Thursday, October 2, 2008

“Liveblogging” the debate

Well, I don’t have a wireless card yet, so I’ll just be typing notes into Word and then c+p-ing this entire thing into Blogger.

ETA: I got distracted towards the end (the cats crawled into some plastic bags, for example), so my notes get less detailed. Not that they were incredibly detailed in the first place, but. . .. Wonkette's posts are mysteriously down, but there's another post over at Pharyngula.


Setup for the debate, specifics of the rules. The audience doesn’t get to cheer or boo? Sads for them. I don't know that I would have that kind of restraint.




Question 1 – the bailout bill. Yikes, Biden, coming on strong. Although not, I think, in a bad way. Bonus points for a pretty specific answer.

Palin’s rebuttal: LOL. The drinking game begins – there was a section for “Palin turns her answer into an anecdote.” Calls for oversight, good. Are we going to introduce any details or policy specifics? No, apparently not.


Question 2 – polarization

Biden talks up his past; “reaching across the aisle.”

Palin rebuttal: talks up the American workforce. Use of the phrase “team of mavericks” = TIME FOR A DRINK (final Maverick count: 2x in 90 seconds)

Host calls them on “not really answering the question.” Nice.


Palin: speaks to “Joe Six-Pack” and Soccer Mom. Um, no. Now, mentioning that people “shouldn’t live outside their means”? Yes, points for that.

Biden rebuts: attacks McCain, praises Obama’s record. Pretty standard. Biden gives another random anecdote about a guy he met at a gas station.

Palin rebuts: “Obama voted for the largest tax increase in history”: OH SNAP.

Biden rebuts: ‘Um, McCain voted the same way. Also, Palin did not answer the question.’ UH OH PALIN REBUT, REBUT!

Palin: Decides to harp on “the tax thing.” And wow, she seems a little angry now. It’s bit early in the debate for that.


Question: specific questions about taxes for each opponent.

Biden: “Fairness!” No tax hikes for the middle class ($150,000 is middle class? Shit, I’m lagging behind the Jonses).

Palin: Mentions “redistribution of wealth.” OBAMA IS A COMMUNIST!!1!eleventy. Wants to lessen “tax burden on private sector.” Manages to provide policy details, yay! Attacks the federal government (bad job).

Biden: Calls Palin on “redistribution” comment. “Fairness” count: 4x in two minutes. Attacks McCain’s health care plan. Gets an audience laugh on “bridge to nowhere.”


“What promises are you not going to be able to keep?”

Biden: Policy details on tax cuts. . . kind of meanders off topic after a few sentences, I think. (Wondering if that’s worth a shot?).

Palin: Everything is sunshine and bunnies and there are no promises she can’t keep. Then she turns around to attack Obama

[8:23: running downstairs real quick. Brb]


Biden is talking about energy, so I’ll assume that’s what the question was.

Ooh, the Host is angry. They must not be keeping on topic

Palin: “drill, baby, drill”? O-kay. Drilling offshore is all peaches and safety? Hmm.


Same-sex benefits?

Biden says of course. YES THANK YOU.


Of course, Biden goes right ahead and says he doesn’t support gay marriage either.

Great, they agree on something. Take a shot!


Exit plan on Iraq?

Palin: The current plan is working! The surge is a great thing. We “have got to win in Iraq!” (I get the feeling their plan has us being over there for quite a while.)

Biden: “And your plan is. . . ? Also, again, McCain voted the same way as Obama, here.” To be fair, Biden does go on to outline a plan. “For McCain, there is no end in sight.”

Palin: “Your plan is a white flag of surrender!” Yowch. Palin says we’ll know the war is over when their government can govern itself. And we’ll know because our military leaders will tell us. Also, Obama sucks for cutting military funding.

Biden: DUDE McCAIN DID THE SAME THING. (Palin looks pissed. Again.)


Greatest threat: unstable Pakistan or nuclear Iran?

Biden: Uhm, those are both bad things? Goes on to talk about a nuclear Pakistan and an unstable Iran. He gets points from me for mentioning building schools.

Palin: Both are bad, of course. Talks about Israel. Okay, call me elitist (no, go ahead), but “Nuke-ular” is a pet peeve of mine. And yet she pronounces other “hard” words perfectly!


Engagement with enemies: y/n?

Palin: Kissinger is great, we just talked the other day! These dictators hate American freedoms (she mentions women’s rights, finally), and we can’t talk to them. Diplomacy is not enough here.

Biden: Rebuts a specific point of Palin (+1). Says that our “friends and allies” want us to sit down and talk (Palin says we need their support and help with sanctions). We have to go the extra mile in diplomacy.

[another brief break for a Sudafed and to put a frozen pizza in the oven]


Biden is talking about “thoughtful, real-live diplomacy.” Good phrase, at least.

Palin: Awwww, we both love Israel. Calls Biden out for too much finger-pointing and back-looking. Meanwhile, McCain’s ticket will learn from past mistakes and bring about change (MAVERICK: take a drink!).

Biden: “Past is prologue.” Which is a GREAT line, in my humble opinion. Wants to know how McCain’s policy is going to be different from Bush’s.


Interventions for nuclear weapons use?

Palin: Kinda-sorta answers the question. The U.S. of course needs nuclear weapons, but most other people don’t. Decides she wants to talk about the surge and Afghanistan. We’re “fighing terrorists” and “building democracy”, not accidentally killing civilians, and saying anything different “hurts our cause!”

Biden: The surge won’t work in Afghanistan, and I’m not the one who first said that – it was our military. I’d like it better if Biden was talking more about what OBAMA is doing/going to do, and less about what McCAIN is doing/going to do.

Palin: Oh good, she knows Afghanistan is a different country. “The principles of the surge will work just fine.”

Biden: (looks tired of this debate). ‘everything Palin just said is wrong.’


Biden: “The American public has the stomach for success.” Well, yeah.

Palin: Admits that she’s a Washington outsider. Says Biden is using doublespeak and not speaking clearly. Getting a little catty there, Palin? She does go on to make a good point about not supporting genocide, so that’s nice.

Biden: Okay, I’m getting sick of hearing more about McCain than Obama. He’s hitting some points, but I’d like to hear the name McCain less.

Palin: “McCain knows how to win a war, and HE KNOWS WHAT EVIL IS.” What the hell? (This entire response was strong in soundbites and weak in … anything else.)


What if the prez dies?

Biden would carry on Obama’s work: fair enough answer, and it let him mention a bunch of policy information. A-

Palin sneaks in the phrase “team of Mavericks”: take a couple shots. She would carry on McCain’s work and FIGHT GREED AND CORRUPTION. (We need policy “from Wasilla main street” HUH?) B-

Biden counters with hometown anecdotes of his own. In the Wonkette drinking game, I think this is worth a shot.

Palin decides to get catty again: “there you go pointing back again!” The veep debate is not a forum to say hi to the third-graders in your hometown. She does focus on education, which is also near and dear to my heart.


Host: Sooo, you guys don’t seem very happy about VP’s in general. Please to explain.

Palin gets a round of audience laughter for pointing out that they were both just “making lame jokes.” Good answer.

Biden’s going to be around to give Obama good advice. Also a good answer.


Achilles heels?

Palin: Oh my gosh, I have so much other (non-political) experience that’s useful. Being a mom in the heartland is pretty good experience: I know what it’s like.

Biden: I just have a lot of passion! I am also a parent, and I know what it’s like. Points for admitting that he’s better off financially than most of the country. Wow, Biden just implied sexism. Interesting.

Palin uses “Maverick” again. I am so glad I’m not actually drinking (9:21). And again (9:21, 30 seconds later). “we’ve got to win the wars.” Oh dear, the plural form.

Biden finally says Maverick(9:23). As he’s attacking the use of that title. “Maverick he is not.”


How have you changed views?

Biden gives a fairly good example that shows a progression of thought.

Palin: has “caved” on budget issues. This is not a good example, and she’s apparently “never had to change” her mind, because in Alaska everything can be compromised on. Frick, after this debate I'm moving North. It's apparently fantastic there, what with the eco-friendly drilling and compromise and bunnies.


How do you change the (partisan) tone in Washington?

Biden: don’t question motives.

Palin: I’m not actually sure what her answer was here, because I turned around for a second and she had segued into how the Dems love to increase taxes.


Palin: thanks all around. It’s fun to talk to Americans! McCain and I will “fight for average Americans.” Fight fight fight, freedoms freedoms freedoms. Taxes.

Biden: THIS ELECTION IS IMPORTANT. We need change to fix this huge hole we’re in.

Immediate reaction: It’d be biased for me to say who “won” the debate, because I’m sure as hell not going to vote for the ticket with the small-town conservative Republican. Biden seemed to keep his cool better, and did slightly better staying on topic. On the other hand, Palin produces better sound bites. To be honest, this is the first time I’ve really heard Biden speak, but I do like what I hear. Palin redeemed herself slightly after a couple of embarrassing interviews (and did she need t!), but it’d be nice if she could stay on topic.


Jyan said...

I still can't get over how much Palin sounds like the mom from Bobby's World. It's uncanny. I was waiting for her to say "don'tcha know" the whole time.

NAZD said...

I think she said "Gee" or "gosh" a couple times during the debate, which was kinda priceless. A "don'tcha know" would have been classic though, yes.

I wanted SO MUCH to like her EVEN A LITTLE, but I can't. As in, I don't think I'd go to happy hour with her even if she were buying.