has already “tapped” Palin? Ha ha ha . . . I bet he wished he’d tapped her . . . if you know what I mean . . . nudge . . . nudge . . . wink . . . wink . . ..

Biden’s got a very clear idea of what he’d do as VP.

Palin agrees with Cheney that the Vice President should have a lot of power. Surprise. She’s stumbling now. She answered the previous question this time around.

Biden says Cheney’s the most dangerous Vice President ever. Damn right!

Wisdom vs. Discipline (Achilles heel)

Palin’s experience comes from being a mayor and governor, being connected to the heartland, being a mom with a kid in the war and a special-needs kid. The question was about your weaknesses, not your strength. Now she’s quoting McCain and Reagan in one breath? She’s talking about democracy, and tolerance, and freedom and equal rights? Yet she opposes abortion and gay marriage. And books she disapproves of. Is this for real? Are people that stupid?

Biden says he is who he is. He’s very confident. Damn! McCain voted against both violence against women acts? Biden reached deep down for the heartstrings talking about his wife’s death. Oh! Here come the tears . . .. The people around the kitchen table are looking for help, not more of the same. Bravo!!

If Palin says maverick one more time, I’m going to rip out my hair! Maverick again, in the same answer? Sarah Palin, stop putting yourself into the same category as real mavericks. Way to hit those talking points: war, economy, greed and corruption, entrenched partisanship in Washington.

Biden attacks on the maverick question! Yay!!! McCain voted against healthcare spending for kids, in education, for sending kids to college.

Have you ever had to change your views?

Biden changed view on what is required of presidential nominees. Changed sides when he figured out that the ideology of the judicial appointee is important too.

Palin talks about caving on not passing vetoes as mayor and governor. Yawn! She’s never had to compromise on anything major. Nice. Way to show you’re capable of changing your mind.

How do you change the tone in Washington?

Biden and Obama will question people’s judgement, not motivation.

Palin will hire people from different parties and political opinions. Working for the greater good is what’s important. Right. Working with other people. I get it. Like when she tried to ban books from the library because she was offended by them, or when she tried to have her ex–brother-in-law fired from the state police. Silly me. I guess she’s very open-minded and tolerant of differing opinions after all.

Final statements

Palin wants to talk directly to the American people without the media filtering what she says. ‘Cause if you say something dumb, gosh-darn it, don’t you know, those awful media people will show it to the world. Another Reagan quote? We have to fight for freedom and protect it and hand it to our children. What does this have to do with anything? Only John McCain has fought for us? I think Senators fight for us too. I don’t think soldiers are the only people capable of defending American democracy.

Biden talks about economics and politics and war, health care and education.

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7 thoughts on “VP Debate Live-Blog

  1. Sarah Palin lacks the depth that a well read person gains.

    She insulted our collect intelligence with her lack of willingness to answer the questions. Was I the only one yelling at the tv screen…. lady, just answer the question.

    How dare she give stump speech answers to cover her lack of policy knowledge.

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  2. hm,

    Thanks for the compliment.

    I agree, despite the incredibly low bar that had been set for Palin, Biden comes out the winner in my view.

    His answers were good, based on fact and analysis. Most of her answers were folksy anecdotes about being a small-town mom, about her “expertise” in the energy sector, or a Reagan quote.

    He did call her out several times, though, which was good. Especially when he said McCain is no maverick because of his votes on education, children’s health care, etc.

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  3. great commentary!! i’m amazed biden didn’t start yelling at her half way through. such levels of self control is exactly what an american vp needs. after that debate, i feel, he could do almost anything.

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  4. Emily,

    Thanks for your comment. I’m happy to see at least one person read my live-blog. 🙂

    I hope you read my other posts and leave comments.

    But seriously, I agree with you entirely. Her responses were at best repeated talking points, at worst rambling and disjointed. When the bar is set so low, though, it’s hard for a candidate to not come out looking like a superstar. Wow! She didn’t eat the microphone and electrocute herself!!! She’s a genius!!!

    About being mayor of Wasilla, one of my coworkers pointed out that her subdivision has more residents than Wasilla. In other words, the neighborhood manager of that subdivision serves more people—and thus is more qualified to be vice president?—than the [ex-]mayor of Wasilla.

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  5. My God, you pretty much reacted the same way I did!

    I’m wondering now if anybody has bothered to literally tally the number of times she said the word “maverick”, because I seriously think it was at least a half dozen or more and I could swear I started developing a twitch in reaction to it after the first few times, because she’s just spouting it like a buzzword that she likes the sound of, rather than necessarily in places where it would make sense. I’m telling you, it doesn’t even sound like real word to me anymore! Kind of like “paradigm”. At least when the Obama camp talks about “change” it doesn’t slowly start sounding like a made-up word! There is such a thing as overkill, Sarah.

    She came across to me as someone who’s very good at being a Talking Points Regurgitator, and not much else, really. And her voice is seriously starting to bug me and grate on my nerves at this point (the fact that she can’t seem to grasp how to pronounce the word “nuclear” probably has something to do with it, mind. Like you said – family of schoolteachers, and she can’t pronounce “nuclear”!?).

    Oh, and you missed the part where supposedly being the mayor of Wasilla was suuuuuch a success and proves her ability to lead or whatever… when she actually took a town that had a buget surplus, and left it 22 million dollars in debt! Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Palin! Selective memory, much?

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  6. Great commentary!

    Biden ended very well (so did you!) and the best moment was when Biden said that yes, McCain’s a MAVERICK not not on issues that matter – and then he named the issues. It was brilliant. I loved how he was smiling when Palin said shit. I also loved how Palin tried to be cute again and failed.

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