Good on the NY Times for making Gov. Palin’s statement that she would “…not answer the question the way you want to hear, but…talk straight to the American people and let them know my track record” the lede in this morning’s debate coverage.
I’m not a big fan of polls, generally, and I have strong doubts about the importance of the VP pick, and especially of the VP debate. So, I take polls about the VP debate with about 8 handfuls of salt, but, for whatever it is worth, Biden won on almost every metric: 87:46 on “qualified to be president”, 57:26 on “more intelligent”, 53:42 on “more likely to bring change”, and 51:36 on “won the debate”. 84% felt that Gov. Palin exceeded their expectations, but it doesn’t appear to have particularly helped their appraisal of the debate’s outcome.
I did have a realization, of sorts, which is that the McCain campaign and Gov. Palin have received a lot of criticism for her eschewing unscripted events like town halls and press conferences and even press interviews, instead primarily restricting her to giving canned speeches to adoring crowds. Remarkably, the above quote about not answering the questions she was being asked is really, to coin a phrase, More of the Same. For that matter, same with her utter refusal to acknowledge or answer the question about her Achilles’ Heel. In the context of a reasonably scripted event, a debate with an MSM figure at the helm, where you know pretty well the skeletal outlines of almost every question, she still refused to go off the formal script whatsoever, sticking with her scripted talking points no matter what question was asked.
Surprisingly, this morning, I’m proud of the American populace, at least as measured by the poll CNN referenced. They got to about the right place, by my estimation – Palin did her job fine, but her expectations had been lowered to the level of a small child’s, and so exceeding them don’t make her actually qualified to be Vice President. Which means that her selection reflects absurdly poorly on the campaign and character of the man who made it, who chose to take a political risk with the country’s future in order to try and score some votes.