Sunday, September 28, 2008

the next debate

I watched the Obama-McCain debate on Friday night with only mild interest. I assumed both would do well and would behave in a gentlemanly manner. Or at least I thought they would. Although I don't think either hit it out of the park, I was frankly insulted by McCain's condescending attitude and his refusal to even acknowledge Obama's presence by looking at him. I was also impressed by Obama's command of his topics and his erect, calm, forceful (but not too forceful) manner. A few zingers here and there but otherwise a draw.

Now we come to the next debate between Biden and Palin. This one could be interesting. I don't think Biden will "take her on" because that's not his style; he's charming, funny, really smart, and basically a nice guy. But I do think differences should be drawn. My opinion about her remains unchanged. I have see the three interviews and the few sound bites she has given. I remain unimpressed. I still think that her gender has everything to do with her having been chosen, not her skills and abilities. And her gender and those missing skills also have everything to do with the tricky nature of these debates.

"Many have commented on Joe Biden’s dilemma for Thursday’s debate. Assuming Sarah Palin reveals her unpreparedness – a safe assumption – Biden risks looking vicious if he attacks and patronizing if he doesn’t. This wouldn’t be a problem if Palin were at least minimally qualified, and it mightn’t be a problem if she were an unqualified man. But how to debate a likeable-but-unqualified woman in front of millions of undecided voters is a genuine dilemma."
Daily Kos
Breaking through the Fourth Wall
(emphasis mine, of course!)

Remember this dynamic duo and their debate in 1988? I don't remember anyone fretting about how Lloyd Bentsen was going to deal with Quayle's thin resumé, about how he was going to have to be nice and deferential and not hurt Quayle's feelings. We may have said "Dan who?" and snickered a bit, but in comparison to Palin, he was a world-class statesman with 12 years of legislative experience in the US Congress. For your amusement and enjoyment, browse through this and substitute "she" for "he", "her" for "him" and Palin for Quayle. The word on the Sunday talking head circuit is that expectations for her are so low she's bound to exceed them. She may win by just showing up. There's much chatter about how Biden should behave towards her. Again, if "she" were a "he" we would not be having this conversation.


At 9:49 AM, Blogger mary ann said...

Thanks, some really interesting political info. here! I am thinking about buying the Butch Cassidy DVD ~ I already miss Paul Newman. Some conservative columnists are asking for Sarah Palin to resign to go home and take care of her children. It's all so intriguing.

At 11:09 AM, Blogger The Fevered Brain said...

Yes. This is the column by Kathleen Parker that everyone is quoting. She writes for the very conservative National Review.


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