I've been sitting here for some time, writing and writing about the Vice Presidential debate -- going over it, point by point, until I've quite bored myself to death. Rather than posting that nightmare of a post, I've decided to start over.
Here are some of Palin's finer moments during the debate:
"...in fact, when we talk about the Bush administration, there's a time, too, when Americans are going to say, 'Enough is enough with your ticket,' on constantly looking backwards, and pointing fingers, and doing the blame game... but for a ticket that wants to talk about change and looking into the future, there's just too much finger-pointing backwards to ever make us believe that that's where you're going."
"Oh, yeah, it's so obvious I'm a Washington outsider. And someone just not used to the way you guys operate. Because here you voted for the war and now you oppose the war. You're one who says, as so many politicians do, I was for it before I was against it or vice-versa. Americans are craving that straight talk and just want to know, hey, if you voted for it, tell us why you voted for it..."
"I beg to disagree with you, again, here on whether you supported Barack Obama or John McCain's strategies. Here again, you can say what you want to say a month out before people are asked to vote on this, but we listened to the debates."
"Say it ain't so, Joe, there you go again pointing backwards again. You prefaced your whole comment with the Bush administration. Now, doggone it, let's look ahead and tell Americans what we have to plan to do for them in the future. You mentioned education and I'm glad you did. I know education you are passionate about with your wife being a teacher for 30 years, and God bless her. Her reward is in heaven, right? I say, too, with education, America needs to be putting a lot more focus on that and our schools have got to be really ramped up in terms of the funding that they are deserving. Teachers need to be paid more. I come from a house full of school teachers. My grandma was, my dad who is in the audience today, he's a schoolteacher, had been for many years. My brother, who I think is the best schoolteacher in the year, and here's a shout-out to all those third graders at Gladys Wood Elementary School, you get extra credit for watching the debate."
Joe Biden's role as Vice President according to Joe: "And the primary role of the vice president of the United States of America is to support the president of the United States of America, give that president his or her best judgment when sought, and as vice president, to preside over the Senate, only in a time when in fact there's a tie vote. The Constitution is explicit."
Well, let's just take a quick look at that "explicit" wording in the Constitution. Under Article II, "Executive Branch," the Vice-President is mentioned twice. Once in this statement: "The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice-President chosen for the same Term." The only other time in Article II that the Vice-President is mentioned is when the Constitution is laying out who takes power in the case of the President being removed from office, either through death or impeachment.
However, in Article I, "The Legislative Branch," the Vice President's job is laid forth. "The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided." Yes, I agree - the Constitution is explicit. The Vice President is the President of the Senate - but has no voting power unless there's a tie.
But, according to Biden, his job is to be the White House slug. And unless his opinion is sought, he's supposed to sit in the waiting room - hoping for a tie in the Senate so he can actually do something.
Joe Biden lied a minimum of 14 times during the course of the debate. On the tax vote, meeting with Ahmedinijad, on offshore drilling, troop funding, opposing clean coal, alternative energy votes, health insurance plans, oil taxes, principles of the surge being used in Afghanistan, stances on regulatory procedures, the Iraq war, tax increases, the bailout, and the tax rates under Reagan. While watching the debate, I was bummed that Palin didn't call him down on more of his "misstatements," but... it all turned out alright since she kicked his butt.
Why do I say this is the case? Joe Biden, throughout most of the debate, was kept on the defensive. He was clearly uncomfortable through part of it -- reading his body language, sometimes it appeared that he was saying whatever he had to in order to get through the moment.
Palin, on the other hand, was (through most of the debate) comfortable being herself. She used the fact that she's a relative newcomer to the scene to her advantage, even going so far as to highlight "how long she's been at this" and saying she hadn't had much of a chance to promise things to the American people, other than the fact that she's going to put government back on their side. She effectively used Biden's previous comments against him, she used plain and simple language to get her ideas across, and she often spoke directly to the American people. Even the New York Times said she "used a steady grin, folksy manner and carefully scripted talking points to punch politely and persist politically." I didn't find Palin's performance scripted, but I guess it's all in the eye of the beholder. The Times, in an editorial piece, bemoaned the fact that Palin started out with such low expectations and she "had to do little more than say one or two sensible things and avoid an election-defining gaffe."
Well, congratulations to the media for that. All their attacks only fed the idea that Sarah Palin was going to come out on stage drooling, she had so little in her head.
Regardless, Joe Biden got beat up on Thursday night by a girl.