Unburying The Lede

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.

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6 Responses to Unburying The Lede

  1. Robert says:

    She has proven once again why both sides of our family are abandoning our Republican roots and will be voting for Obama. Her clear lack of Political knowledge shows everytime Palin gets in front of a camera, she belongs at a PTA meeting…not running for Vice President of a country. Also the Mcain campaign wanted her expectations to be very low so that why they could say ‘she exceeded expectations’, nice try…that’s why both McCain’s and Palin’s ratings are in the tank compared to Obama’s, mainly due to Palin’s clear lack of knowledge and judgement. Any woman that makes rape victims pay for their own rape kits in her town as mayor we need to worry about.

  2. Mike says:

    It’s always nice to listen to people who have your own viewpoint… I listen to both… I saw the “CNN” polls… change from the LEFT channel to the RIGHT and fox had Sarah winning 82 – 12! I’m glad to see the Times are doing their job again by trying to discredit any republican they can.

    However answer me this… how can any moderator that is worth her, yes her, salt be so slanted? When she asked the question to Palin about Alaska giving rights to same sex partners it was a CLEAR DELIBRATE ATTEMPT TO UNDERMINE HER BELIEFS AND SHAKE THE FOUNDATION OF THE CONSERVATIVE SUPPORTERS! But… would I expect anything less of the left… No.

  3. Patricia says:

    Palin made up her own questions. I am not sure why Ifill was there! It was Republican Palin’s night to do with what she wanted. Ifill would be called biased if she asked questions that were easy for Palin to answer, and called biased if she asked questions that leaned toward Obama. So was damned if she did and damned if she didn’t. So, the debate was a non-debate. It was a reading of the note cards. Republican Palin referenced Alaska rather that the national issues because that is all she knows – that is her comfort zone – knowledge base. She is not ready for Commander-in-Chief, not ready for dealing with the economy (maybe a little experience in dealing with energy) and definitely not a introspective enough thinker to be a decisive leader. Granted she touches the hearts of the Republican base – they see a sweet hockey mom, a Joe Sixpack (whatever that is) someone who understands their pain. But knowing how they feel and knowing how to fix it are two different things. Cats and dogs feel the pain of their young too!! Maybe that was a little too harsh. She is the mother of five and claims to be a Christian. I’ll see if I can come up with more positives later!

  4. poordevil says:

    I think there is a big question about leadership, not the chest pounding, speaking tough leadership, but the thoughtful, capable, competent, wise decision making kind of leadership. At http://www.authors4obama.com there is an interesting analysis on the characteristics of great leaders.

  5. sethkahn says:

    Mike, you have your accusation about the same-sex partner question totally backwards. That was a softball question to Palin, so she could tout her own tolerance of alternative lifestyles while declaring her oppostion to same-sex marriage. Unfortunately for her, she must not have rehearsed that answer well enough because what she said made no sense. That’s not Gwen Ifill’s fault.

  6. Jim says:

    Gov. Palin got it right. She spoke directly to the American people. Her refusal to follow the script was a strength. She does what she feels is right. This may be a wake up call for Washington.

    No matter what Sen. Biden said, he has lost credibility defending Obama who he feels is barely qualified to be his intern. Sen Biden has a lot more experience with the subjects of the debate and more time campaigning. He should have creamed Palin, but he didn’t. Given the dismal poll numbers for the current administration, Obama should be leading by 30 points. Biden may have won the debate, but if the polls don’t drastically change in his favor he has failed to seal the deal. America is just not convinced.

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