Having now watched two debates, there’s really only one thing that I wish the Democrats would do a little more often, and that’s to directly answer the silliest lies that their opponent is repeating, over and over.
I don’t know if it’s possible to do, but I really wish that Obama, the fourth or fifth time that McCain said something along the lines of “He doesn’t understand how dangerous blah blah blah is”, he simply said
“Excuse me, John. I am right here. If you are going to belittle my qualifications, at least have the simple decency to talk to me. Now, you and I have some honest disagreements, and I’m happy to discuss them, but you are refusing to engage with the substance of my arguments, preferring instead to argue that I ‘don’t understand.’ Please, do the American people to service of actually explaining the policy matters on which we disagree, and I think they’ll see that your policies bear a striking resemblance to those of George W. Bush, and they can use that information to make their decisions.”
I don’t know how best to pull it off without sounding like ‘Angry Black Man’, but I feel like, if anyone can do it, Obama can.
For Biden, it seemed to me to be much simpler. Use that little notecard to count the number of times that Palin repeated some meaningless phrase in lieu of answering a question. My preference, at the time, was the word ‘maverick.’ Then, late in the night, say something like
“Governor Palin, you’ve used the word ‘maverick’ eight times tonight. I’m really not sure how to say this, but it’s not a magic word. Simply saying that you are part of a ‘team of mavericks’ doesn’t actually tell me, or, more importantly, the tens of millions of American people watching us tonight, what it is that you and John McCain are going to do.’
In fact, he could have tied this directly into his ‘on issue after issue, it’s the same policies as George W. Bush’ piece, which I think would be a natural tie-in.
Or, perhaps, it’s just best to wait until Saturday Night Live does the inevitable sketch mocking Palin’s obsessive use of the word (H/T Sir Charles):
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