Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Pre debate and post debate…what a waste of my time

with 2 comments

Ah, Palin vs Biden. Not since Billy Jean King dueled Bobby Riggs has been such an anticipated match between a man and a woman. Granted that was sports and this is politics, but there is definitely some of the same flavour. I’m going to watch, as is most of America. It should be interesting at least, and there’s always the possibility of some sort off major gaffe or incident. I mean, Palin has a reaction to a new hair spray, takes down Joe Biden in a flying tackle, an bites off part of his ear. Now that would get people excited.

Joking aside, most likely it will be fairly dull. The debates ceased to be actual debates long ago, and are now just joint press conferences. Palin is apparently the master of the non-answer during debates, so as long as she doesn’t flub her lines she’ll do OK. And Biden however much he might want to shred her answers, in the format they use that will be difficult to do without appearing to be a bully. I think she has the easier row to hoe too, if she can appeal to her base without offending the moderate blue collar vote, she’s pretty much golden. Unless she manages to come off as a total idiot. Biden however has to do more than just avoid offending people, he has to actually do good to win. And like I said, it’s hard to score aggressive points in this sort of format.

So I’m predicting a ten percent chance of something really interesting, some terrible gaffe by either party that becomes the talk of the town so to speak. A ten percent chance that Palin will make Biden look bad, and about a thirty percent chance Palin  will more or less look like an idiot. The most likely result is that she will pull it off, and both sides will be convinced their party won the debate. I’ll be back in a  few hours to see how my predictions fared. Like many Americans, this will really be my first real glimpse of Palin, is she a would-be leader of the free world…or a cheap fraud?


Well, on question one they both waded right in…utterly ignoring the question and launching into campaign rhetoric. Nothing surprising there.

My initial overall impressions is…the Democrats got ambushed. Palin did just fine, she was personable and charming and had no problem at all repeating the standard Republican talking points infused with homespun charm and “ah shucks” sentimentality. Biden did OK too, he’s no slouch by any means, but Palin so much exceeded many people’s expectations that it’s got to be a plus for her team. She may even have deliberately worked in the preceding weeks to lower people’s expectations of her, if so, slick.

As far as the actual content of the debate, hate to say it, but same ol same ol. Both candidates did a good job of expressing their party line, neither said anything out of the ordinary, and in fact it was just snippets of campaign speeches. Both candidates also did a good job of not answering direct questions, again, politics as usual. Palin’s sound bites were nicely nuanced for her target audience, as were Biden’s. Here’s a good review of what each one said about foreign policy. Basically the same bogeyman nonsense we’ve been hearing for years.

Oh, and Palin went on and on about how we can drill our way out of foreign oil dependency, which is so silly I won’t even bother to  into it. All in all the whole thing was pretty boring, and here it’s Friday morning and I’ve wasted nearly 600 words on a non-event. Sigh. I think this will be my last foray into politics until the election unless something spectacularly interesting happens.

Moving right along, in science news the red rain story just gets weirder. Some scientists still think they may have discovered microbes from space. Most are skeptical, but they certainly have discovered something. A new report says that AIDs entered the human population much earlier than thought, around 1908 give or take a decade. Then it just slowly spread in rural areas of Africa, not really taking off until some African cities turned into crowded slums later in the century. And lastly, the people who thought the LHC (Large Hadron Collider) was going to destroy earth have been reprieved, the machine broke and it will require months to get it fixed. That will give me time to write another post about it and offend a few more readers. Next week though I think I’ll write about something fun…historic military blunders.

Have a great weekend everyone.

(The above image of Billy Jean King whomping Bobby Riggs is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It is not being used for profit and is an historically important image, sort of. It was a big deal when I was a young lad, I wish today’s big deals were as benign.)


Written by unitedcats

October 3, 2008 at 6:54 am

Posted in Politics

2 Responses

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  1. Palin lost the debate for many reasons. More then anything, she failed to be presidential. Anyone running for such a high office can not be folksy. It’s insulting to the voters and it makes her sound stupid. Leaders are suppose to be better then average, that is why they lead. She seems to strive to be average which is not what we look for in a leader.


    October 3, 2008 at 1:24 pm

  2. Found this. Thought it might be interesting to add to the site in case people are interested.
    It’s taken from the Daily Kos.


    October 3, 2008 at 9:00 pm

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