Friday, October 3, 2008

Biden-Palin Do Their Job

At the conclusion of the much anticipated debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin my cell phone erupted with calls and texts. The responses I got from my focus group of friends and family was all across the board.

The overall consensus was that both Biden and Palin did better than expected.

For those that were hoping Sarah Palin would crash and burn,,, they didn't get their wish, as she represented herself awfully well.

For those hoping Joe Biden would provide a gaffe along the lines of 'FDR speaking on television' or would bully Palin,,, they also didn't get their wish.

In the end the VP Debate can be summed up like this...
If you had a candidate you probably think they won.

Here is why I think Joe Biden won.
First off, while he got a little to wonkish on policy here and there, he did so in a way that isn't elitist. Biden comes from a blue collar background and I think that comes out in his delivery. He also was incredibly effective at linking John McCain to George W Bush.

I do feel he was too cautious early in the debate and allowed Palin's charm and her well delivered jabs to rule the beginning of the debate.

However, he closed the debate strong and feel the tide turned when Sarah Palin bragged on her history of taking on the oil companies in Alaska. This is where 'Sedated Joe' became as Bill Maher calls him, 'Joey the Shark.'
He didn't attack her, yet instead cleverly showed how the Obama ticket wants to do what she did in Alaska with regards to oil companies. Then he showed how Palin's accomplishment is diametrically opposed to the McCain tax plan.

From this point on Biden just pounded away at John McCain and tied him directly to not just George Bush, but Dick Cheney as well. While she kept saying it was 'looking back', she wasn't able to distinguish a difference from Bush other than saying "Maverick" over and over again.
Biden's precision attacks came with very little defense coming from Palin. I think Palin was solid on her talking points, but was not very effective at responding to the stream of specific attacks on John McCain's record and this was the biggest difference in the debate for me.
Biden adapted to what was being said, while Palin stuck to a pretty set script.

The post debate polls showed that Biden won pretty clearly which surprised me. I felt the 'perception' would be a tie. Early this morning, it hit me why both Biden and Obama have had such strong poll numbers in the two debate.
This election is so different than the past two.

Democrats in the past two elections have had the same positions they do now on issues like taxes and the war. But in 2000 and 2004,, those were not pretty unpopular positions in the country.

In 2004 a phrase like 'waving the white flag of surrender' would have resonated through an overly macho country. In 2008, this kind of statement falls flat on over 60%+ of the people.

As early as 6 months ago arguing that raising taxes on people that make over $250,000 was always a tough sell. In light of the financial crisis we are in,,, this sounds much more reasonable and necessary.

At long last the Democrats are not just on the right side of issues philosophiacally,, they have the popular support on issues they have typically have gotten beat up with.

Yesterday I wrote that both candidates a tightrope to walk,, and the winner would be the one that kept their balance.

To my surprise, they both kept their balance and did their job.


Readers of this blog know that I love Joe Biden and have been a major advocate for him for quite some time.

While he was not the flashiest selection as VP,,, he is exactly the kind of experienced voice we need in the White House.

Communicated with four people in the last 15 hours who are all Republicans. Three of whom are the 'undecided' voters that the campaigns are talking to, and another of them is definitely voting for McCain.

Each of them made very strong statements about how impressed they were with Biden. A couple of them felt Palin won the debate, but even they said that Biden did not lose the debate.

One said, "I didn't really care that much for Biden much heading into tonight. I like him a lot more now."

Another texted me, "Now I know why you like him so much."

A third instant messaged me this morning who is voting for McCain said, "I thought Biden was smooth and Palin was all over the place."

This debate unlike the first one had that signature moment and it was from Joe Biden. A moment that I think it touched a lot people.

This is when he got choked up talking about the tragedy that beset his family over 30 years ago when his wife and daughter were killed in a car crash and his two sons were seriously injured.

A friend of mine who is a father called and said about the moment in the link above that Biden 'won him over.'

"I didn't know about what happened to his family, that made me look at him different."

Biden had a fine line to walk last night and had to be careful to not come off as a bully, while still showing a firm grasp of the issues. He had to keep his temperament in control when Palin came after him time after time.

He accomplished this with flying colors.

The only person who could have stayed in with her any better would have been Hillary Clinton, but ask yourself this. Had Obama taken Tim Kaine or Evan Bayh, would they have been able to be as smooth and professional as Biden was against Sarah Palin?

It's debatable, but I don't think they could have.

The fact that Joe Biden is the 4th biggest draw in the 2008 Presidential Election illustrates the distorted way we look at elections.

True, he may not be a heroic POW, a history making hockey mom, or the 1st ever African American nominee for President. However, Joe Biden is an exceptional man who has served his country with dignity in the Senate for over 30 years. A guy who doesn't appear to have forgotten where he comes from.

I'm proud of Joe Biden's performance last evening. More than ever I respect that Barack Obama felt comfortable enough to put him on the ticket considering his experience far outweighs his own.

32 days to go.

1 comment:

Patrick said...

F' Joe Six-Pack.

Can we please just...I America?

W. T. F.

I keep hearing how Palin appeals to Joe Six-Pack. She even name checked Joe Six-Pack in the debate.

This is seen as a good thing?


I am supposed to just accept the idea that the most sought after demographic in this particular campaign is a bunch of functioning alcoholics?

Joe Six-Pack. A guy who comes home from work and drinks a six pack of beer in front of the television every night.

That's who they are courting?

I mean, I'm sure people who view a good half of every day through an alcoholic haze love Palin.

But the fact that the strategy seems to be to depend on a case of national beer goggles to pick the next most powerful person on the planet is...disturbing.